A plan to transform the nation’s busiest bus terminal from a crumbling eyesore in the heart of New York City into a gleaming new facility stalled on Thursday as transit officials rejected the approximately $9 billion price tag and demanded cheaper options.
Commissioners of the Port Authority, which runs area transit hubs, revolted against the Manhattan bus terminal proposal presented by agency officials, saying they need to go back to the drawing board and consider other options, including building the new terminal in New Jersey and creating a rail link to Manhattan or finding a cheaper place in the city.
The Port Authority Bus Terminal, long considered an embarrassing stain on the city’s mass transit system, is located in Times Square near some of the city’s most famous attractions. It suffers from cracked floors, crumbling ceiling tiles and severe overcrowding during rush hour.
“Either we are going to build a 21st-century bus terminal or abandon our bus passengers to a Fourth World commuting experience,” Commissioner Kenneth Lipper said.
The cost estimates, ranging from about $8 billion to nearly $10 billion, are more than twice as expensive as the $4 billion World Trade Center transportation hub, which was criticized for running over budget. Commissioners suggested selling off Port Authority property, including the World Trade Center, could help pay for the new bus terminal.