Friday’s Headlines: ‘Port’ in a Storm Edition

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is putting out renderings of its proposed $10-billion bus terminal.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is putting out renderings of its proposed $10-billion bus terminal.

The big news yesterday was, “We’re getting a new bus terminal!”

The bad news yesterday was, “Why does a new bus terminal cost $10 billion?!” And, “Why does it take 10 years to complete after so many years of prior study?” And, “Why does replacing one bus terminal with another bus terminal require years of environmental studies?”

The main news was in the Times, which reported that the Port Authority has settled on a final design for a new bus station to replace one that “has become synonymous with the overburdened, crumbling infrastructure that has made commuting in New York City a grim slog” (ouch!).

The Daily News focused on how the plan would increase capacity (yay!) and be fitted with ports for electric buses (yay!), but how the financing depends on selling air rights (which aren’t worth much right now). The Post played it straight. The Wall Street Journal pointed out that the final cost will likely be way more than $10 billion.

And Larry Penner (for some reason relegated to the Pocono Record, of all places) was upset about the whole thing.

In other news:

  • Our old man editor wouldn’t stop crowing about how proud he was of the New York press corps yesterday as it relentlessly grilled Mayor de Blasio over the gaping holes in his new “discipline matrix” for the NYPD (no wonder they call it “the Matrix” — it’s a work of science fiction). The biggest problem? Even though there are now specific penalties for specific acts of misconduct, the police commissioner still retains the power to ignore findings by investigative agencies. The Daily News pounced all over Hizzoner at his morning briefing as our boss waited patiently for a turn that never came (NY1 also covered the Swiss cheese discipline thing.) Gothamist missed the easy target, but did focus on yet another lawsuit against the NYPD for misconduct.
  • Today, we run out of COVID vaccine. Great. Just f’ing great. (NY Post)
  • Like Streetsblog, the Post covered Dr. Anthony Fauci’s heart-warming appearance at the MTA Board meeting yesterday.
  • It’s that time of the year when applications are being accepted for positions on the city’s local community boards. We love to ridicule these panels — especially when they push a pro-car agenda because their members are out of step with the communities they’re supposed to represent, but Christine Berthet of Community Board 4 reminded us of how much great work they can do when good, honest, enlightened people join. She even prepared a slideshow of six years of CB4 achievements! If you watch only one slideshow of community board achievements today, please make it this one.
  • Hot stove talk: Brooklyn baseball bard Tom Gilbert (everyone knows Tom, right?) just won a big award for his new book, “How Baseball Happened.” (Godine Publishing via Twitter)
  • The Times editorial board wants you to know that it supports transit.
  • And, finally, for a minute there, we thought we had found the perfect intern: 12-year-old Long Island seventh grader Lukas Wolpiuk, who complained during the public session of the MTA Board meeting that the agency hadn’t posted its public information in a timely fashion (NY Post). But later, we learned from the Post’s David Meyer that Wolpiuk was a regular reader of our bitter rival, Second Avenue Sagas, but had never heard of Streetsblog. Kid, you’re fired!


The Port Authority Bus Terminal and Our Glaring Lack of Transit Leadership

The effort to replace the aging and overcrowded Port Authority Bus Terminal continues to suffer from the New York region’s inability to coordinate its transit mega-projects. The bus terminal already handles more than 225,000 passengers per weekday and cannot accommodate all the bus traffic that crosses the Hudson in Midtown. Demand is expected to increase about 50 percent by 2040, […]

The Trans-Hudson Transit Crunch Keeps Getting Tougher to Fix

When news broke earlier this week that replacing the Port Authority Bus Terminal would cost $11 billion, advocates were skeptical. At a board meeting today, many Port Authority commissioners, while recognizing the need to replace and expand the terminal, joined in that skepticism. Over the past 18 months, Port Authority staff, working with consultants from […]