JAM News
Friday, January 15, 2021

It's finally happening—New York is replacing the Port Authority Bus Terminal

TIME OUT - Shaye Weaver

One day soon, we'll no longer have to dread going to the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

In his State of the State address on Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New York State will replace the creepy bus terminal with a new, state-of-the-art facility as part of a $51 billion plan to redevelop midtown west.

The governor's office didn't respond to a request for more details on Friday, but the governor said that the Port Authority's new bus terminal would reduce congestion on city streets, improve air quality and transform mass transit to and from the West Side of Manhattan.

"We will completely redevelop the terminal, adding space for commercial development, dramatically improving the commuting experience, removing bus traffic and pollution from the surrounding community," Cuomo said on Thursday.

Updating the bus terminal has been on the table for quite a few years—in 2015, the state approved plans to build a brand-new terminal and a budget of $29.5 billion was set in 2017 for the project. 

In 2019, the Port Authority released three possible options, which included rebuilding the terminal while buses used the existing terminal, using the lower level of the Javits Center, or just renovating the existing terminal instead of rebuilding from the ground up, according to 6sqft.com.

Cuomo's office finally released a single rendering of what the new bus terminal will look like when it's complete.

The glassy, clean and open-looking building is much improved from the "eyesore" Cuomo says it is now. New Yorkers have called the current facility a "ring of hell," a "haunted house," "the infected anus of the city" and other disparaging names because of its low ceilings, busted windows and beige labyrinth vibes. Even John Oliver has said it is "the single worst place on planet Earth." 

You can hear more about how terrible it is in a WNYC broadcast from 2014.

Aside from rebuilding the bus terminal, Cuomo wants to focus on improving the area by extending the High Line to Moynihan Train Hall, reconstructing the existing Penn Station and adding track capacity, adding 1,400 units of affordable housing to the area, transforming Pier 76 from an NYPD car tow pound to a 5.6-acre expansion of Hudson River Park, and finish up expanding the Javits Center.

Part of this plan was the opening of the new $1.6 billion Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station on January 1.

You can read about these projects and more here in Cuomo's address outline.

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