Local officials are pushing back against the Port Authority's plans for replacing its long unloved bus terminal just west of Times Square. Some are even raising the possibility of moving the terminal to New Jersey. Transit Reporter Jose Martinez has that story.
For nearly a quarter-million people a day, the Port Authority Bus Terminal is a grungy gateway to New York.
"I am out of this place as fast as I possibly can," said one traveler. "Am I gonna be hanging out in Port Authority? Probably not. Does anyone want to hang out at a bus stop? Probably not."
The Port Authority has begun talking about replacing the aging depot. The agency — controlled by Governor Cuomo and New Jersey's governor — launched a design competition last fall with a million-dollar prize.
However, several New York politicians are saying, "Pump the brakes."
"We must put a stop to this at this point not to stop a bus terminal, but to make sure that the analysis of all the options is done a) properly and b) legally," said Congressman Jerry Nadler.
At a news conference Thursday, the officials said the Port Authority has kept community in the dark about the project. They vowed to oppose a new terminal if it means displacing residents or business.
"They seem to think they can mess with the people of Hell's Kitchen — and they are wrong," said Assemblyman Dick Gottfried.
They even floated a radical idea — moving the terminal to New Jersey. That likely would force commuters to take a train under the Hudson River for the final leg of their trips.
"We're not dogmatically saying, 'Nothing in New York or nothing in New Jersey.' We're not dogmatically saying anything, and they are and that's what's got to stop," said Nadler.
Mayor Bill de Blasio's office issued a statement essentially siding with Nadler and others, creating a new point of friction in the ongoing fued between the mayor and Cuomo.
Officials on both sides of the Hudson say the issues surrounding the Port Authority Bus Terminal all boil down to quality of life. In New York, for those who live in Hell's Kitchen. And in New Jersey, for those who travel through the bus terminal daily.
Port Authority officials say the New York politicians need to calm down.
"In the end, folks, the only thing that's going to be derived through this design and deliverability concept is a concept," said Port Authority Chairman John Degnan.
One which Degnan and the Port Authority insist will not uproot residents.