Lawmakers call for new Port Authority terminal

New Jersey lawmakers are calling for a new Port Authority bus terminal.

New Jersey lawmakers are calling for a new Port Authority bus terminal. (10/14/15)

NEWARK - Some of New Jersey's lawmakers toured the Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan to call for a full replacement of the facility.

Senate President Steve Sweeney and several other New Jersey lawmakers say the bus terminal is running at capacity, and that it goes over capacity during peak commuting hours.

Port Authority officials says that they've built in new efficiencies and are doing their best to manage bus traffic. But Sen. Sweeney says more drastic measures need to be made.

"The reason we came here and I came here with my colleagues is really to force the Port Authority to recognize this is a priority," he said. "They have a 10-year capital plans and the Port Authority did not have this terminal in the 10-year capital plan."

Officials at the agency say they want to build a brand new station and even a new terminal. But building a new facility could take up to 10 years.

“They've had consultants and spent two years looking at it,” said Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg. “The idea you need more consultants seems to me to be a great big stalling.”

At the last major meeting of Port Authority officials, a decision for a new terminal was postponed.

Many commuters switched to buses following Super Storm Sandy, and have stayed with them ever since. 

The Port Authority estimates ridership could increase 50 percent by 2040.

A spokesperson for the Port Authority says it is possible that the bus terminal could be on the agenda for the agency's upcoming October meeting, but the agenda has not been finalized.

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