NEW YORK (WABC) -- The Port Authority on Thursday announced plans to rebuild and reimagine New York's decrepit bus terminal, long considered one of the worst public spaces in the city.
There are aging tile floors, creaky escalators, and creepy corridors, and the smell of exhaust is practically baked into the building. But the future of the Port Authority Bus Terminal is bright, officials said.
"This important step is a turning point in the transformation of the Port Authority Bus Terminal and Manhattan Midtown West into a world-class transportation hub worthy of New York," Governor Andrew Cuomo said. "By completely redeveloping the terminal, adding space for commercial development, improving the commuting experience and removing bus traffic and pollution from the surrounding community, we will show New Yorkers and the world that New York is back, and the future is once again bright."
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The plan is to build the new terminal on the existing terminal without taking it out of service, and renaming it the Midtown Bus Terminal.
From 2013 until 2018, the Port Authority sought out proposals to replace the existing building before settling on the Build-in-Place Alternative.
It's an ambitious plan that will take years to complete and cost billions of dollars to construct, with the replacement terminal anticipated to be completed by 2030.
"From day one, the construction of a new Port Authority Bus Terminal that meets the needs of New Jersey's commuters and delivers a 21st century, world-class facility has been a top priority for my Administration," New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said. "The release of this plan is a concrete step toward our goal to expand bus capacity, ease the stress of our commuters, and provide reliable transportation infrastructure that will carry our regional economy forward. Throughout this process, the Port Authority has been a key partner in advancing this necessary transportation project that will ultimately create more efficient bus service on both sides of the Hudson."
The new plan for the new Midtown Bus Terminal includes:
--The complete replacement of the existing terminal building on 8th Avenue for commuter bus services with a state of the art, best in class facility
--A bus storage and staging building between 9th and 10th Avenues that removes buses from congested city streets
--The storage and staging building also will include additional capacity to handle intercity buses that currently load and unload on city streets, reducing congestion and foot traffic from local streets
--New bus ramp infrastructure between 10th and 11th Avenues enabling direct bus access from the Lincoln Tunnel to both the new staging and storage building and to the new terminal
--Approximately three and a half additional acres of new green space in the local community between 9th and 10th Avenues created by decking over sections of the Dyer Avenue entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel. Those areas will serve as temporary staging locations during early phases of construction and will be transformed for public green space at the completion of the construction project
--Up to four high-rise towers: one on 8th Avenue between 41st Street and 42nd Street; one on 9th Avenue between 40th Street and 41st Street; one on 11th Avenue between 39th Street and 40th Street; and one on 10th Avenue between 39th Street and 40th Street
The original terminal was built in 1950, when buses were much smaller, and it was intended to be the only bus terminal New Yorkers would ever need. It was expanded in 1981, and over the years, it's become the busiest bus terminal in the world.
The new terminal will be one million square feet and built to accommodate an all-electric fleet of buses. It will also have self-contained staging areas that will remove congestion from the streets surrounding the terminal and have several acres of green space outside the terminal.
Riders say it couldn't come a moment too soon.
"At the end of the day, if it's going to cost less and easier travel, I'm all for it," one commuter said.
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