The project is expected to be complete by 2031
MANHATTAN, New York (WABC) -- The Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City is getting ready to undergo a major transformation from an outdated and undersized commuter hub, to a state-of-the-art transit facility.
Port Authority provided an update Thursday afternoon on plans for its long-promised modern bus terminal, a massive multi-billion-dollar project that will have to keep the current transit hub operating for the decade it takes to build on the busy west side of Manhattan.
"New York City deserves a world-class, state-of-the-art bus terminal," said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O'Toole.
The bi-state agency said the old terminal will be torn down and rebuilt, with an estimated opening date of 2032 for the new one.
But before that can happen, a bus storage facility will be built that will handle bus operations in the interim.
Once the storage facility is built, expected by 2028, bus operations will shift from the current terminal to the bus storage facility while the old terminal is torn down and rebuilt.
After construction is completed, the Port Authority will give back 3.5 acres as green space for the neighborhood.
When Port Authority first opened in 1950, it was also described as "state of the art" and "magnificent," but now, seven decades later, the building is in need of improvements.
Commuters arrive to leaks, cracks and tears -- far from a modern marvel.
The new bus terminal is expected to have new features like artificial intelligence for bus management, accommodations for future growth and larger buses, bus storage space, which the current terminal doesn't have, and sustainability components including space for electric buses and chargers, heat recovery reuse and onsite generation of renewable energy.
"It will reflect world class design," said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. "High ceilings, light and airy atmosphere, riveting, appealing, inspiring public art installations."
Commuters said they welcome the plan for a new and improved bus terminal.
"If they're going to make it better, then sure! I'd love to see it better," one bus rider said.
"It'd be nice to start all over again," another rider said.
Port Authority will be better, just not anytime soon.