NEW YORK – New York City’s main bus terminal, long ridiculed for leaky ceilings, dirty bathrooms and frequent delays, could be in for a major overhaul.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey unveiled a proposal Thursday to rebuild and expand the embattled midtown Manhattan bus terminal.
“Everyone knows the bus terminal. Very few have anything good to say about it,” Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said. “It is way past time that this building be replaced.”
The new station would be built on top of the existing one, with sleek, glass-walled entrances and added infrastructure to accommodate more buses. Ramps that stretch across several blocks would be moved, and a storage building would be built to keep empty buses off the streets.
Construction could begin in 2024 and finish by 2031, the Port Authority said. Previous estimates have put the cost of a new bus terminal at as much as $10 billion. In addition to about $3 billion already included in the agency's capital plan, funding would come from multiple sources, including federal dollars and the sale of rights to build up to four new commercial towers in the area.
The Port Authority Bus Terminal opened in 1950 at Eighth Avenue between 40th and 42nd streets near Times Square.
A statue of Ralph Kramden, the fictional bus driver from “The Honeymooners," stands outside its main entrance. It also provided an apt backdrop for “Midnight Cowboy,” the 1969 film that illuminated New York's seedy underworld.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the terminal handled more than 250,000 passenger trips on weekdays, many commuting from New Jersey. A Port Authority-commissioned study projected that number would increase to more than 330,000 by 2040.