- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 16, 2017

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A second bus terminal should be built in midtown Manhattan instead of replacing the aging facility that has been the focus of interstate squabbling over cost and location, a regional transportation group urged in a report released Wednesday.

The report by the Regional Plan Association, an urban research and advocacy organization, recommended building a new bus terminal under the Jacob Javits Convention Center on the city’s west side, about three blocks west and eight blocks south of the existing Port Authority Bus Terminal on 42nd Street.

The six-decade-old Port Authority terminal has been heavily criticized in recent years by New Jersey lawmakers and commuters for its decaying physical structure, crowding and regular delays.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the terminal’s operator, recently committed $3.5 billion in its 10-year capital plan to replacing the existing facility and has said it will explore private financing to help cover the total cost, estimated to be at least $10 billion.

More than 200,000 commuters pass through the terminal daily, making it the nation’s busiest bus station.

The Regional Plan Association report concluded a bus station under the Javits Center would ease congestion at the Port Authority terminal and connect to the No. 7 subway line for access to midtown.

The report drew criticism Wednesday from Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Senate Legislative Oversight Committee Chairman Bob Gordon, both Democrats, who called it “flawed, premature, unrealistic and New York-centric.” They support building a new terminal on the current Port Authority site.

The group also recommended starting construction on a new rail tunnel between New Jersey and New York, a project that has been put in question recently over uncertainty about federal funding. The report recommended extending the tunnel through Penn Station and under the East River to Queens, with a new station on the east side of Manhattan.

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