Commuters won't have to dig any deeper
The Port Authority's proposed budget for 2017 contains no increases in mass transit fares or bridge and tunnel tolls.
NEWARK, N.J. >> The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s proposed budget for 2017 contains no toll or fare increases but also no clarity about when construction on a new Manhattan bus terminal might begin, or how it will fit into the agency’s 10-year capital plan.
The proposed budget, released Thursday, also anticipates higher revenue from tolls at the agency’s bridges and tunnels in 2017, despite the absence of toll hikes.
Port Authority Chairman John Degnan said in May the agency was completely redoing the 10-year, $28 billion capital plan it unveiled in 2014 to include a new bus terminal as well as significant improvements at LaGuardia and Newark Liberty airports.
The authority also operates Stewart International Airport in New Windsor.
The Port Authority had been criticized for not initially including money in the capital plan to replace its six-decade-old bus terminal, which has been a source of mounting criticism over frequent delays and crumbling infrastructure.
In May, Degnan said he hoped to have a new 10year plan ready for a vote as early as September.
Degnan couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Friday.
The 2017 budget dedicates about $47 million for planning for a new terminal and $21 million for a continuing program to make interior repairs and improve bus traffic flow.
Last month, Port Authority board members heard five proposals for a new bus terminal as part of an international design competition begun earlier this year. The designs would cost anywhere from roughly $4 billion to more than $15 billion.
New Jersey lawmakers have pushed for a new facility on or near the current location at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue on Manhattan’s west side. Some New York officials have said they’ll fight any plan that locates it a block west, saying it would displace small businesses and rent-regulated apartments in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood.
More than 200,000 people use the terminal each weekday.
For those who commute by car, the absence of toll increases at Port Authority bridges and tunnels was welcome news after five straight years of scheduled hikes, the last coming in December 2015.