Are you willing to bet on a new Port Authority Bus Terminal? The old one’s aging, over-crowded and by popular consensus — gross. After two years studying the problem, Port Authority Commissioners are recommending building a new terminal, a block west of the current one or in New Jersey. New Jersey’s top democratic senators toured the terminal to see it for themselves. Sen. Loretta Weinberg spoke with NJTV News Correspondent David Cruz and said that most of the problems occurring with the Port Authority Bus Terminal are not new.
“Well no, the problems are certainly not new to me. They’ve been problems that we’ve been talking about for, I would say almost two years,” said Weinberg. “What is new to me is when I hear the vice chair of the Port Authority [Scott H. Rechler] say ‘Well we should be looking at expanding rail instead of buses.’ And I know the area that I represent, Eastern Bergen County coming over the infamous George Washington Bridge, there is no rail. There isn’t a rail road station, there is no rail which is why so many of our constituents are riding these buses. So to talk about expanding rail instead of this, shows to me a lack of understanding of the geography of the area that he is supposed to be serving.”
When asked if there is a need for a new bus terminal, Weinberg said that officials have spent two years reminding Port Authority Comissioners of the need of a new bus terminal. Weinberg said that the Port Authority needs to put plans of a new bus terminal in their ten year capitol plan.
The Port Authority recently allocated money to make some renovations at the bus terminal. Weinberg said that the Port Authority made the renovations after many in attendance at a town hall meeting told the Port Authority about problems at the bus terminal.
“Well they allocated what I said was the $90 million they found in the couch after so many of the constituents I represent came to a town hall meeting and told the members of the Port Authority ‘your ceilings are leaking, your bathrooms are disgusting, there is no WiFi, we can’t communicate, changes have to be made.” said Weinberg.
Weinberg said that the $90 million went into quality of life issues, such as making the bus terminal a little less hot in the summer and a little warmer in the winter. She also said that some of the money went into cleaning up the bathrooms and having WiFi installed, but that it took a lot of work for it to be done.