The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey announced the start of the formal environmental review process for the replacement of the midtown bus terminal. The agency released a planning-level scoping document for public review and comment initiating the environmental review.
The release of the planning-level scoping document will launch a robust 120-day public outreach process to solicit formal comment from elected officials in New York and New Jersey, the City of New York, neighborhood residents, other stakeholders and the public on plans for a new Port Authority Bus Terminal. Four public hearings, two in each state, will be held in July and September 2019, with the dates, times and locations to be announced. A virtual hearing also will be available online.
The planning-level scoping document is available on the Port Authority’s website by clicking here. Paper and digital copies of the document are available at the Port Authority Bus Terminal Replacement Center, located just inside the facility’s Ninth Avenue entrance between 40th and 41st streets. The document provides a project purpose and need, goals and objectives and an overview of the National Environmental Policy Act review process.
“Today’s kickoff of the formal public outreach process for the new bus terminal is a critical milestone for what will be one of the largest and most important transit infrastructure projects in the country,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “We are strongly committed to replacing this legacy, over-capacity facility, and look forward to a spirited dialogue with all stakeholders on how the project will proceed.”
“We are committed to building the replacement Bus Terminal and to do so in full consultation with the community, with elected officials in both New York and New Jersey, and with all stakeholders,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “We welcome the start of this public engagement and look forward to receiving input and comment on the alternatives and on the scope of potential environmental impacts to be analyzed in the environmental review process.”
In 2017, the Port Authority Board of Commissioners authorized the agency to hire environmental and technical consultants to provide project management and planning services for the bus terminal replacement, and to ensure that all planning stages comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and/or all applicable review processes, and that there is coordination with stakeholders and adherence to eligibility requirements for federal funding.
Planning for a new bus terminal will include identifying an optimal location and a preferred alternative based on ongoing engagement with the City of New York and New York and New Jersey stakeholders.
The existing Port Authority Bus Terminal was built in 1950 and expanded in 1981. The terminal now serves an estimated 260,000 passenger trips on weekdays, or 23 percent of trans-Hudson trips entering or exiting Manhattan’s central business district, and 8,000 bus movements. Demand is expected to increase by 30 percent, with up to 337,000 weekday passenger trips by 2040.
While the process to build a new bus terminal is continuing, the Port Authority has undertaken an aggressive $110 million Quality of Commute program to enhance the customer experience at the existing facility. The initiatives include new and enhanced retail, new bathrooms, new doors at the terminal’s 8th Avenue entrance, new lighting and ceiling and improved elevators and escalators. The Port Authority also has partnered with bus operators on operational changes that have reduced crowding within the terminal and relieved congestion caused by buses on nearby streets.
In the coming weeks, a new family restroom and new staircase from the bus terminal’s main floor to the subway mezzanine will open to enhance pedestrian flow, while the installation of a new ceiling is in progress throughout the facility.
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