As you sit waiting to pay the toll at one of the Port Authority’s Hudson River crossings – now $105 for an 18 wheeler and $42 for a 3 axle box truck – consider this:
Without much fanfare – apparently the politicians were distancing themselves – the Port Authority’s new World Trade Center PATH train station opened last week. “The most expensive train station in the world” ( New York Observer, May 2013 ) was more than two times over budget: $4 Billion Dollars. It serves an estimated 50,000 PATH riders per day, making it the City’s 18th busiest, says the NY Times (NY Times, March 3, 2016 ). For comparison, the Times Square subway station handles over 200,000 passengers per day.
Its impressive, to be sure, but with acres of white marble and an intricate structure that’s supposed to look like a bird in flight, maintenance costs, like the projected budget, will soar. As of yet, there are no stores, restaurants or places to sit.
And now the Port Authority is whining that it needs $1 Billion Dollars to rebuild its aging Times Square bus terminal. That terminal, which sees about 230,000 riders per day according to the Port Authority (Port Authority website ), will likely be built with some real estate sleight of hand, according to PA Chairman John Degnan (Crain’s New York Business, March 14, 2016 ). One idea: Moving the terminal to the west and selling the current site.
Its time to rein in these public authorities and make them more accountable to the public than to the politicians who appoint them.