The Port Authority has removed several alternatives, including building the new terminal under the old one, under the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, or in New Jersey.
“They’ve come up with a much better plan than they originally had,” said Thomas K. Wright, executive director of the Regional Plan Association, an influential planning group.
Mr. Wright said replacing the terminal is a necessity, no matter how much it costs because of the integrated role it plays in the city’s daily commute. According to the port authority, more than 250,000 people passed it on a typical weekday before the pandemic. Since March, traffic has fallen by more than 65 percent.
The bus terminal, a brick sob at the mouth of the Lincoln Tunnel, has long exceeded its capacity – when it opened in the late 1950s, it was expected to handle 60,000 passengers a day. Although the station was rehabilitated in the early 1980s, it cannot accommodate the infatuation of commuters, mostly from New Jersey, who use it in normal times.
The port authority wants the new terminal to be able to handle 1,000 buses during the maximum evening speed, up from around 850 today. It would also be designed to supply charging equipment for electric buses according to plan.
Buses may be less romantic than trains, but other major cities have invested in their bus delivery systems to help alleviate traffic and pollution from cars. More than a dozen U.S. cities, including San Francisco, Denver and Raleigh, NC, have relocated in the past decade to build new bus stations or create multimodal transit hubs that bring together bus and rail services, said Joseph P. Schwieterman, professor of public service at DePaul University in Chicago.