The Regional Plan Association, a New York City–area transportation and infrastructure think tank, published a report outlining the steps it said are needed to ease commuter congestion between New York and New Jersey and to meet future capacity needs.
The plan includes a new $3 billion bus terminal in the basement of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, connecting pedestrians to the Hudson Yards subway and allowing for the renovation of another bus terminal nearby, Crain's New York Business reported. It also proposes two tunnels under the East River from Manhattan to Queens, increasing train traffic by 138%.
RPA officials said the report intends to kick-start discussions around a "comprehensive" regional transportation plan instead of the current "fragmented" solutions, such as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's new $10 billion Manhattan bus terminal.
Economics may have already scuttled the Port Authority's bus terminal project. The Port Authority has come under fire for the new terminal's cost. In May, it said it would consider renovating the existing terminal instead, which would cost significantly less. The agency has authorized just $3.5 billion for a new terminal but said it could fill the $6.5 billion gap with financing from the private sector.
Critics of the terminal's relocation say the city would lose out economically if the Port Authority builds a new terminal because it will not be as close to tourist attractions as the current one. However, if the agency decides that a renovation is the way to go, the required environmental reviews could take as long as two years.
A new Port Authority bus terminal is only one project of a 10-year, $32.2 billion capital improvement plan that the agency approved in February. It allocates $11 billion for projects at John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty airports, and it is expected to generate $56 billion for New York and New Jersey in all.
The projects are also garnering private investment. LaGuardia Gateway Partners, the private consortium heading up the $4 billion effort to replace LaGuardia's Central Terminal, got a celebrity partner earlier this month after former NBA star Earvin "Magic" Johnson's JLC Infrastructure became an equity investor. JLC is also an equity partner in the Ferrovial-led consortium that will renovate and maintain the new Denver International Airport terminal.