PHOTO CREDIT: CŽline Haeberly for Observer

Terminal Condition: Privatize Manhattan’s Worst Transportation Hub

The Authority should scale back its ambitions for a new bus station and use the far more efficient PATH network, a suggestion that’s been made by PA Vice Chairman Scott Rechler, a top real estate developer. He envisions a cheap, swift alternative: have buses connect to PATH trains in New Jersey, rather than cram them through the bottleneck of the Lincoln Tunnel. Better signaling systems, longer rush hours and longer trains would make up the difference. (The PA is already spending more than $300 million for new signals to move 50,000 more commuters a day, and is lengthening platforms to accommodate longer trains).

That could actually shrink demand for bus travel to the point where the PA would only need one of its two terminals. Then the job of reconstruction becomes easier. Sell the entire 42nd Street site for an office block with a new bus station on the lower floors and when that’s done, unload the south building space. Even with 12 million square feet of office space coming online at the Hudson Yards over the next decade or so, there will be plenty of demand for new homes and offices in Midtown West.

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