TRENTON – Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) today called on all current and future New Jersey candidates for governor to publicly commit that they will ensure that a new Port Authority Bus Terminal with the capacity to accommodate 50% more bus riders is built on the West Side of Manhattan within the next 10 years:
“The ongoing battle over the Port Authority Capital Plan makes it increasingly clear that it will be up to the next governor to ensure that the bi-state agency returns to its core transportation mission and builds the trans-Hudson commuter capacity on which our region’s future economic prosperity depends.
“There is no more important priority for the next governor than the expedited construction of an expanded Port Authority Bus Terminal on the West Side of Manhattan and completion of the full Gateway project, including the ‘Bergen Loop’ and Penn Station South, to guarantee one seat rides to Manhattan for bus and rail passengers throughout the state.
“In our bipartisan battle to make this happen, we have had no stauncher ally than Port Authority Chairman John Degnan, who has stood up for both Gateway and the new Port Authority Bus Terminal and championed the need to return the Port Authority to its core transportation mission of efficiently moving people and products to bolster our regional economy.
“Governor Cuomo is doing everything he can to push out Chairman Degnan and to bully his own New York commissioners when they stand up to him, and assumes he will be able to run roughshod over the next New Jersey governor particularly if Chairman Degnan leaves.
“A bipartisan commitment to making the Port Authority responsive to the transportation needs of our region should be a central part of each campaign.
“That is why I am asking all current and future candidates for governor in 2017 to make it clear through public statements that you will stand up for the interests of the region’s trans-Hudson commuters by making building a new Port Authority Bus Terminal within the next 10 years and construction of the Gateway Project your top priorities for funding by the Port Authority over the next decade, and that you will stand up to whomever you need to stand up to in order to make this happen.
“Let’s be clear. The economic stakes could not be higher. New Jersey will already be losing out on a decade of accelerated economic growth due to the cancellation of the ARC Tunnel project by Governor Christie, which was the single worst policy decision by a governor in modern New Jersey history. Manhattan is projected to add 300,000 jobs over the next decade, and most of those will have to be filled by commuters. We cannot afford to make the same mistake. Our economic future depends on it.”