Urban Fold

Reduced Toll Increase Continues NJ Bus Dead-Heading Problem

Because the Port Authority Bus Terminal lacks a garage, empty buses shuttle off to New Jersey for storage between the AM and PM commutes. The garage would have been funded by a higher toll, which NJ and NY governors rejected.

Every weekday morning, 225,000 commuters using hundreds of New Jersey Transit buses are transported to Manhattan's Port Authority Bus Terminal. Most buses then return empty to Jersey only to return, empty again, to take their passengers home.

The "construction of an $800 million bus parking garage in Manhattan - which promised to ease rush-hour congestion by eliminating hundreds of empty-bus trips to New Jersey parking lots each day - was lopped off the Port Authority's 10-year to-do list when toll hikes were approved in August.

Port Authority officials say they cannot afford the garage with the lower-than-proposed toll hikes that went into effect Sept. 18. And that frustrates mass transit advocates, bus commuters and the motorists who battle empty buses for space on New Jersey roads."

From Road Warrior: Delaying bus garage expansion is senseless: "It probably came as shock to many readers to learn in this newspaper on Monday that hundreds of empty buses clog afternoon traffic on the highways leading into the city." He notes that had Governors Christie and Cuomo not trimmed the toll to $12, the Port could have kept the garage as a capital project.

Full Story: Cut in toll hike killed funds for $800M garage, PA says

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