Accounting for the Port Authority’s Failures
Stephen Smith strongly argues in favor of restructuring the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey by citing a history of failures, both large and small in scale. In fact, the George Washington Bridge lane closures scandal is one of the Port Authority’s “more benign foibles in recent years,” claims Smith.
Although Smith isn’t alone in arguing that “The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has clearly ceased to be an effective agency, and it’s time to consider alternative arrangements,” he believes many current proposals for a reorganization neglect the fundamental deficiency of the Port Authority: “Its independent authority structure combined with a massive guaranteed funding stream.”
Smith’s radical proposition for improving the Port Authority's management structure and assets won’t be popular at the C-level of the Port Authority: “To return accountability to the critical transportation assets managed by the Port Authority, it’s time to cut off the flow of money. The agency’s lifeblood, its toll revenues, should be returned to a combination of the New Jersey, New York state and New York City general treasuries, to be doled out by their respective legislatures (minus the cost of maintaining the crossings).”