Sen. Bob Gordon Expresses Concern for Port Authority Budget
Majority Conference Leader, Sen. Bob Gordon, shares why he is disappointed with the decision to allocate $3.5 billion for the new Port Authority of New York and New Jersey bus terminal and explains how the project could be “catastrophic” to New Jersey’s economy if not completed quickly.
"We are joined by State Senator Robert Gordon. Bob Gordon is the Majority Conference Leader. That is in the Democratic Party in the State Senate. How you doing, Senator? Doing real well. You know an awful lot about transportation, you know about the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, because you are the Chair of the Legislative Oversight Committee, and Vice-Chair of the Transportation Committee in the Senate, right? That's correct. So I want to ask you, for those who are dependent upon the bus terminal over on 42nd Street? 42nd, you know, around 9th? Yeah. Right? What is going on over there? And is it going to be improved? And how long would it take? Loaded question. Well, it's... I know. It's a 66 year old facility. By the way, I should make it clear, the Port Authority is responsible for that bus terminal? That's right. Which is a bi-state agency. It was built in 1950 for buses that were smaller and not quite as heavy. And so structurally, the slabs that are... that are used for the terminal are actually gonna fail at some point. So it has a lifespan that's relatively short. And as anyone who's taken the bus to New York every day knows, it really is... it's a third world facility. Hmm. People say it just ruins their day. It's at capacity now. It's hot. It's cold in the Winter. It's really just unacceptable for, you know, a civilized society really. Senator, you make it sound as if the state of affairs of transportation as it relates to those who have to go back and forth between New York and New Jersey... I mean the Mecca, potentially, of this country, in terms of commerce is pretty pathetic? It is. I mean, you know, the New York, New Jersey region, I think, represents something like 10 or 12 percent of gross domestic product? Oh just that? [laughter] You know, and the City... the City of New York is the economic engine for the region. Over the next ten years, the Regional Plan Association's projecting 300,000 new jobs in Manhattan, but not much housing. That means those jobs are gonna be held by people in the suburbs, and they could be New York suburbs, or New Jersey suburbs, depending on whether we invest in the infrastructure needed to get people across the river. But right now, we're not doing that? That's exactly right. That's the problem. So the serious... the question that needs to be asked is how serious are those, in public policy positions, that anticipate, or should be anticipating, that these demographic changes are taking place? That this is what it is we want..."