Fixing the Port Authority

Friday, April 04, 2014

The Port Authority's new PATH platform at the World Trade Center (Andrew Burton/Getty)

In the wake of the "Bridgegate" scandal, the governors of NY and NJ have suggested restructuring the Port Authority that oversees big regional infrastructure projects. Hugh O'Neill, president of Appleseed (an economic development consulting firm based in NYC) and a former assistant executive director of the Port Authority (1985-1991), talks about the report he and NYU's Mitchell Moss put together that argues the problem is not mismanagement or politics, but the business model that funds revenue-free projects requiring hefty toll increases.


Hugh O'Neill

Comments [14]


Great idea to get advice to fix the PA from to two people that have been deeply involved in it and are probably still making money from it. Why not have the PA stick to funding transportation instead of venturing into projects that just allow politicians to kick taxpayer/communter dollars to their friend? Christie and Cuomo are both using their influence to spread the wealth as we commuters pay more for less.

Is it too much to ask for a fresh coat of paint to the Brooklyn bridge?

Apr. 04 2014 09:51 PM
Edward from NJ

PATH has a metrocard system.

The bus tickets clogging Zev's wallet are for NJ Transit which isn't operated by the Port Authority.

Apr. 04 2014 10:56 AM
janny1006 from jersey city

I am super-concerned about the planned development at Journal Square. The PATH trains now are so overloaded, by the time they reach Newport, it is a crush of people already. I'm not sure how the PA is going to address this.

Apr. 04 2014 10:50 AM
James Nadeau from Brooklyn

The ARC tunnel project being quashed by Gov Christie is the perfect example of what has gone wrong with the "bi-state" agency--politics.

Apr. 04 2014 10:50 AM

What percent of the budget is from the Feds?

Apr. 04 2014 10:48 AM

tear it down and rebuild it as a full government agency run by the fed.

Apr. 04 2014 10:44 AM
RRD from Leonia, NJ

The Port Authority bus terminal at 42nd Street is barely functioning these days. Commuters face ridiculously long lines for many buses because there is simply not capacity for the volume of buses that needs to get in and out of the terminal. Where is the long-term plan? This situation only gets worse every year and makes commutes intolerably long and unpleasant.

Apr. 04 2014 10:43 AM
Melanie from Brooklyn

Howland Hook is the container port terminal facility in Staten Island. Interestingly, the tolls on the Port Authority Bridges is part of the reason it is not more successful.

Apr. 04 2014 10:39 AM

Including the WTC, what is the annual ROI for its real estate projects?

Apr. 04 2014 10:38 AM
genejoke from Brooklyn

Is the guest speaking in a low rasp to add gravitas to his speaking, or to practice for a Godfather remake??

Apr. 04 2014 10:37 AM
Zev from Teaneck

Something has to happen. That organization is so backwards! Why don't they have a metrocard system yet? We have to walk around with dozens of bus tickets in our wallets like it's 1980.

We need leadership that is prepared to take the PA into the 21st century.

Apr. 04 2014 10:32 AM
Robert from NYC

The only way to fix any of these "Authorities" is to dismantle them and throw them in the garbage which is where they hang out anyway.

Apr. 04 2014 10:23 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

The Port Authority, for decades, has been a cesspool of NY/NJ Governor appointed territorial sycophants, that cook the books at their paymasters' whim.

What we have for the pleasure? Third world facilities and some of the highest tolls in the country.

When Giuliani made it a point, to plow virtually every NYC street before the Port Authority could clear to a couple of JFK runways, it said a lot.

Apr. 04 2014 10:10 AM

Sell WTC build ARC

Apr. 04 2014 10:02 AM

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