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NEW YORK CITY-At a New York Building Congress event in 2008, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey‘s then-executive director, Christopher Ward, joked that some of his friends and relatives assumed the extent of his responsibilities was running the Midtown bus terminal. The authority’s bailiwick is considerably larger than that, but the Port Authority Bus Terminal remains the world’s busiest with 65 million passengers passing through it each year. The current structure’s limitations became apparent in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, among the reasons that the Port Authority’s board has hired two consulting firms to examine the facility’s future.

At its monthly meeting this week, the Port’s board authorized a contract with Kohn Pedersen Fox and Parsons Brinckerhoff to create a comprehensive, long-term plan for the PABT’s future. The two firms will consider options for enhancing and possibly replacing the terminal, a state-of-good-repair investment program, and new bus staging and storage facilities on Manhattan’s West Side to improve bus operations and limit the number of buses idling on city streets.

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