Schumer: Port Authority must be reformed - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Schumer: Port Authority must be reformed

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., wants to reform the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey by an act of Congress.

He said that one of the biggest issues is the way the Port Authority backs projects that really have nothing to do with the Port Authority. In the last decade alone, the Port Authority has spent $800 million on such projects. Even more troubling is that these projects generated absolutely no return for the agency.

Schumer outlined his seven-point plan to reform the scandal-ridden Port Authority. The New York and New Jersey agency, according to the Democrat, has become a political cookie jar whose core mission of running bridges, tunnels, and airports has been forgotten.

"Bridgegate turned a watchful eye to the Port Authority and made bright and clear what before was opaque but bubbling under the surface, the Port Authority is on the wrong track," he said.

During so-called Bridgegate, several lanes of the George Washington Bridge were ordered shut down by a Port Authority top official and an aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as political retribution against the mayor of Fort Lee.

Part of Schumer's proposal includes transparency, a single director, and the elimination of so called pet projects.

"In its 10-year capital plan, they propose spending another billion dollars on such projects," he said. "Let me repeat, another billion dollars in financing projects that won't net the Port Authority a penny."

Such projects include the Pulaski Skyway and the completion of 3 World Trade Center. Yet tolls and airport fees continue to rise, much to the dismay of New Yorkers we spoke to.

Crain's New York senior reporter Daniel Geiger said he believes that Schumer's reform plan is possible if more state leaders back it.

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