PATH Stations Will Be Closed for The Next Two Weekends For Post-Sandy Repairs

Categories: Port Authority

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Port Authority of NY & NJ
A corroded electrical substation
Sorry, tunnel people. If you were hoping to escape the doldrums of central Jersey this weekend or next, you'll have to find another way to get into Manhattan. There will be no service between Exchange Place and World Trade Center PATH stations between Friday night and early Monday morning over the next two weekends.

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Sexist, Anti-Labor (Anti-Human?) Robots Take Over Customer Service Duty At Area Airports

WNYC reported yesterday that five "avatars" are going to be taking up customer service duty at Port Authority airports.

The above video is a demonstration of what one of these projected robots will do. They will not be interactive, nor holographic like Tupac, but rather be a kind of 2D video displayed on a life-sized cutout.

What "she" says is pretty scary.

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Port Authority Plans on Military-Grade Security for the World Trade Center Site

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Wikimedia Commons
After an audit found that the Port Authority was nearly $2 billion overbudget, the New York Post went digging and discovered that the PA has elaborate, high-tech security plans for protecting the redesigned World Trade Center site. Maybe that's where all the money is going!

The security plan calls for several different kinds of fancy-schmancy cameras to be used at the memorial site, including devices that can recognize human faces and retinas and match them to a criminal watch list. Are we the only people getting creepy Minority Report vibes from this? No?

The Port Authority also wants to utilize new kinds of artificial intelligence that can detect when people engage in "suspicious activity" and deploy police officers to those areas. According to the Post the cameras would be trained to notice:

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Port Authority Can't Account for $1.7 Billion in Budget

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As the Port Authority continues to deal with the fallout from the results of an audit that called the organization "dysfunctional" and "bloated," its board members are now trying to figure out why $1.7 billion in costs for the World Trade Center project weren't included in the PA's original budget.

At the PA's board meeting yesterday, Port Authority authorities struggled to explain why the WTC site rebuilding would cost nearly two billion dollars more than projected costs from 2008.

Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler didn't have the answers:

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Mayor Bloomberg Slams Results of Port Authority Audit, Says WTC Memorial is Worth the Cost

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Mayor Bloomberg has slammed the results of an audit that called the Port Authority "a challenged and dysfunctional organization" with "ineffective cost controls," saying that the cost of the World Trade Center memorial is worth it for the sake of New York's reputation.

"Can you imagine? If America couldn't have come up with a memorial by the 10th anniversary, I would suggest that the press would have had a field day. It would have been an embarrassment around the world," Bloomberg told DNAinfo.

Bloomberg cited several factors which have contributed to the high cost of building the World Trade Center memorial, including bureaucratic struggles over permits and land ownership, the architectural problems caused by subway lines that run near the site, and the loaded political significance of the project.

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Preliminary Audit Deems the Port Authority a "Dysfunctional Organization"

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A preliminary audit commissioned by the board of the Port Authority has found that the institution is "a challenged and dysfunctional organization suffering from a lack of consistent leadership, a siloed underlying bureaucracy, poorly coordinated capital planning process, insufficient cost controls and a lack of transparent and effective oversight of the World Trade Center."

As costs for construction at the World Trade Center continue to rise, the Port Authority finds itself under increasing scrutiny. The audit also found that the PA suffers from inadequate cost-controlling methods, and often awards its employees excessive or unnecessary benefits.


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Happy 80th Birthday, George Washington Bridge!

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via Wikipedia
On October 24th, 1931, you were dedicated as the "Hudson River Bridge." Soon after, you were renamed, and now everyone calls you George. As the world's busiest bridge, we know you have a lot on your plate today. We just want to quickly say, "Happy Birthday," and let you know how appreciated you are. (And, because it's your birthday, we won't bring up the fact that half of you lives in Jersey).

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Thomas Truex, Bus Driver, Sat Dead in Idling Bus at Port Authority for Five Hours

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A New Jersey Transit bus driver sat dead in the passenger seat of his idling bus at the Port Authority for five hours before being noticed, the Post reports. The bus returned from the Meadowlands at 10:30 a.m. Sunday and Thomas Truex's body wasn't discovered until later that afternoon. The cause of death is unknown. We contacted the Port Authority for more information and will update as soon as that comes in. [NYP]

New York's Last Line of Defense From Zombies Arrested at Port Authority

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A man who describes himself as a "zombie enthusiast" (the correct term is "zombie aficionado") was arrested at the Port Authority Bus Terminal on Tuesday. The Post reports that 25-year-old Christopher Rodger had a camouflage bag full of "swords, knives, burglar tools, night-vision goggles and hand-drawn blueprints." You spend hours on a cramped Peter Pan bus eager to get to The Big Apple to fight some zombies, but you can't even make it out onto 8th Avenue. Life!

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Paris Hilton Visited the Port Authority Bus Terminal for Her Birthday

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Karly Domb Sadof for the New York Times
While going to Port Authority on your 30th birthday seems less auspicious than some other things one might do, Paris Hilton is a risk-taker. New York Times' City Room blog reports that she was spotted there, with boyfriend and entourage, this afternoon "in the inevitable high heels and platinum coiffure, an hour and a half late" -- not to catch a bus to Atlantic City or another lofty venue but to go to a lunch party organized by the United Service Organizations, which has an office in the terminal.

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