Press Release Article


Date: Mar 11, 2016
Press Release Number: 37-2016

Advancing its commitment to design and construct a 21st century successor to America's largest and busiest bus terminal, the Port Authority today is launching the "Port Authority Bus Terminal International Design + Deliverability Competition," a two-stage competition seeking an inspired and qualified team that can deliver a winning conceptual design for this complex undertaking.

Prospective competitors are expected to assemble multi-disciplinary teams that can demonstrate a record of expertise and accomplishment in the design and planning of large-scale, intermodal mass transportation projects within high-density urban environments. The Port Authority anticipates awarding an honorarium of $1 million to the winning finalist.

Members of the public – particularly commuters and neighbors of the bus terminal – will be invited to submit comments to the Port Authority via online surveys. They are expected to be made available later today at The online survey will be available throughout the competition.

The agency will provide survey results and public comments to the competitors, to an independent jury selected to recommend the winner, and to the Port Authority Board of Commissioners. The Port Authority will continue to solicit public input and keep the public informed throughout the competition process.

Port Authority Chairman John Degnan said the board's final choice will be informed by the previously presented Midtown Bus Master Plan; the jury's recommendations; the findings of a Trans-Hudson Commuting Capacity Study authorized by the board in October 2015; consultations with partner agencies, and input from commuters and neighbors of the bus terminal.

"Building a new Port Authority Bus Terminal will be one of the largest and most important infrastructure projects in this agency's history and across the nation," Chairman Degnan said. "Our competition is open to multi-disciplinary teams from across America and the world, which can prove their skills and expertise are up to the extremely complex task of designing a worthy successor to the world's busiest bus terminal in the heart of New York City."

"It's no secret that the existing bus terminal is ill-equipped to meet the needs of passengers today, much less the needs of the future," said Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler. "The Design and Deliverability Competition, along with the Core Capacity Study, will take into account the continued growth of the region, including the anticipated increase in traffic at the Lincoln Tunnel -- as well as on New York City streets -- making this a big step forward in developing a comprehensive solution for trans-Hudson passengers. This will be an open and transparent process that will incorporate input from the region's stakeholders and, most importantly, it will include extensive involvement from the public."

Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye said, "Designing a new bus terminal will require us to carefully develop a scalable plan that can meet future needs, that we are confident can be delivered on time and on budget using our limited capital resources effectively, that maximizes the value of PA-owned air rights and real estate, and addresses the $100 million-plus annual operating loss at the existing facility while minimizing impacts on the community."

PABT International Design + Deliverability Competition: Background

In October 2015, the board authorized an international design competition to solicit conceptual designs for a new bus terminal at a site one block west of the existing terminal – or at alternative sites, if entrants determine the proposed site is not optimal.

As noted in the "Competition Conditions" section, available on the competition website, the competition is not an architecture contest and will not be decided solely on aesthetic or design criteria.

The Port Authority seeks a winning conceptual design that delivers on key agency objectives, including an appropriate level of service to meet bus passenger demand, improved functionality for bus parking and staging, minimizing traffic impact on surrounding local streets, and sustaining safety and security. The design must provide a cost-effective solution, taking into account both capital and future operating costs given limited financial resources and the history of significant operating losses at the existing bus terminal.

Additionally, the winning conceptual design must recognize the role of a new bus terminal in the interstate transportation network, address both commuter and long-distance markets, and consider the new terminal's compatibility with other trans-Hudson transportation operations and investments. The conceptual design also must be scalable and modular.

The competition will be conducted in two phases. During the initial phase, multidisciplinary design-led teams must register and submit a "Phase One Submission" following the instructions. They are also expected to be made available later today at

The Phase One submission will include detailed information about the competitor's team composition, the experience of its key members and relevant examples of past projects, and information about the team's approach to meeting competition objectives. Competitors may provide illustrations and images to communicate their design approach.

The Port Authority intends to create a short list of finalists for the competition's second phase, and expects to announce the list in April 2016.

During the competition's second phase, the Port Authority anticipates providing the finalists with additional materials from its ongoing planning efforts, to help inform their conceptual designs. That will include interim findings from a Trans-Hudson Commuting Capacity Study commissioned by the Port Authority to evaluate available strategies for meeting and managing anticipated increases in trans-Hudson commuter demand over the next 30 years.

While the Capacity Study will be completed by June 30, work-in-progress findings are expected to be available as a resource for competitors at the midpoint of the effort. An independent jury selected by the Port Authority and representing a diverse range of expertise in multiple disciplines will make a recommendation to the Board at the conclusion of the competition.

The Phase One submission deadline is April 12, 2016. The Phase Two submission deadline is late summer 2016, with the competition winner expected to be announced in September.

As the Port Authority addresses the design, constructability and financing challenges of designing and building a 21st Century terminal, it will continue its outreach to the public, including community and commuter stakeholders, and to transportation partners and other agencies in both states, and the local and Federal levels. The goal is to shape a proposed project with broad input and support for consideration in the intergovernmental processes required to advance a major transportation infrastructure investment.

About the Port Authority Bus Terminal

Built in 1950 and expanded in 1979, the Port Authority Bus Terminal accommodates approximately 220,000 passenger trips and more than 7,000 bus movements on an average weekday. In 2014, it accommodated 66 million passenger trips and 2.3 million bus movements. Demand is expected to increase to as many as 270,000 daily peak-hour passengers by 2020, and as many as 337,000 daily peak-hour passengers by 2040.

To improve conditions for customers at the existing bus terminal while planning continues for the design and construction of a new terminal, the Board in 2014 approved a $90-million Quality of Commute program. This initiative includes operational improvements to help reduce crowding and improve bus flow, and has resulted in significantly fewer customer complaints about bus delays. It also includes the addition of increased cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity within the terminal and the installation of new restrooms, among other changes.

For up-to-the-minute updates on conditions at the bus terminal and at other Port Authority facilities, travelers are encouraged to sign up for Port Authority alerts at

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency's network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit

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