Foster + Partners and Epstein to design new $10B Port Authority bus terminal

August 5, 2022

All renderings courtesy of Foster + Partners

Plans to replace the dingy Port Authority bus terminal are rolling forward. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on Friday announced the selection of two architecture firms to lead the project: Norman Foster’s Foster + Partners and Chicago-based engineering and design firm Epstein. Roughly 10 years in the making, the plan involves demolishing the existing station and building a new world-class facility that can better meet passenger demand. The $10 billion project will also help get idling buses off the streets and create new green spaces.

“We are delighted to be appointed to the project, continuing to develop and maintain a unified vision for the Midtown Bus Terminal in Manhattan,” Juan Vieira-Pardo, a partner of Foster + Partners, said.

“Already the world’s busiest bus terminal, the project also has the potential to become the most desirable destination in Midtown. We believe that together with the Port Authority, Epstein, representatives of the surrounding community, stakeholders, and passengers, we can help deliver an innovative, state-of-the-art, net zero transportation facility that is fit for the 21st century.”

Port Authority unveiled its plans to raze and replace the bus terminal last January after nearly 10 years and 30 separate proposals, marking an important milestone in replacing the decaying, 72-year-old bus terminal with a state-of-the-art facility.

The new terminal will be large enough to accommodate the projected growth of bus riders through 2050. The building will aim to meet sustainability measures, like LEED certification. There will also be local retail beneficial to both commuters and the surrounding community.

Additionally, the Port Authority’s plan includes constructing a separate storage and staging facility that would move commuter buses from street-level lots and also accommodate intercity buses.

An enclosed ramp structure linking the Lincoln Tunnel with the bus terminal will be covered by a deck and transformed into roughly 3.5 acres of public green space.

Rendering courtesy of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

“For more than a century, the Port Authority has led the region and the country with its ability to build bigger and better projects that benefit New Yorkers and New Jerseyans alike,” Kevin O’Toole, chair of Port Authority, said.

“In addition to substantive new redevelopment and transportation projects such as the rebuilding of our airports and the World Trade Center campus, the proposal to build a new Midtown Bus Terminal continues our agency’s essential role of delivering major transportation facility projects that can transform entire neighborhoods and revitalize the regional economy.”

Plans to renovate the aging bus terminal have been in the making for years, as city officials first learned about the projected growth in bus ridership over the coming decades.

According to a scoping document released in 2017, the bus terminal is expected to service 337,000 riders by 2040, up from the 260,000 riders that were served every weekday pre-pandemic.

As 6sqft previously reported, the Port Authority has estimated past replacement projects to cost roughly $10 billion. Officials say it could fund the project with $3 billion from the PANYNJ’s 2017-2026 capital plan, the sale of development rights from up to four nearby high-rise towers, and federal funding.

The agency expects to open the new facility by 2031.


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