The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey tapped two renowned architects to lead the design of a new midtown Manhattan bus terminal to replace the existing one, which is the largest in the nation and busiest in the world.
Officials announced Aug. 4 that two firms, A. Epstein and Sons International Inc. and Foster + Partners, will team up on the complex project to build an ambitious new terminal in the heart of New York City while navigating the myriad of physical challenges it presents.
The effort, which will cost between $7.5 billion and $10 billion, is currently undergoing a federal review. Officials are aiming for a 2031 opening date.
The firms are tasked with reimagining and replacing the 72-year-old bus terminal with a world-class facility to meet the region’s 21st century public transportation needs. The companies will immediately provide architectural design services and assist with the environmental review.
In addition, their teams will review, evaluate, recommend and provide advisory services on urban design, streetscape, functionalism, community impact, design and spatial strategies, materials, systems, sustainability, and interior design.
“The Port Authority’s announcement of an architect advisory team to guide the replacement of the Midtown Bus Terminal comes in response to New Jerseyans and New Yorkers who are rightfully demanding better,” said New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. “Together with our regional partners we are answering that call to ensure that the millions of Americans who utilize our public transportation system finally receive the service they deserve.”
“As we continue to build back from the pandemic, it’s vital that we create state-of-the-art transportation hubs to get commuters to their destinations safely and efficiently,” said New York Gov. Kathy Hochul. “I thank my partners at the Port Authority and in New Jersey for working collaboratively to move this project one step closer to the finish line.”
New and improved
Some of the features of the replacement project include a state-of-the-art, five-story bus terminal, nearly 1 million square feet for bus storage, abundant electric bus charging stations, and an enclosed ramp linking the Lincoln Tunnel with the bus terminal that will be covered by a deck and transformed into nearly 3.5 acres of new public green space.
“We are delighted to be appointed to the project, continuing to develop and maintain a unified vision for the Midtown Bus Terminal in Manhattan,” said Juan Vieira-Pardo, a partner at Foster + Partners. “Already the world’s busiest bus terminal, the project also has the potential to become the most desirable destination in Midtown.”
“We are grateful for the opportunity to align our vision with that of the Port Authority to bring the future of transport and mobility to this vital hub for the entire region,” said Paul Sanderson, director of Epstein’s New York office.
The Port Authority says the new terminal will be built with an eye toward the future with a world-class traffic management system; the ability to accommodate electric, autonomous and larger, articulated buses; as well as sensor-based monitoring systems to quickly identify and resolve issues with buses. The building will feature sustainability and resiliency measures, from LEED certification and clean construction to onsite renewable energy, zoned ventilation, and heat recovery reuse technology.
Beyond all the bells and whistles, though, the announcement offers some light-at-the-end of the proverbial tunnel for commuters who endure the existing aging and deteriorating bus terminal on a daily basis.
“Today’s news demonstrates real momentum for a project whose times has come,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole.
“As we make crucial upgrades to the roads, bridges, and tunnels within our most pivotal transportation corridors, we must ensure that we improve not just the functionality and efficiency of our infrastructure, but the experiences of the commuters,” said Murphy.
While the environmental review and permitting process continues, officials hope to start construction sometime next year.