NYC Plans $10 Billion Renovation for Midtown Bus Terminal
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has selected an architectural joint-venture to assist in developing a reimagined, state-of-the-art Midtown Bus Terminal. The new terminal replacement project will have expanded capacity to accommodate commuter bus growth through 2050 and also accommodate intercity buses that now pick up and drop off on the streets surrounding today’s outdated terminal.
The announcement marks a significant milestone as the Port Authority moves toward replacing the aging 72-year-old bus terminal with a new world-class facility.
International firm Foster + Partners and the U.S.-based multi-disciplinary design firm A. Epstein and Sons International Inc. will provide architectural design services for the replacement project beginning immediately and throughout the design phase and the environmental review of the proposed project.
In early 2021, the Port Authority unveiled a new plan for the Midtown Bus Terminal replacement project that reflected public feedback from extensive community outreach, following the 2019 release of a planning level draft scoping document that analyzed alternatives and employed specific screening criteria. The proposal was updated to reflect the needs of bus riders and the neighborhoods immediately surrounding the bus terminal, based on extensive community feedback.
The 2021 plan, which will form the basis of the design of the proposal, includes demolition of the existing bus terminal and construction of a completely new state-of-the-art main terminal at its current location, with a capacity increase of nearly 40 percent for commuter and intercity buses. It also includes a separate storage and staging facility that would move commuter buses out of street-level storage lots and accommodates intercity buses that now pick up and drop off on city streets in the vicinity of the existing terminal, and an enclosed ramp structure linking the Lincoln Tunnel with the bus terminal that will be covered by a deck and transform into nearly 3.5 acres of new public green space. The proposal would take no private land as it will be built on existing Port Authority property.
The bus terminal will be built for the future with a world-class traffic management system, the ability to accommodate electric, autonomous, and larger, articulated buses, and sensor-based monitoring systems to quickly identify and resolve issues with buses. The building will also include visionary sustainability and resiliency measures, from LEED certification and clean construction to onsite renewable energy, zoned ventilation, and heat recovery reuse technology. Community-friendly outwardly facing local retail will also benefit commuters and the community alike.
The agency has allocated $3 billion for the project in its current capital plan. It also hopes to raise more funds by letting developers build four mixed-use towers at the terminal. Those high-rises will be located on Eighth Avenue between 41st and 42nd streets; Ninth Avenue between 40th and 41st streets; 11th Avenue between 39th and 40th streets; and 10th Avenue between 39th and 40th streets.
Before to the COVID-19 pandemic, the terminal served an estimated 260,000 passenger trips (approximately 8,000 bus movements) on weekdays, according to the Port Authority.. The accounts for 23 percent of all trans-Hudson trips entering or exiting Manhattan’s central business district. Based on pre-pandemic ridership trends, demand through 2040 is expected to increase by 30 percent with estimates of up to 337,000 weekday passenger trips. Currently, daily weekday bus ridership at the bus terminal has continued to improve up to approximately 60 percent of pre-pandemic levels.