Port Authority Bus Terminal International Design Competition

Submission: April 12, 2016
Registration: April 12, 2016
Language: English
Location: New York, USA
Prizes: 1st. Prize: 1.000.000 $
Type: Restricted


The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (the “Port Authority”) welcomes your participation in the Port Authority Bus Terminal International Design + Deliverability Competition (the “Competition”). The Port Authority is launching this Competition to inform the Port Authority’s master planning efforts and select a conceptual design that most fully meets the Design + Deliverability Objectives for a new Bus Terminal. The Port Authority anticipates awarding a one million dollar honorarium to the winning Finalist.

The Competition’s scope embraces a diverse field of expertise, including architecture and engineering, intermodal transportation operations and planning, construction, land use, and finance. Competitors should therefore assemble a multi-disciplinary design-led team, of both emerging and established talent, with the appropriate skill sets and expertise to embrace the complex challenges of designing a new Bus Terminal in the heart of New York City, and deliver a conceptual design that meets the Design + Deliverability Objectives.

The Port Authority will conduct the Competition in two phases. In Phase One of the Competition, the Port Authority seeks multi-disciplinary design-led teams (each a “Competitor” and collectively the “Competitors”) to register to compete in the Competition, and submit a Phase One Submission. The Phase One Submissions will be evaluated in accordance with the Phase One Submission Evaluation Criteria. At the conclusion of Phase One, the Port Authority will shortlist Competitors to participate in Phase Two of the Competition (the “Finalists”). Neither Competitors’ Phase One nor Phase Two Submissions will be anonymous.

During Phase Two, the Port Authority will issue additional materials to the Finalists. Finalists may use these materials to inform their Phase Two Submission, which must contain a fully deliverable conceptual design and a proposed methodology for delivering the conceptual design.

The Port Authority has commissioned a trans-Hudson Commuting Capacity Study of available strategies for meeting and managing the anticipated increases in trans-Hudson commuter demand over the next thirty years. While the Capacity Study is expected to be completed by June 30, 2016, interim products highlighting work in progress findings are due at the midpoint of this effort. The Port Authority anticipates providing the interim products from the capacity study to Finalists during Phase Two. In addition, the public is invited to submit comments to the Port Authority via an online survey available at www.panynj.gov/BusTerminalDesign. The online survey will be available throughout the Competition. The Agency will provide the survey results and public comments to the Competitors, the Jury that will be selected to judge the Competition, and the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners.


The Design + Deliverability Objectives are the crux of the Competition. The goal of the Port Authority in conducting this Competition is to develop a design concept that can be moved forward for real-world development. In titling this a “design + deliverability” competition, the Port Authority is not seeking this to be an architecture competition that is decided solely on aesthetic or design criteria. Through this Competition, the Port Authority is seeking to inform its master planning efforts and select a winning deliverable design concept that recommends an optimal location for a new bus terminal facility, and most fully meets the following objectives (the “Design + Deliverability Objectives”), which are not listed in order of importance:

(1)  Meets current and projected bus passenger traffic demand with an appropriate level of service, recognizing the role of a new Bus Terminal in the interstate transportation network, addressing both the commuter and long-distance markets and compatibility with other trans-Hudson transportation operations and investments;

(2)  Advances a functional and practical transportation solution, reflecting an effective operation for the passengers and bus carriers that rely on the terminal and its services, including appropriate pedestrian connections to mass transit in the vicinity of the new terminal;

(3)  Minimizes traffic impacts to the surrounding local streets;

(4)  Provides functionality for bus parking and staging;

(5)  Considers the potential for other bus storage facilities in alternate locations;

(6)  Provides a cost effective solution that takes into account both the capital and future operating costs as an element of “deliverability,” given limited financial resources and the history of significant operating losses at the existing facility;

(7)  Permits scalable and modular solutions that may be phased as needs and standards for the Bus Terminal evolve;

(8)  Takes future constructability into account;

(9)  Sustains the Port Authority’s interest in safety and security in terms of design, operations, and site location;

(10)  Utilizes currently-owned Port Authority real estate where possible, minimizing the acquisition of private real estate;

(11)  Encourages attraction of private capital as an element of project “deliverability,” including leveraging the Port Authority’s real estate development rights associated with the Bus Terminal and surrounding area, and potential public-private partnership options as a means of delivering the future project;

(12)  Takes into account the concerns of the local community including construction impacts, requirements for non-Port Authority property, bus operation impacts, and a conceptual design that considers the fabric of the surrounding neighborhood;

(13)  Utilizes sustainable design principles; and

(14)  Embodies the excitement and dynamism of the New York and New Jersey Metropolitan area.


For the purposes of this Competition, “deliverable” means a design that meets the Design + Deliverability Objectives while being feasible and constructible in this urban region. This includes not only the considerations relating to the elements outlined in the Design + Deliverability Objectives above, but also other necessary considerations that will impact costs and schedule, such as completing all necessary operations, financing strategies, community reviews, and obtaining all necessary permits.

In Phase Two, Finalists will be asked for a more detailed analysis of the deliverability concerns surrounding the Port Authority Bus Terminal Project and how this analysis informs their conceptual design. Finalists may be asked to consider innovative project delivery and financing strategies, such as the potential for a public-private partnership. The Port Authority anticipates providing additional information to Finalists in Phase Two that relate to real estate, transportation operations, retail operations, and technology and security considerations.


The Port Authority welcomes submissions from Competitors who 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, with at least one team member having experience working with publicly funded projects in the United States. Competitors may be a single firm with the appropriate expertise, or a joint venture, consortium or partnership between multiple entities (for the purposes of this Competition, the term “entity” includes, but is not limited to, firms, organizations, or individuals).

Competitors must demonstrate expertise in the following fields: architecture, engineering, intermodal transportation operations and planning (the “Key Disciplines”). Further, at least one entity must be, or employ, a person who has the right to practice as an architect in the country where she or he is qualified or in the country where she or he currently resides or practices. Although not a requirement, Competitors are encouraged to engage experts in fields such as construction, community development, retail development, finance, and real estate and zoning. Furthermore, minority and women-owned firms are encouraged to participate. Port Authority staff, Board of Commissioners, Kohn Pederson Fox, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Skanska, Thornton Tomasetti, Jury members, and Jury member’s respective professional practices or employees and family relations, are ineligible to compete.


Competition Launch

March 11, 2016

Registration and Phase One Submission Deadline

April 12, 2016

Finalists Announced

April/May 2016

Phase Two Launch

April/May 2016

Site Visit

May 2016

Phase Two Submission Deadline

July/August 2016



For Phase One, each Competitor will be required to submit the following: (the “Phase One Submission Requirements”):

(A)  Cover Letter: The cover letter should briefly introduce the Competitor and summarize the content of its Phase One Submission.

(B)  Copy of the Competitor’s Registration Packet

(C)  Organization Chart: The Competitor must submit a graphic depiction of the Competitor’s organizational structure. The chart should identify the entities employing the personnel and their reporting relationships. The chart may be provided on 11” x 17” paper. The Competitor must submit a narrative of no more than three (3) single- sided pages (8.5” x 11”) describing all the functional relationships among the entities identified in the Organization Chart.

(D)  Statement of Competitor Organization: The Competitor must submit a statement signed by an authorized representative, stating whether the Competitor is a single entity or joint venture. While legal joint ventures are not required, if a Competitor is a joint venture or a consortium of entities, the Competitor must submit a copy of any written agreement, or understanding which exists between the Competitor’s member entities. If the Competitor is a joint venture comprised of multiple entities, and the Competitor becomes a Finalist, then the Competitor as a Finalist must be composed of the entities as originally submitted in Phase One, although additional entities may be added with the prior written permission of the Port Authority. A Competitor may not substitute a member without the prior written permission of the Port Authority.

(E) Entity Profiles: Each entity that comprises the Competitor must provide a general description of that entity, including, but not limited to, its legal form of organization, owners, general and limited partners, as appropriate, senior management, parent companies or subsidiaries, year established, number of employees, and office locations.

(F) Resumes: Each entity that comprises the Competitor must provide the resumes of all staff that will be dedicated to developing the Competitor’s Phase Two Submission. The Competitor should also depict these individuals and their roles in the Competitor’s Organization Chart, noting their roles and titles. Resumes are limited to two (2) pages per person and may be double-sided.

(G) Competitor Composition Narrative: Competitors must submit a written narrative that describes the Competitor’s overall composition, including the names and the specific roles and responsibilities of the Competitor’s members. Competitors should discuss past collaborative efforts among team members, if applicable. The narrative must present: (1) why the entities comprising the Competitor were brought together to enter this Competition; and (2) how the Competitor will leverage its composite expertise to accomplish the Design + Deliverability Objectives.

For each Key Discipline, Competitors should submit the following information:

  1. (1)  A description of which member entities will be fulfilling each Key Discipline
  2. (2)  Professional licenses held by member entities relating to each Key Discipline
  3. (3)  Relevant projects (up to three (3) per member entity) or experience that demonstrate their approach to challenges similar to those surrounding the new Bus Terminal. The description of each project may be organized at the discretion of the Competitor, but should at a minimum communicate the project’s design objectives, approach, results, project significance, and key features.

For each project example, the member entity must provide the following information:

  1. (1)  Client name, email address and, contact number
  2. (2)  Location of the project
  3. (3)  Date of project completion, or if still under design or construction, date of projected completion
  4. (4)  Anticipated, and final budget
  5. (5)  Aspects of the design or design approach that are relevant or showcase equivalent challenges of redeveloping the Bus Terminal
  6. (6)  Illustrative examples of each project, including images, illustrations, sketches, schematic design, or other explanatory information. The Competitor may submit up to three high-resolution images of the representative projects.
  7. (7)  A list of awards, publications, notices, peer recognition, or any other documentation of design excellence for the projects.

The Competitor should submit highlights of previous work performed by each additional entity, if any (those representing fields other than the Key Disciplines).

(H) Statement of Design Concept Approach: The Competitor must submit a narrative statement (no more than twenty (20) single-sided pages, exclusive of any illustrations and images) aligned with the Design + Deliverability Objectives, describing:

(1) The Competitor’s understanding of the Design + Deliverability Objectives, and the Competitor’s approach to accomplishing these objectives through their conceptual design submitted in Phase Two;

(2) The Competitor’s design philosophy and how that design philosophy would be applied to the development of a robust, deliverable conceptual design in Phase Two; and

(3) The Competitor’s analysis of either:

  1. the proposed site for the Bus Terminal west of Ninth Avenue, or
  2. an alternative site at which the Competitor proposes designing a new Bus Terminal.

Competitors may provide illustrations and images as appropriate to communicate their design approach. Competitors may elaborate upon their approach to sustainable design and integration of technological components. Competitors’ conceptual designs should generally consider all applicable laws, rules, regulations and codes.

(I) Press Statement: The Competitor should provide a 300-word description of the Competitor’s team for the Port Authority’s use for press purposes. This statement should include each Competitor team member’s website address (if one exists). The Competitor must provide a media contact person, as the Port Authority may require additional information.


The Port Authority anticipates awarding a one million dollar honorarium to the winner of the Competition. The Port Authority reserves the right, however, to award additional honoraria to Finalists whose Phase Two Submissions the Jury finds meritorious and the Port Authority Board approves. Finalist(s) must pass an integrity and responsibility review and cooperate with the Port Authority and its Office of Inspector General in order to be eligible for any honoraria.

Go to the competition’s website