Port Authority is well overdue for an update.

By Cailey Rizzo
Updated: January 21, 2017
Kevin Harber/Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Anyone who has traveled through Manhattan’s western gateway knows all too well the problems plaguing the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

The station, built in 1950, has not been updated since 1979. In the years since, it’s been criticized as “out of date,” “unsafe,” and even been named as one of the world’s ugliest buildings.

So, earlier this year, the Port Authority announced a design competition to completely revamp the station. Five of New York’s biggest design firms contributed ideas which were released on Thursday.

However, it’s unlikely that any one of the five proposals will end up reality.

“It was never the intent that we would come up with one concept that we would move forward with,” John Degnan, chairman of Port Authority New Jersey, told Crain’s New York. “The eventual design could be an amalgamation of some of the ideas that are raised here.”

The design firms proposed big ideas like a 9.8-acre park on the bus terminal’s roof, complete relocation into the nearby Javits Center basement or rebuilding the terminal underneath its current location. The transformative ideas have a budget range of $3.7 to $15.3 billion (differing from Port Authority’s budget of $8 to 10.5 billion).

The Port Authority has not made any announcements about the designs except to say that the final planning process will be much more collaborative than a single design firm submitting ideas. The agency hopes to involve the public and major stakeholders in the design process.

But in the meantime, here are some of the proposed features that could make their way into a future Port Authority Bus Terminal.

A rooftop park:

Glass and greenery:

A modern concourse:

Open air spaces:

A grand hall of light: