Port Authority explores bus terminal replacement options

New York –┬áThe Port Authority of New York and New Jersey released a 181-page scoping document on May 23 that identifies three options for replacing the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. One option outlined in the scoping document is to rebuild the terminal on its current site. Another suggests converting the lower level of the Jacob Javits Center into an underground bus terminal. A third option considers moving long-haul intercity bus operations to Javits’ lower level.
Included in the document is an environmental review that signals the start of public outreach for what is expected to be a multi-billion dollar effort to address issues at the world’s busiest bus terminal. The Authority stated that the facility is suffering under the weight of growing demand in light of its aging infrastructure and systems, problems caused by obsolete assets and facilities, and capacity constraints.
This “kickoff of the formal public outreach process for the new bus terminal is a critical milestone for what will be one of the largest and most important transit infrastructure projects in the country,” Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole said in a press release. “We are strongly committed to replacing this legacy, over-capacity facility, and look forward to a spirited dialogue with all stakeholders on how the project will proceed.”
The existing Port Authority Bus Terminal was built in 1950 and expanded in 1981. The terminal now serves an estimated 260,000 passenger trips on weekdays. Demand is expected to increase by 30 percent, with up to 337,000 weekday passenger trips by 2040, as forecast by regional Metropolitan Planning Organizations.

Metrolink moving forward with operations and maintenance contract

California- Metrolink, a commuter rail system in Southern California, plans to issue a request for proposals (RFP) for its first-ever combined operations and maintenance (O&M) contract. Metrolink oversees seven routes on a 538-mile network. An event will be held on Feb. 15 and 16 in Pomona for contractors, subcontractors, vendors and suppliers who have expertise and/or offer services or products to the rail industry. Those attending will have the opportunity to review the draft RFP. The anticipated term of the resulting contract will be for a base period of seven years with two optional renewal periods of four years each.

The expected contract will involve a wide array of primary operational functions, as well as related ancillary services required to support all aspects of the rail system. Some of those operational functions will include: train operations and crew services; materials acquisition and management to support the infrastructure, systems and equipment; and maintenance on railroad facilities, rolling stock, signal, track and railroad facilities. The final RFP is expected to be released in spring 2019, with mandatory pre-proposal meetings and tours following the issuance of the RFP.

State issues RFEOI to attract replacement of developer

Maryland– Maryland has re-launched development of the State Center project in Midtown Baltimore. The Maryland Stadium Authority and the Maryland Department of General Services issued a request for expression of interest (RFEOI)in taking over the redevelopment of 28 acres of state offices. The site is considered a transit-oriented development by city and state officials for its location adjacent to subway and light rail stops. It’s also near Symphony Center, a complex of apartments, offices and shops. The project, however, remains mired in lawsuits with a developer that began working on a $1.5 billion plan in 2009.

 

Baltimore sued the firm for its delayed progress and the firm countersued the city for breaking contract. It’s not clear how the litigation will be resolved, or if the project can proceed. The RFEOI is viewed as the first step in a multi-step process of selecting a new master developer which will serve as a basis for creating a short list of firms invited to respond to a request for proposals. Responses from interested developers are due Aug. 22 and results are expected in September.

Feasibility study underway for rail transit in Los Angeles County

California-The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) is conducting a feasibility study to identify and evaluate a range of high-capacity rail transit alternatives between the San Fernando Valley and the Los Angeles International Airport. In addition to the study, which began in December 2017, Metro is hosting a series of community meetings to solicit input. The study is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2019 and will be the basis for future environmental analysis.

 

The route proposed for the project experiences heavy travel with more than 400,000 people a day traveling through the area. Funding will come from Measure M, a transportation sales tax approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2016. The project will receive $9.8 billion from this sales tax funding. The LA Metro wants to expedite the project through a public-private partnership. The first stage of the project is expected to open in 2033, however, the goal is to have it open for the 2028 Summer Olympics.