Overseas Passenger Terminal – Car Park Review

Ensuring a smooth experience for thousands of passengers being picked-up/dropped-off near Sydney’s most popular tourist attractions.

Located between Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, the Overseas Passenger Terminal receives hundreds of thousands of passengers every year. The influx of visitors arriving and departing on cruise ships generates a large volume of traffic in an already busy area.

ptc. was engaged by the Port Authority of New South Wales to review the terminal car park and pick-up/drop-off arrangements. The project focused on optimising the use of the existing infrastructure and increasing safety for drivers and pedestrians under two different operational modes:

  • Cruise ship days: during cruise ships arrivals and departures thousands of passengers need to be picked up or dropped off in the most efficient possible way. On these days, the car park is not available for parking.
  • Non-cruise ship days: the car park is available to serve visitors of the area and customers of surrounding businesses.

In addition to a review of the car park’s line marking and traffic flows, our team analysed a number of options to facilitate vehicle turnover on cruise ship days. The final layout involved a three-lane drop-off and pick-up area on the ground floor.

Ground floor pick up/drop-off area during cruise ship days.


On this level, the on-street parking occupied a large portion of the road and resulted in a non-compliant width for a two-way traffic flow. The solution was to adopt parallel spaces on the right side of the road and push back the perpendicular spaces to the left hand side.

Another measure to facilitate traffic flows and improve safety was the installation of line marking and signage. For example, on the podium level, a roundabout and give away signage a were installed as well as the relocation of a pedestrian crossing on the street level.

These measures resulted in a safer environment and a more efficient traffic flow for both operational modes.


Drop-off area during a cruise ship day


Realignment of parking spaces on the left side of the road


New parallel parking bays


Download the PDF version of the Overseas Passenger Terminal case study


Image credits: ptc. archive and MetroMap

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