FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 24, 2009

 

Golden Gate Bridge District Issues Request for Statement of Qualifications for Development and Implementation of Revenue Producing Program to Enhance Golden Gate Bridge Visitor Educational Experience

On October 30 2009, the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (District) Board of Directors (Board) adopted a draft Financial Plan (Plan) designed to address a projected five-year shortfall of $132 million. The Plan includes 33 distinct proposals, each of which requires additional analysis and development before being scrutinized by the Board, and the public, for possible implementation. One of the 33 proposals (listed as #22) is to implement expanded Golden Gate Bridge (Bridge) concession opportunities. A fundamental goal of this proposal is to generate significant annual revenue for the District and thereby reduce pressure on the need for increased transit fares and Bridge tolls. It is critical, however, that this only happen in a way that respects the historic significance of the Golden Gate Bridge and the need for comprehensive safety, security, and continued non-commercialization of the Bridge facility.

On Tuesday, November 24, 2009, the District is issuing a Request for Statements of Qualifications (RFQ) from qualified firms who can clearly show that they have experience in the design and operation of interactive, educational visitor programs for the Bridge. The District is not seeking specific proposals for how to do an interactive educational program but is looking to identify firms that have already done such programs at other locations. The District will select one or more experienced firms and ask them to develop a proposed program for such activities at the Bridge. By the close of business November 24, the RFQ will be available through the District’s website at www.goldengate.org or by contacting the Office of the District Secretary at 415-923-2223.

The development of a program for an enhanced visitor experience at the Bridge is envisioned to: (1) Provide high quality education materials via development and operation of a visitor center and (2) Provide safe and secure physical access to the Bridge for purposes of education as well as general experience in touring previously non-public areas of the Bridge. Specific Bridge structures to be included in such a program have not yet identified and won’t be until after qualified firms have been identified.

Any interactive educational program at the Bridge will be required to do the following:

  • Be sensitive to the status of the Bridge as a historic public facility, owned and operated by a public agency with responsibility for the on-going security of the Bridge structure; and
  • Be sensitive to the principal function of the Bridge as a major transportation and economic link in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Interested firms must show that they have comparable experience with similar public facilities, and demonstrated success in delivering programs that uphold similar values. The District intends to identify firms that have the expertise, experience, financial capacity and approach that indicate the high likelihood that they will be successful in achieving the objectives of this program. Key program development elements include:

  1. Activities that provide multiple levels of education about the Bridge, and that are multi cultural in outreach and effectiveness;
  2. Interactive learning experiences that provide enhanced physical access to the Golden Gate Bridge structures to the public in a safe and secure manner;

Interested firms must be able to show conclusively that they have comparable experience in developing and implementing similar programs that evidence appreciation of the core transportation function of the Bridge, both its roadway and its sidewalks, and the necessity to ensure smooth transportation operations without any disruption. The District will also look for experience in adherence to conservation and preservation of a historic structure and iconic national landmark. They will also be required to show that they have experience in developing such programs within an environmentally sensitive area. The District will look for a demonstrated ability to work well with multiple federal, state, regional and local agencies, as well as multiple public interest, community and neighborhood groups. There is also the need to be able to demonstrate evidence of strong financial capacity to carry on a multi-year, multi-dimensional public project without financial contribution from government sources and produce substantial guaranteed annual revenue to the District on a long term basis.

Responses to the RFQ request are due Tuesday, January 26, 2010. Once responses are received and reviewed by staff, recommended next steps will be brought to the Board for their consideration, anticipated to occur in February 2010. At this time, there is no established or projected timeline for when any interactive education experiences will be in place and ready for public use.

# # #