After nearly a year of negotiations, the MTA and Amtrak reached an agreement so the Penn Station Access project can move forward.
It sure does take a while to turn transit dreams into reality in New York City.
What started as a line on paper in 1929 became reality in part only 87 years later.
Yet the trains will run.
Andrew Cuomo, again in charge of the MTA, announced yesterday.
While the Metro-North stations in the Bronx can help speed travel times to Manhattan for far-flung corners of that borough, I believe the reverse-commute patterns will be more important for Bronx residents who work in Westchester.
Still, the MTA should use Penn Station Access as an opportunity to rationalize the fares for commuter rail trips within the five boroughs a topic I last explored.
So what did Metro-North and New York State give Amtrak?
Two articles provide more detail on the deal that our governor reportedly brokered.
One was that the MTA pay to replace the century-old Pelham Bay Bridge, which would get more traffic with the expansion.
Under the agreement brokered by Cuomo, the Pelham Bay Bridge replacement would be postponed for 10-20 years.
The other sticking point was that Amtrak wanted to charge the MTA access fees for using its tracks.
The two railroads will share costs for use of the Hell Gate and the replacement of the Pelham Bay Bridge based on usage, the outline adds.
So for Metro-North and Gov.
The MTA is shouldering a lot of costs for railroad updates, and the agency gets its rail link from Westchester to Penn Station.
The service is expected to begin a year or two after East Side Access opens or right around the 50th anniversary of the first calls to bring trains through the Bronx to Penn Station.
All it takes is far too much time.
Image via Last week, I bemoaned the for the MTA in the New York State budget, but one element of the budget that did include the bare minimum of a fiscal contribution to transit merits a closer look.
As we know, the plan includes stations along the New Haven Line at Co-op City, Morris Park, Parkchester, and Hunts Point and will involve some negotiation over the right-of-way with Amtrak south of New Rochelle.
The MTA has struggled to attract riders to its commuter rail stations within New York City because the fare structure is not aligned with the subway.
There is though an easy way to solve that problem, and for inspiration, the MTA could look to Paris.
Yonah Freemark at The Transport Politic penned a long post on this experiment, and he inexorably brings New York into the picture.
Perhaps its greatest benefit is that it encourages people to take the fastest services available on any trip, while current fare policies give people discounts for taking slower local services… Most importantly, the decision to spend hundreds of millions of euros on reduced fares could mean hundreds of millions of euros not being spent on better transit service every year—and some would argue that the best way to improve transportation is to doubledown casino free promo codes service, not to lower fares…The cost tradeoff is certainly not one to scoff at.
Though the cap would affect relatively few people, it would be designed to raise revenues in a fiscally tight environment for an agency that is struggling with quickly growing ridership.
On the other hand, were New York to change its fare policies to allow current monthly pass holders to ride the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad to far-off destinations deep in Upstate New York, Connecticut, or Long Island—in other words, do what Paris is going to allow this fall—the MTA would be left with fewer revenues.
But customers would benefit.
People in neighborhoods currently only served by commuter rail, both in the city and in the suburbs, would suddenly have a reasonable-cost travel option equivalent to their peers with Subway access.
People living in the city would suddenly have a much cheaper way to visit Long Island beaches on weekends, and people living on those beaches would suddenly have a much easier way of working downtown.
These are not imaginary benefits.
Moreover, the cost tradeoff is not so simple as a conflict between lower universal fares and better service.
Rather, the funding used to pay for the universal fare comes from a revenue source that may not have been politically feasible to raise unless it addressed the issue of equalizing transport access among different areas of the city.
In other words, the hundreds of millions of euros being spent on this change may have only generated political support for the improvement of the transit system in the context of standardizing fares.
New York, of course, faces its own challenges as the money to subsidize fares would have to come from somewhere, and that somewhere — Albany — has been reluctant to touch any progressive ideas on transit funding or transit growth.
Still, as the governor has clearly made Penn Station Access a priority, for the project to be a success, the governor and his appointees should consider the fare structure too.
If anything, in Queens, it may be a way to spare the Queens Boulevard lines a capacity crunch, and in the Bronx, it could usher in a successful Penn Station Access project in eight or nine years.
For reasons of politics, Penn Station Access — the plan to send Metro-North trains through four new stations in the Bronx and into Penn Station — has become Gov.
The plan has support from Westchester and the Bronx, and Cuomo is angling to deliver something for the constituents of his.
According to one story out on Monday, Penn Station Access and her opposition to it may be why Helena Williams is no longer the president of the Long Island Rail Road.
Cuomo-backed MTA plan to link Metro-North Railroad to Penn Station — potentially inconveniencing Nassau and Suffolk commuters — cemented her reputation as a fierce advocate for Long Island, but it also contributed to Williams losing her job, sources said.
She was sort of pulling in the opposite direction.
Read into that what you will.
I believe that any opposition to Penn Station Access at this point is mostly parochial and has no place in New York City 2014.
Solving regional mobility issues will require joint cooperation from both LIRR and Metro-North, and it may involve some sacrifices on each side.
That said, Patrick at The LIRR Today has up an on Penn Station Access.
They look at this as dots on the map.
Therefore, bringing LIRR trains into Penn Station would result in no net loss of station tracks at Grand Central for Metro-North.
Other than Madison Avenue Yard and the Lower Level Loop which was closed several years ago for ESA work, Metro-North has not been adversely affected by East Side Access.
Over at Penn Station, there is no plan to construct a new 8-track terminal below the exiting one well, at least for Penn station super slots game 2020 trains.
The plan to bring Metro-North trains into Penn Station would involve no addition of capacity into the current station.
Since they have no intention of adding capacity at Penn Station to support Metro-North trains, those slots are going to have to come from someplace else.
And when East Side Access is completed, demand for the LIRR service to New York Penn will decrease slightly, and they will not need to run as many trains to Penn Station, so there will be some space opened up for Metro-North.
But a massive unknown in this equation is just how much space the LIRR might free up in Penn Station.
It certainly seems that Cuomo, not one to embrace transit, has started to put some political pressure on multiple fronts on the MTA.
Penn Station Access may have to wait for East Side Access.
It has a cascade effect too on the entire region.
The longer we wait for East Side Access, the longer we have to wait forand the longer we wait for Penn Station Access, the less likely its current champion will be in office.
In a sense, Penn Station Access is the dependent stepson of East Side Access.
When ESA finally opens, a few trains will shift from the West Side to the East Side, and despite the selfish whining from Long Island politicians, the MTA will have space to send some Metro-North trains to the West Side.
The planning for Penn Station Access can start now, and if the money is there, work can begin.
But until East Side Access opens, Metro-North riders hoping to get to Penn will have to wait.
Cuomo throwing his support behind the Penn Station plan, we may cast a wary eye at East Side Access delays.
Finally, there is a question of fares.
The MTA clearly views Penn Station Access as a way to better serve areas in the Bronx that seem — and are — remote.
As The Times details today, Co-Op City would from a Metro-North stop promising access to both Midtown and Greenwich, CT, in 30 minutes.
But some residents are skeptical, and the culprit lies in the fares.
He wrote: The MTA treats Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road as a limited, luxury service for suburbanites commuting during peak hours, with city residents largely excluded from the lines that run through neighborhoods like Ozone Park and Jamaica in Queens and Tremont in the Bronx.
But each of them could be transformed into super-express subways: The LIRR, for example, could easily handle trains every twenty minutes from Forest Hills into the city midday and late at night to pay for it, retrain conductors as train driverscompared with the hour-long waits between trains today—a welcome relief line for the overcrowded subway beneath Queens Boulevard.
And with more frequent trains, railroad stations in Queens that were axed decades ago could be added back without slowing down existing commuters.
Elmhurst could get its LIRR stops back, and the confluence of lines at Sunnyside Yards merits a major transit junction, with all of the development that would follow.
The costs are out of proportionate to the benefits and do little to encourage ridership.
So these are the challenges the MTA faces: Get East Side Access under control; continue the push for Penn Station Access; and figure out a way to better integrate intra-city travel into the Metro-North and LIRR fare structure.
Cuomo proposed federal funding for Penn Station Access in his State of the State speech Wednesday.
Image via So far, Gov.
Andrew Cuomo — lover of — has not been much of a transit booster.
During his presentation of the laundry list of accomplishments and initiatives he hopes to launch as he ramps up his reelection effort this year, he spoke about a transit project familiar to Second Ave.
That idea — already in the planning stages — is Penn Station Access, a plan that would add four Metro-North stops to Bronx and bring trains into Penn Station.
When Cuomo announced this news during his speech, I was a bit skeptical.
Again, it seemed as though the Governor had simply decided to take something that had seen a scoping study issued in 2000 when Cuomo was with HUD and a project the MTA had already determined to see through and make it his.
Even if he can convince the feds to fork over the dollars as part of general recovery and resilience efforts, he will have championed it through.
In aCuomo delved into the Penn Station Access proposal: The need for additional railroad network resiliency was made clear by Superstorm Sandy, when for the first time in their 100-year history, the Hudson River tunnels and two of the East River tunnels into Penn Station were flooded.
These closures, along with those of subway and auto tunnels, cut Manhattan off from the region, impacting the regional and national economy.
Using existing tracks, the project would establish new links for the New Haven Line that by-pass both the Mott Haven Junction and the Harlem River Lift Bridge.
In the event of a disaster that disabled these points of access, commuters and others would still be able to use Metro-North to enter or leave Manhattan.
In addition, the project provides Metro-North with access to a second Manhattan terminal in the event of an emergency affecting Grand Central or its tunnel and viaduct approaches.
The Penn Station Access Project envisions the construction of four new stations in the Eastern Bronx and the purchase of new rail cars to support the new service.
The benefits are obvious.
The East Bronx will have 30-minute access to the West Side, and many Westchester and Connecticut travelers will have a one-seat ride to the area as well.
If the MTA could figure out a way to rationalize the fare for intra-city travelers as well, so much the better.
But the problems are numerous.
First off, as we saw last spring, Long Island politicians of Penn Station Access and have been threatening to oppose any plan that takes space away from LIRR slots at Penn.
Never mind that many LIRR commuters will embrace East Side Access when it opens; never mind that Metro-North riders are New Yorkers who should have West Side access as well.
Long Island politicians are not known for practicality, and they are going to dig in hard.
Additionally, there is the matter of cost.
Similarly, a 2008 state report estimated a for Penn Station Access.
There must be a way to build out Penn Station Access for cheaper.
We sure could use it.
A proposed build of the Penn Station Access plan.
Despite the fact that Long Island has thrived due to transit, LI residents and politicians have long fought against any sort of transit upgrades for the area.
The latest salvo in the inexplicable war pitting Long Islanders against New Yorkers from points north of the city comes to us courtesy of Jack Martins, a State Senator from Nassau County.
In fact, we first heard word of Long Island insurgency in March when.
But Martins, in an Op-Ed he wrote for a local Hicksville newspaper, takes this opposition to an entirely new level.
I can just hear the collective sighs of those who regularly brave Penn as it is now and trust me, I sympathize with you.
Why would the powers that be at the MTA want to make it worse?
here Thomas Prendergast, the newly-nominated Executive Director of the MTA has already gone on record as supporting the idea and essentially sticking it to us Islanders.
I see where this came from.
Soon, the Long Island Railroad will have East Side Access into Grand Central station, so there should be room, right?
It was because Penn was overwhelmingly recognized as being much too crowded — and I might add — nobody could find any room on tracks leading into Grand Central for the LIRR.
The whole point of the East Side Access Project was to create a terminal under Grand Central Station that would increase ridership on the LIRR, accessing central Manhattan without affecting Penn.
In fact, Metro North went undisturbed by the LIRR move to Grand Central because the LIRR was forced to create its own space, literally carving out a cavern for its own terminal.
Perhaps the price tag would be a good start.
It uses preexisting tracks and connections to deliver Metro-North trains to the West Side, a booming business center these trains currently do not access.
These numbers are simply pulled out of thin air to further a poorly made point.
Politicians, on the other hand, cannot see the forest for the trees.
As long as we continue to elect these representatives, though, transit policy will remain forever locked in some soft of stasis chamber, not moving forward and nearly moving backward.
Ultimately, Penn Station Access is not nonsense, and it is part of a regional economy and a regional transit network that should deposit riders on both sides of Manhattan.
Provincialism from Long Island politicians is nonsense, and I fear these voices will only grow louder as the project nears reality.
A proposed build of the Penn Station Check this out penn station super slots game 2020 />Recently, the MTA officials have spoken at length about their potential plans, and one report claims that the MTA hopes to send into Penn Station.
And four Metro-North trains an hour would run from Penn Station to Connecticut during the morning rush to accommodate reverse commuters.
Two New Haven Line trains would run to and from Penn Station during off-peak periods and on weekends.
No information was provided on how many trains Metro-North would operate at Penn Station during the 4-8 p.
The MTA is still studying the environmental impact of the Penn Station Access plan, and no funding requests have been submitted, let alone approved.
Still, the MTA is trying to improve access to both halves of Manhattan as well as trying to improve transportation from the Bronx into Midtown.
As Newsday reports, however, this plan is not without its detractors.
As Long Island riders head to the East Side, capacity at Penn Station should easily enable Metro-North trains to come west.
Much of this talk is premature, but the battle lines have been drawn.
The MTA wants Penn Station Access, and Westchester and the Bronx will as well.
Long Island politicians are set to fight.
Transit upgrades just never come easy, it seems.
The MTA is currently analyzing the environmental impact of its Penn Station Access plans.
In the meantime, we can glimpse the capital future from the bits and pieces that leak out to the public.
Already, we know the MTA will be focusing at least in part on an aggressive effort to modernize its subway signals.
Subway, but it would be foolish to build just Phase 1 while allowing plans for the full line to be discarded.
When the East Side Access project wraps in 2018 or 2019 and the Long Island Rail Road deposits tens of thousands of riders into a deep cavern beneath Grand Central, Metro-North will have the ability to shift some rides to the West Side.
We know that the MTA isand now we learn that politicians are.
Officials want Penn Station Access ready to go in 2019, and do that requires some aggressive planning and funding now.
Bronx elected officials, most notably Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
You make that case to them.
It requires no additional tunneling and opens up the West Side to transit riders from the Bronx and points north.
On the other hand, the costs are tough to pin down at this early stage.
Costs will shift until — and probably after — a concrete plan is in place.
Additionally, Long Island politicians are playing both tough to get and selfish.
Meanwhile, as DNA Info notes, for this West Side Access project to be included in the next five-year capital plan, the MTA will need to read more up the environmental impact statement, identify operating partners and develop a space-sharing plan for Penn Station.
These are obstacles but nothing that cannot be overcome.
The MTA is currently analyzing the environmental impact of its Penn Station Access plans.
Short-sighted and territorial Long Island politicians had begun to and, similarly, diverting some LIRR service into Grand Central because it would rob constituents of their regular commutes.
Their logic was tough to follow, and with East Side Access slowly on the way, completely inexplicable.
Still, it was a disappointing development just click for source the city tries to diversify transit options.
Still, the MTA is not deterred by this strange opposition.
After performing the scoping studies in 1999 and 2000, the MTA has revived the Penn Station Access plan and is currently conducting environmental analysis studies that will be ready in 2013.
Earlier this week, Authority officials were on hand to discuss their plans with the City Council, and Dana Rubinstein offered up a from the hearing.
She wrote of the far-off future: After the completion of the East Side Access project, now due sometime in 2019, Long Island Railroad passengers will be able to disembark in Grand Central Terminal, rather than just Penn Station, which means there should be more space available on the west side for other railroad purposes.
One line would run north from Penn Station along the Amtrak line to Penn station super slots game 2020, connecting with the Hudson line in Spuyten Duyvil.
The other line, which addresses that East Bronx issue, would run east from Penn Station along the Amtrak route to Boston, looping south of Grand Central, into western Queens and then north through the East Side of the Bronx, connecting with the New Haven line somewhere south of New Rochelle… The proposal would not involve laying new track or building new rights-of-way, since the M.
The key element, though, appears to be cost.
For the four stops planned in the Bronx — Co-Op City, Morris Park, Parkchester and Hunts Point — the track already exists.
The MTA would have to find funds to build only the stations.
Still, advocates see this as a potentially affordable project for an agency that cannot control costs on its big-ticket investments.
Right now, it seems like a win-win.
Will Long Island still object though?
Penn Station access for Metro-North will not be a grievous insult to Long Islanders.
There penn station super slots game 2020 be something in pca poker 2020 water out on Long Island that makes its politicians put forth some crazy ideas.
A few days after one group of Long Island State Senators proposedanother is protesting what is, in essence, better commuter rail service for New Yorkers from both the Island and Westchester.
The story goes a little something like this: On and off for the last decade or so, the MTA has toyed with a Penn Station Access Study that discusses how best to bring Metro-North trains into Penn Station.
In November, thanks to a push from Bronx politicians, the authority announced that it is that is exploring the impact such a routing would have.
The assessment will be finished by the end of 2013, and at that point, the MTA will determine how best to proceed with this project.
Meanwhile, a group of Long Island Senators is having what can charitably be described as a freak-out.
They are already calling upon the MTA toand their complaints seem utterly short-sighted.
Right now, as we know, the MTA is building out the East Side Access project that will, by 2016 or 2018 or some point this decade, bring LIRR service to Grand Central.
The MTA studies show that tens of thousands of people from Long Island want and need direct service to the East Side.
These folks currently travel via LIRR to Penn Station and then make their ways to the East Side.
Based on the current MTA funding proposals and the speed of construction, any Metro-North service into Penn Station is unlikely to see the light of day before the East Side Access project is completed.
The Long Island Senators claim that, even after ESA is in service, LIRR must operate the same service into Penn Station.
They want it all at the expense of better commutes for New Yorkers from Westchester.
It simply defies transportation reason.
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