New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who refused Tuesday to repay the government $271 million for the canceled Hudson River rail tunnel project, said he is considering another trans-Hudson option: a proposal by Mayor Bloomberg to extend the No. 7 subway line into New Jersey.
"We're having conversations with Mayor Bloomberg and others regarding the extension of the No. 7 train to Secaucus, New Jersey, which would do what we really wanted the ARC tunnel to do originally," Christie said in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Tuesday.
Christie, who pulled the plug on the so-called ARC tunnel, has until midnight Tuesday to pony up the funds associated with the canceled project to the federal government or appeal the decision. He said he has the long-term commuting of New Jerseyans in mind.
"We'd like to get them in a more efficient way over to the East Side of Manhattan," he said. "That was the original ARC plan. It got morphed into this plan that has a multibillion-dollar terminal in the basement of Macy's, blocks away from any other connecting train."
Christie canceled the ARC tunnel in October, saying the state could not afford to pay for millions of dollars in projected cost overruns. The cost of a possible extension to the No. 7 subway line would be shared by New York City and the state.
A spokesman for Mayor Michael Bloomberg confirmed that conversations are taking place between their offices.