Streams

Extending 7 Train to New Jersey Could Cost Less Than ARC Tunnel

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WNYC

A draft study done for the city has found an extension of the number 7 subway to Secaucus, New Jersey, would cost far less than the NJ Transit tunnel Governor Chris Christie killed last fall — but would lose only about 5,000 of an expected 130,000 riders per day.

"The idea of having good transportation and mass transportation is something that is very appealing to this city," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a Wednesday press conference. "I’ve always argued that if you’re going to depend on cars to come into this city, we’re always going to have delays."

Mayor Bloomberg’s administration began looking into the idea of extending the 7 train to Secaucus shortly after the NJ Transit tunnel, known as the ARC tunnel for “Access to the Region’s Core,” was killed.

Christie said he killed the $9 billion project because the actual cost could run as high as $15 billion, and he was concerned that New Jersey taxpayers would be left holding the bag.

But city officials said the new project would have a broader base of financing — from the city, the Port Authority, the state, NJ Transit, the federal government, and the MTA.

And the preliminary study, which exists only in draft form and has not been made public, projects the “Secaucus 7” project would cost less than the ARC because it wouldn’t go as far into Manhattan, or require the construction of a train station in midtown Manhattan, as the ARC tunnel would have.

Bloomberg pushed the extension of the number 7 line train when the city was vying for the 2012 Olympics. That bid failed, but the city is spending $2 billion to bring the 7 train to the Hudson Yards, where the city is planning a major development project. The extension to 34th street and 11th Avenue makes it that much closer to New Jersey.

But the MTA response was lukewarm: “Right now our focus is on finishing the three biggest transportation projects in the entire country, and in making sure that we have the funding we need to keep our capital program moving forward.”

The MTA faces a $10 billion shortfall in its capital plan through 2014. The Port Authority is also short of cash. The bi-state agency recently raised tolls to support reconstruction efforts at the World Trade Center Site and other major infrastructure projects, including replacing all of the suspension cables on the George Washington bridge.

Both the MTA and the Port Authority have new leaders, who have been tasked by Governor Andrew Cuomo with containing costs.

The money that would have been spent on the ARC tunnel has been re-allocated elsewhere. Privately, transit experts expressed doubts that the tunnel could be built so cheaply, or that it could be completed anywhere in the near term. The ARC tunnel was 20 years in the planning.

The 7 extension has the enthusiastic support of the Bloomberg administration, which has convened meetings with all the major transit agencies and representatives from both governor’s offices.  Christie is also backing the project, which could — if it’s constructed — end up giving him bragging rights that killing the tunnel produced a cheaper alternative, particular for New Jersey residents.

"We have been intrigued all along by this as a potential alternative to the ARC tunnel project, which was an albatross for New Jersey and its taxpayers with its billions in cost overruns to be absorbed entirely by New Jersey," Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak said in a statement. "We will continue to explore the No. 7 subway plan, its feasibility, benefits and costs with the city and state of New York and the appropriate government agencies in both states."

The project could help New Jersey commuters get to Manhattan faster than by bus, but it would require a transfer to the New York subway system, which is seen as a less desirable ride than a commuter train. A terminus in Secaucus could also provide the possibility to increase bus capacity in New Jersey, since the number of buses traveling to Manhattan through the Lincoln Tunnel is currently at capacity.

Tags:

More in:

Comments [12]

nitucheyn from nj

Bombay Street Food in NJ the services are quite confused, but the chat is great and the food is fantastic spicy side. The dinner was fresh, tasty.
<a href=”http://www.bombaytalkusa.com”>Bombay street food in NJ</a>

May. 03 2012 06:21 AM
Bombay street food in nj from usa

Bombay Street Food in NJ the services are quite confused, but the chat is great and the food is fantastic spicy side. The dinner was fresh, tasty.
<a href=”http://www.bombaytalkusa.com”>Bombay street food in NJ</a>

Apr. 27 2012 06:42 AM
Street Food in NJ from US

Street Food in NJ is well-known for Vada Pav, Bombay Meal, Aloo Tikki, Hamburger, Bhajji Pav, Samosa pav, Bhel Schezuan and more.
<a href="http://www.dimpleusa.com">street food in nj</a>

Jan. 06 2012 06:15 AM
Street Food in NJ from US

Street Food in NJ is well-known for Vada Pav, Bombay Meal, Aloo Tikki, Hamburger, Bhajji Pav, Samosa pav, Bhel Schezuan and more
<a href="http://www.dimpleusa.com">street food in nj</a>

Dec. 31 2011 01:57 AM
street food in nj from US

I personally am a huge fan of the street food in nj. There's not much vegan fare in NB so I was so happy to discover this tasty place!

<a href="http://www.dimpleusa.com/">street food in nj</a>

Dec. 24 2011 02:15 AM
Street Food In Nj

I personally am a huge fan of the street food in nj. There's not much vegan fare so I was so happy to discover this tasty place!

<a href="http://www.dimpleusa.com/">street food in nj</a>

Dec. 08 2011 06:40 AM
steve

I'd like to see a transfer to the Path on the West side into Weehawken or West Hoboken then into Secaucus. The path system already works well and isn't part of the horrible MTA.

Oct. 28 2011 11:36 AM
M to the I from Brooklyn

It is amazing how a 10 year planning process was thrown out the window so that a mayor and governor could try to push through their own plan that is not a replacement for ARC.

This project does not accomplish some the main problems the ARC tunnel would have assuaged, such as tunnel redundancy for NJ Transit and Amtrak, increased capacity at Penn Station, and allowed a one seat ride to NYC on commuter rail for NJ Transit passengers who now have to switch in Secaucus or Hoboken.

This may be a fine project on its own that would increase mobility but it is no replacement for ARC.

Oct. 27 2011 05:13 PM
Nicholas from Staten Island, NY

This will never happen once NJ voters realize that an MTA extension of the '7' into NJ will put Hudson County into the MTA's regional taxation area. Unless Christie gets an exclusion, the 7 extension will never happen.

Also, do you really think NJ commuters are going to give up comfortable NJT trains and buses for the NYC subway? I doubt it.

Build a connection within the city from Brooklyn to Staten Island before any extension to NJ:

http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2011/10/as_mayor_touts_subway_expansio.html

Oct. 27 2011 12:28 PM
Steve from On the Jersey side.

Slow down a second. It is important to understand that the billions in cost overruns cited by Governor Christie's were "projected". His spokesman Michael Drewniak, quoted above, speaks as if they were actual dollar numbers.

As for the huge differences in costs of the projects, commenter Steven from Brooklyn is on to something- will those NJ commuters, in waves of hundreds every time a train arrives, be accommodated by the existing infrastructure at Secaucus Transfer itself, and down the line at Times Square and Grand Central?

A problem that ARC would have addressed better than a 7 connection is the age and limited capacity- especially in times of service disruption- of the existing North River Tunnels. The two tracks between Newark Penn and NY Penn are a bottleneck which comes almost to a standstill more and more often these days. ARC would have provided a measure of relief, but the 7 train plan wouldn't allow NJT trains any alternate route. Of course it is theoretically possible for NJT trains to travel over new 7 tracks, but that would REALLY change the costs!

I also wonder whether the entire scope of the ARC project- yards and track connections that won't be built and missed opportunities- can be fairly factored in. For example, in the ARC plan, storage yards were to be built in the meadows, which would have freed up valuable Hoboken real estate that the state could have sold to developers.

Big cost savings, but we're talking apples and oranges.

Oct. 27 2011 10:41 AM
Steven from Brooklyn

Has anyone done a study on where we will fit all the New Jerseyans? 135,000 is a lot of people and the 7 train is already overcrowded.

Oct. 27 2011 09:12 AM
street food in nj

I personally am a huge fan of the street food in nj. There's not much vegan fare in NB so I was so happy to discover this tasty place
<a href="http://www.dimpleusa.com/">street food in nj</a>

Oct. 27 2011 02:19 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.

Sponsored

Latest Newscast

 

 

Support

WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public

Feeds

Supported by