(New York, NY - WNYC) The Bloomberg Administration is saying it's still a good idea to extend the 7 subway train from the west side of Manhattan to a major transit hub in Secaucus, New Jersey.
The project seemed dead a year ago, when then-chairman of the NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority Joe Lhota said it would not be built "in anybody's lifetime." But Lhota resigned last December to run for mayor. Now comes a city-commissioned report that essentially says the project is worth doing.
The issue is urgent because rush hour train service between New York and New Jersey is already over-crowded -- and expected to grow by 38 percent by 2030. The report says a subway line under the Hudson River could carry 128,000 riders per day on 30 extra trains per hour. And the extension would create a quick 16-minute ride from Grand Central Terminal to Secaucus and its nine commuter train lines.
The report concludes that it also makes sense to build on the momentum of the 7 train extension to 11th Avenue to the Hudson Yards project on the Far West Side. The authors also contend that extending the 7 train would not compete with Amtrak's proposal to build a Gateway Tunnel between New Jersey and Penn Station. Neither project has significant funding.
On the same day as the report's release, developers Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group agreed to pay the MTA $1 billion dollars for a 99-year lease and the right to develop the Hudson Yards, which would benefit from continuing the 7 train beneath the Hudson River.