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7 Train

Transportation Nation

L Train Riders: Help Is on the Way

Friday, April 24, 2015

Last year, every single station along the L line in Brooklyn saw an increase in ridership. Now, according to the MTA, a significant boost in service is coming later this year.
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Transportation Nation

7 Train to West Side Will Open at Some Point

Monday, March 23, 2015

You've waited this long for the station at 34th Street and 11th Avenue to open. What's a few more weeks?
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Transportation Nation

Ice on the Third Rail Strands 7 Trains

Monday, February 02, 2015

Service on the No. 7 subway line was halted Monday morning after a build up of ice cut power to the third rail.
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Transportation Nation

Work in Progress: Photos from NYC's 7 Line Extension

Monday, October 01, 2012

The future 34th Street Station of the #7 line extension (photo courtesy of MTA Capital Construction's Facebook page)

Even subway construction projects share on Facebook.

New York's MTA regularly posts updates on megaprojects on its Facebook page, and the update to the #7 line caught our eye.

The #7 train currently goes between Manhattan's Times Square and Flushing, Queens. As part of the redevelopment of Hudson Yards -- a stretch of land on Manhattan's far West Side -- the city has been working on extending the subway line southwest to 11th Avenue and 34th Street.

Earlier this year, MTA chairman Joe Lhota said item  number 1 on his wish list is extending the line even further south to 23rd Street and 11th Avenue. But here's what he said won't happen: extending it across the Hudson River to New Jersey -- something Mayor Bloomberg had put some money into studying last year.

Ventilation building for the 7 Line extension at "Site K" near the Javits Center (photo courtesy of MTA Capital Construction's Facebook page)

According to the MTA, the $2.4 billion project will open for service in June 2014 -- later than originally planned.

The 7 line extension's ventilation building at "Site L" at 41st Street and Dyer Avenue in Manhattan (photo courtesy of MTA Capital Construction's Facebook page)

You can watch a video about the project below.

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WNYC News

Cause of Deadly Crane Collapse Under Investigation

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said the MTA wasn't following the same safety rules at the site of Tuesday's crane collapse that other property owners must follow because the transportation authority is exempt from local regulations.

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Transportation Nation

BREAKING: NY MTA Head Says 7 Train to NJ "Not Going To Happen In Our Lifetime"

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

(photo by 12th Street David via flickr)

MTA chairman Joe Lhota says a proposed extension of the 7 train subway line from Manhattan to New Jersey is "not going to happen in our lifetime. It's not going to happen in anybody's lifetime."

Lhota said "the expense is beyond anything we're doing," adding that building railyards in New Jersey would be costly.

Lhota was speaking Tuesday morning at a breakfast meeting of the New York Building Congress at the Hilton Hotel in Midtown Manhattan.

He was asked about a trans-Hudson rail connection and what might fill the gap of the ARC Tunnel, a project killed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in late 2010. Lhota said he favors Amtrak's proposed Gateway Tunnel project, which would bring Northeast Corridor trains from New Jersey through a tunnel under the river to an expanded Penn Station. "I think it's really important to support that," he said.

The impetus for a 7 train extension comes from New York City  Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who proposed the project last year.

"I've told the mayor this, I can't see that happening in our lifetime," Lhota said.

Within hours of Lhota's comments, speaking at his own press event, Mayor Bloomberg said he understood funding was an issue, but that he hoped the 7 extension "happens in somebody's  lifetime."

"I have great respect for Joe Lhota and he' s a realist," the Mayor added. "I don't know, we can keep trying. It would be great if it happened. Having more tunnels over to New Jersey will help both New Jersey and New York City. If people can go back and forth and it would clean the air because there would be less traffic jams on the tunnels and bridges. Getting a ways to have people come in and out of the city with mass transit is obviously the way to go. I'm sure what Joe is referring to is its very hard to see the funding for that come right now--if someone could provide the funding, I can tell you Joe Lhota could build it.".

Lhota said that he understood the project's appeal to some riders. "Of course New Jersey would like to have it because they think they can get across the Hudson for $2.25."

But then he reiterated his assessment of a subway to Secaucus: "Not a chance."

 

 

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: Staten Island Pols Oppose #7 to Secaucus, Late School Buses Spur Boston Mayor To Action, and Robert Moses Biopic Coming to HBO

Friday, October 28, 2011

Top stories on TN:

Rockland County residents: we want a new Tappan Zee, but we want transit, too. (Link)

LIRR scam could total $1 billion. (Link)

Bay Area seniors go back to school to learn public transit. (Link)

Red light cameras may prioritize money, not safety. (Link)

(photo by Ben Walker via Flickr)

Staten Island elected officials oppose extending the #7 train to Secaucus, want that borough's toll burden lessened. (Staten Island Advance)

BART's board of directors tables talks on a cell phone ban. (San Francisco Chronicle)

As 25% of buses continue to arrive late two months into the school year, Boston's mayor orders oversight. (Boston Globe)

Pennsylvania's governor probably won't push for more transportation funding, despite a committee recommendation. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

A Los Angeles transit fan gets a special welcome from that city's mayor. (Los Angeles Times)

New York Times editorial on LIRR pension scam: So many questions, including: "what fostered such an apparent universal collapse of public servants’ integrity?"

Could bike share come to Beirut? (Daily Star)

A Robert Moses biopic is coming to HBO. Now, who should play him? (Atlantic Cities)

Look! On the streets of Seattle! It's the sperm bike! (Seattle Post Intelligencer)

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: Christie Says NJ "Will Do Our Share" in Secaucus 7 Plan; Roadway Travel Reaches Lowest Point Since 2003

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Top stories on TN:

Extending the #7 subway to NJ could cost less than the ARC tunnel. (Link)

New York conducts bus inspection crackdowns, nets dozens of violations. (Link)

Specialty license plates generate revenue -- and controversy. (Link)

Should you treat a subway platform like Yosemite? (Link)

U.S. Highway 20, Idaho (photo by J.Labrado via Flickr)

Travel on U.S. roadways through the first eight months of this year is down 1.3% from a year ago -- or 26 billion vehicle miles -- and has reached the lowest level since 2003. (USA Today)

More on extending the #7 to Secaucus: Governor Christie said New Jersey "will do our share...All of this will be able to come together.” (Bloomberg via Stateline)

BP was granted a permit for deepwater drilling in the Gulf. (Politico)

Taxis are allowed to block bike lanes in San Francisco. (Bay Citizen)

UAW members reached a split decision over Chrysler contract. (Changing Gears)

Ten people were arrested in a $1 billion Long Island Rail Road disability scheme. (New York Times)

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says "continued failure is not an option" for regional transportation efforts in Metro Detroit. (MLive.com)

New York's elevated rail-line-turned-park, the High Line, received a $20 million donation. (New York Times)

A bus operator denies discrimination charges, says women on Brooklyn's B110 don't complain about having to sit in the back. (New York Times)

NY Daily News opinion piece: making all taxis wheelchair-accessible is a worthy goal, but it can't trump other considerations -- like cost.

 

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Transportation Nation

Extending the Subway to New Jersey Could Cost Less than ARC

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A draft study 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 that were projected to ride the ARC train.

"The idea of having good transportation and mass transportation is something that is very appealing to this city," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Wednesday. "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 to the far West Side 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 met 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.

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WNYC News

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.

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: NYC Mayor Backing #7 Subway to Secaucus Plan, BP Profits Triple, BRT to Michigan?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Top stories on TN:

Mitt Romney is making President Obama's support for two high-end green car companies a campaign issue. (Link)

The first Mexican truck has crossed the US border. (Link)

Formula 1 racing is coming to NJ. (Link)

Waiting for a bus on Staten Island (photo by johnpignata via Flickr)

But: is NY making its own "ARC mistake" by killing transit on the bridge? (Second Avenue Sagas)

And: the lack of transit drew criticism at a Tappan Zee public comment session. (Journal News)

Real-time bus arrival information will come to Staten Island by the end of the year. (Staten Island Advance)

A Maryland panel recommended a gas tax hike, fare increases and an end to transit raids to fund state transportation projects. (Baltimore Sun)

The NY Post reports that Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be announcing plans to move forward on extending the No. 7 subway to New Jersey.

The Port Authority will raise the Bayonne Bridge by 2016. (NorthJersey.com)

Michigan's governor wants to jump start a regional transit system in Detroit with bus rapid transit. (Detroit Free Press)

NYC taxi update: the city will crackdown on the $350 no-honking-except-in-an-emergency rule (WNYC).  And the Taxi and Limousine Commission is surveying passengers about their cab rides (NY Daily News).

Boeing's Dreamliner made its maiden voyage after a three-year delay. (Guardian)

18 months after the massive oil spill in the Gulf, BP stages a comeback: company profits have tripled. (Marketplace)

Reporters complain about the Acela, continue to ride it. (Politico)

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Transportation Nation

City Finally Puts $$ Behind Subway to New Jersey

Friday, February 04, 2011

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) Call it the return of the Secaucus 7. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has finally put some muscle into his proposal to extend the number 7 subway train under the Hudson River to New Jersey, making it the first NYC subway train to go to another state.  It would be a substitute for the NJ Transit commuter tunnel, known as the ARC, or Access to the Region's Core, that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie killed last fall.

This week, Mayor Bloomberg's Economic Development Corporation voted to put a quarter of a million dollars into a three-month feasibility study of the tunnel.  The contract for the study goes to Parsons Brinckerhoff, a major engineering firm that had been working on the ARC tunnel.

The firm is tasked with assessing demand and cost -- which Mayor Bloomberg, without any engineering studies behind him -- has said would be roughly half that of the ARC tunnel.

The head of the MTA, Jay Walder, has been genial about the project, but the agency is already struggling to pay for capital costs for its current system, and this week learned it would be faced with another $100 million in cuts from the state budget.  Bloomberg does not control the MTA -- NY Governor Andrew Cuomo does -- though Bloomberg does have representation on the MTA board.

When the city was pushing construction of a stadium on the West Side of Manhattan, Bloomberg succeed in gaining MTA approval for extension of the #7 train to the far West Side of Manhattan by promising to foot the $2 billion in construction costs.  But that was during flusher times, when neither the MTA nor the city was broke.

It's unclear whether the federal government's investment of $3 billion, lost when the ARC tunnel died, could be applied towards this project, or whether the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey would contribute funds, as it did to the ARC.

Here's the EDC documentation on the contract:

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Transportation Nation

Down to the Wire on Whether NJ Will Pay $271 Million for Cancelling ARC Tunnel

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

(New York - Jim O'Grady, WNYC) The clock is ticking on a proposed deal between the feds and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie over his decision in October to cancel the ARC rail tunnel under the Hudson because of projected cost overruns.

Christie has until the end of today to decide whether he will reimburse the Federal Transit Administration $271 million spent on ARC. In exchange, the agency would then turn around and hand back $128 million to the state for projects that improve air quality by cutting traffic congestion.

Meanwhile, earlier today Christie told Bloomberg TV: "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." (See WNYC for the full story.)

Governor Christie has said the state doesn't owe the money. Last month, he directed New Jersey Transit to hire Patton Boggs, a high-powered Washington law firm, to make the case for him with the federal government--by lawsuit, if necessary. The firm now stands ready to file suit if an agreement isn't reached in the next several hours.

"We have until midnight tonight," said Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak earlier today. "We have about seven hours and forty-nine minutes, something like that. We expect that our attorneys in Washington will be filing a timely response today."

Asked at a transportation conference in Washington how the negotiations were going, FTA Administrator Peter M. Rogoff declined to comment. The agency has already granted the state two extensions on an original deadline of December 24.

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Transportation Nation

Lautenberg Enters the Secaucus 7 Fray

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg sent a letter to Governor Christie today.  "The No. 7 Subway proposal...merits serious consideration," he writes, urging the governor to begin a dialogue about it with the various partners.  Read it below.

Letter to Governor Re 7 Subway 11-23-10

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: Christie Likes #7 Extension Idea, and London's Double Decker Bus Gets Revamped

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NJ Governor Christie says extending the #7 subway across the Hudson is “a much better idea” than the ARC tunnel, but he hasn't yet spoken to Mayor Bloomberg about it. (AP via New York Times)

Traffic fatalities in NYC are at an all-time low, but pedestrians make up the majority of those killed. (NY1)

NYC transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan is one of Esquire Magazine's "15 Genuises Who Give Us Hope."

Talk about paving roads with good intentions: as BART extends to San Jose, "construction crews plan to use at least 250,000 old tires, ground up into 3-inch chunks and laid under large sections of the tracks, to act as shock absorbers, reducing vibration and noise along the route." (San Jose Mercury News)

London's iconic bus--the Routemaster--is getting updated. "The new bus has three doors: joining the single rear entrance are a front and a side door. There are also two staircases, solving a major congestion problem, and a source of missed stops on full buses." (Wired - Autopia)

Do electric cars spell cash or calamity for utility companies? "Plugged into a socket, the Nissan Leafs and Chevrolet Volts can draw as much energy from the grid as a small house." (The Takeaway)

NYC deputy mayor Steven Goldsmith is on today's Brian Lehrer Show.

With all the news about new TSA screening procedures, the Washington Post has assembled a good, sober guide of what to actually expect at the airport.  This Saturday Night Live video takes a more...whimsical approach:

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: LaHood Toys With Scrambling Technology, LA Mayor Says Homes Can Be EV Ready in 7 Days, and Good Week for American Auto Manufacturers

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Star Ledger is intrigued by the 7 train proposal. "Can this really work? At this stage, who knows? But let’s kick the tires and find out." Meanwhile, the New York Times looks at Flushing and Secaucus: "These two very different places might one day be knitted together by a single rumbling artery: the No. 7 subway line."

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa promises to make Los Angeles homes electric car-ready in under seven days (Los Angeles Times). And he also wants to make public transit free for kids on field trips. (Daily Breeze)

The Albany Times-Union devotes an editorial to Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch's depressing transportation analysis. "What his report doesn’t clearly say is that the state must stop playing the game of using money meant for construction to pay for operating expenses."

Is Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood looking at scrambling calls in cars? "There's a lot of technology out there now that can disable phones and we're looking at that," he told MSNBC. (Fast Company)

Charlotte scales back light rail expansion plans, looks at public-private partnerships. (Charlotte Observer)

What a week for the auto industry: the Chevy Volt wins "Car of the Year."  And General Motors stock is on a joyride. (Detroit Free Press)

The Federal Aviation Administration is preparing for a busy Thanksgiving holiday travel week by working with the Department of Defense to clear the way for commercial aircraft to fly in airspace normally reserved for the military. (FAA)

BMX whiz Danny MacAskill goes "Way Back Home" from Edinburgh, Scotland, to his hometown of Dunvegan, on the Isle of Skye.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Subway to Secaucus

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Andrea Bernstein, WNYC reporter and director of the Transportation Nation blog, talks about the Bloomberg administration's tentative plan to extend the 7 train to New Jersey.

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WNYC News

MTA's Tunnel Boring Machine

Thursday, February 19, 2009

MTA Chief Executive Elliot Lee Sander and Mayor Bloomberg at the launch of a tunnel boring machine for the 7 train extension, which will open in 2013. The $2.1b project is funded by the city with bonds and is ...

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