MTA Talks Bringing Metro-North To The Bronx

Back in March of 2008, former MTA CEO & Executive Director Elliot Sander held his first ever State of the MTA address. One of the initiatives he listed for the agency called for the Metro-North to expand service in the Bronx by building stations to serve residents of Co-Op City, Hunts Point, & Parkchester.

Earlier this month, the agency met with various elected officials from various Bronx communities in Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.’s office to discuss their hopes of bringing new Metro-North service to the borough. The plans would also call for the Metro-North to service Penn Station with expected capacity to be available once the LIRR East Side Access project is completed later this decade.

For more on the meeting, let us take a look at a report from Patrick Rocchio of the Bronx Times:

Better transportation options may lie ahead in a plan that will likely introduce Metro North rail service to Penn Station by 2016 that could include the construction of four new stations in the borough.

The MTA is currently performing a Federal Environmental Assessment on the project that would bring its trains on the Hudson and New Haven lines into Penn Station, via existing tracks over the Hells Gate Bridge owned by Amtrak, said MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan.

“The review includes potential stations along Amtrak’s Hell Gate Line in the vicinity of Co-op City, Morris Park, Parkchester and Hunts Point, and we anticipate completing this assessment in 2013,” Donovan said.

A meeting was convened in Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.’s office on Monday, November 7 on the matter. All elected officials from areas that the MTA is considering placing new stations and community boards 2, 9, 10, and 11 were invited.

The group met with the president of Metro North, Howard Permut, to discuss the plan, which received a great deal of support, said Diaz spokesman John DeSio.

“This is an idea that has been around for decades, and the meeting was just a preliminary step where the MTA wanted to gauge the reaction of elected officials and stakeholders, with the reaction being very positive,” DeSio said.

The final plan could include the creation of new stations along Metro North’s New Haven line that would service Co-op City near Erskine Place, Morris Park near Einstein Medical Center and the Hutchinson Metro Center, Parkchester in the vicinity of Unionport Road and E. Tremont Avenue, and Hunts Point near Southern Boulevard, said Assemblyman Michael Benedetto.

The funding for the project, $250 million from New York State and $100 million from Connecticut, is substantial given these difficult economic times, but would provide a great amount of return, and is relatively inexpensive compared to other MTA capital projects, said Assemblyman Marcos Crespo.

Click here for the complete report.

I would like to hear more details about how exactly the service would be setup to maximize the potential of additional service in the Bronx along with it to Penn Station. Also would a station be built at Sunnyside? Such a station is absolutely key for success as a whole in terms of a modernized regional rail system. More on this as details come out.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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