A.R.C. Project Gets Boost From Federal Approval

This past Wednesday, a major transportation project that would benefit the tri-state region took one step closer to becoming a reality. Federal environmental officials approved plans for the A.R.C. project. The A.R.C. project is the Access to the Region’s Core which would create a second tunnel underneath the Hudson River. This would double commuter railroad capacity between New Jersey & Manhattan.

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign’s New Jersey Advocate Zoe Baldwin has more in this entry:

The Federal Transit Administration okayed plans for the Access to the Region’s Core tunnel yesterday, bringing the historic project a step closer to fruition. Approval of the environmental impact statement, preliminary design, and a new station to handle increased ridership enables NJ Transit to seek final design approval and negotiate federal funding for the final $3 billion needed.

Click here for the complete entry.

Click here for the main article about the approval courtesy of the Politicker New Jersey.

I have rarely ridden New Jersey Transit. So I can’t say this project would positively impact me directly. However I do completely support this project as I would any that is a major positive for mass transit & the riders who depend on it. Commuter railroads are a great alternate to vehicular use when possible so projects like this one can only benefit everyone over the long haul.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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With the regularity of trains breaking down in the current tunnels and delays suffered by commuters, there is clearly a need to relieve the bottleneck into Penn station. Also, with the long planning times and known political wrangling, one would not want to do anything to slow down, or potentially stop the progress on the Access to the Region’s Core tunnel project.

However, when one stands back and takes a look at the bigger picture the following emerges:

1 Penn Station is overcrowded
2 The streets around Penn station cannot handle the pedestrian traffic
3 Commuter passengers from New Jersey arriving at Penn station work in the Financial district, Midtown, or uptown. Only a percentage of passengers actually want to be in the vicinity of Penn station.
4 New Jersey Transit focuses its rides to Penn station using the one-seat rides concept, but commuters have to change seats to use the subway, or cabs, to get to their ultimate destinations.
5 There is currently a project underway to develop a second station under Grand Central. This will provide access from Queens.
6 The 7 Line extension currently under construction will go from Grand Central and pass underneath the Port Authority.

1 Why not build the new tunnels to go to Grand Central, and provide a stop at the Port Authority.? The new 7 Line under construction can be used between PA and Grand Central.
2 Provide New York downtown PATH access to/from Secaucus Junction.
3 Turn Secaucus Junction into the main transportation hub in New Jersey from where commuters can choose which part of Manhattan (or Long Island) they want to go to. Commuters will then have access to all of Manhattan from within NJ.

Benefits: This will:

1 Provide a “Most Convenient Seat” rather than a “One Seat” ride. This will take commuters more closely to their end destination. Please consider the commuters overall ride, not just their NJ portion of the ride.
2 Reduce train and commuter congestion at Penn station
3 Reduce pedestrian congestion around Penn station
4 Provide high capacity alternatives for emergency situations

I believe the ARC will be a very big boost to transit in and out of NYC, and will go a long way towards helping alleviate traffic / transit problems. I have another idea, complimentary to the ARC, that would help traffic inside of NJ and also revitalize areas that are currently somewhat run down in several Essex and Hudson County towns. The plan involves taking over abandoned and unused passenger and freight rail lines and using them to extend the Newark City Subway / Light Rail. The new system would extend from Montclair to Hoboken and from East Newark to Clifton, though the tracks do go as far north as Paterson. Here’s a link to my proposal:


Let me know what you think!

ARC — well, the new tunnels under the Hudson are good, but the project has turned into a mess, with a giant underground station which can’t be extended eastward, with poor exit locations, at tremendous expense. And it’ll take forever to build.

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