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Thomas
February 10th, 2003, 10:26 PM
List of transit projects that should get built.

New two track tunnel under the Hudson from NJ to Penn Station, with a connection to Grand Central for Amtrak, NJ Transit and Metro North's Harlem line.

Metro North access to Penn Station from their Hudson line via Amtrak's West Side connection with stops at 125th street and the West Side rail yard/ stadium/ Jacob Javits/ Olympic Village.

Access to Penn Station from Metro North's New Haven line via Hells Gate bridge with stops in the Bronx and Long Island City (Sunny Side).

New East River tunnel from LIRR's Flatbush line to Lower Manhattan with link to the PATH line, intergrate the service and run trains from Newark Airport-Downtown Newark-Jersey City-WTC-Fulton Street-FLatbush-Jamaica-JFK.

Second Ave Subway.

7 train extension to connect directly with PABT, Penn Station (Farley complex), West Side development area/stadium.

N train extension to Laguardia.

East Side Access for LIRR

West Side Light rail, utilizing part of the old Conrail viaduct from Battery park up the West Side.

Extension of the L train to 10th ave and across the Hudson to Hoboken, and possibly Allied Jct.

New cross Harbor freight tunnel connecting Brooklyn with either Staten Island or Jersey City.

Extension of the Hudson Bergen light rail across the Bayonne Bridge to Staten Island (could be done without removing lanes). With service either running along the North Shore to St.George or South to the College of Staten Island.

Moving Amtrak into the new Farley facility, moving MSG into a new stadium arena on the West Side. Improving the current Penn Station set up for LIRR and NJ Transit passengers by removing MSG and replacing with hotels or office buildings designed to incorporate an atrium over the main level of the current Penn Station that will allow light in and intergrate improved concession and retail areas into the new hotel or office buildings built on the former MSG site.

Thomas
February 10th, 2003, 10:47 PM
West Side light rail right of way near Trump World development.

http://www.geocities.com/sockanosset6/wslrt/

JerzDevl2000
February 11th, 2003, 01:18 AM
Welcome to the forum Thomas!

I dunno if this topic is going to get moved or not - since this has little to do with skyscrapers. It's interesting to see the Trump development and the covering up of the Amtrak tracks. I gotta add that to the list of places to check out the next time I walk around Manhattan on a nice day!

Your list of projects is pretty thorough. Crains NY weekly had an article on this a few weeks ago. It listed these, and a few others, that should be built so the region can stay economically competitive. The total came out to $60 billion, but spread out over several years, it's not so bad. The few projects I would add are direct rail access from Midtown/Penn/GCT and extenstions to the E,F,7,and (2/5 lines in Brooklyn). A few crosstown lines at 125th, 57th, 34th, and Canal wouldn't be bad either!

I hope Farley is done right - even old Penn Station being rebuilt. We could get some really great towers in on the West Side!

NYatKNIGHT
February 11th, 2003, 11:26 AM
You mentioned a light rail for Staten Island. As of now, the most likely corridor would run along the north shore.

JD
February 11th, 2003, 09:10 PM
All of these projects are worthy and certainly should be built. *But this is NYC, which for a host of reasons has decided it can live on borrowed time: can anyone name significant projects that have been built in the last forty years? *Consider...

- *JFK is a horrific mess, more worthy of a third-world country than "capital of the world"
- *New York has *less* track line than it did in the forties. *It doesn't build; it simply removes (consider the trolleys and els that no longer exist)
- *The sewer known as Penn Station is entirely worthy of Vin Scully's quotation: "In the old Penn Station, one entered the city like a god; now one scurries in like a rat."

It's time for the city to start thinking big again.

ZippyTheChimp
February 11th, 2003, 09:58 PM
Water tunnel #3. Largest project in NYC history.

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

North River sewage treatment plant. When completed in 80s, all NYC waste water was treated. The Newtown Creek plant, city's largest, is getting a $2 billion renovation.

The Air Train.

The removal of the els was a positive.

JD
February 11th, 2003, 10:16 PM
Come now, Zippy.

Point taken about the the jumbo water tunnel and the investments made to treat sewage. *But you're pushing it when you name the Verrazano as a recent development -- it's about to turn forty years old. *The elevated trains were *not* removed for aesthetic reasons; they were taken down because it was expected that subways would replace them. *Does it make much sense that the entire East Side is served by a single subway line?

As for the Air Train: let's ignore that its main accomplishment to date has been to kill the driver on a test lap. *What sort of accomplishment is it to create a monorail from the airport to...JAMAICA? *That will be a real boon to travellers. *Picture the poor fellow from Singapore (or London, or Paris, or Hong Kong), accustomed to bullet trains from airport to downtown. *He arrives in New York and is told he can take a train to JAMAICA. *If this is your idea of progress, well, you may have it. *I guess I'll stuff myself into a cab, listen to Elmo tell me buckle up, and bounce my way up and down decayed highways to get to my destination. *

My point is simple and incontrovertible: New York is living off instrastructure investments that are now a century old. *Improvements that should be seen as essential are viewed as the equivalent of the moon landing: too big, too expensive, too risky. *The vaunted Penn Station proposal is now over a decade old and there hasn't been so much as bulldozer near the place.

New York is not keeping pace with other grand cities. *This is painful but true. *

ZippyTheChimp
February 11th, 2003, 10:29 PM
Read your own post. You said 40 years.

I didn't say that the els were removed for any reason. I just said that their removal was a postive...to the neighborhoods they passed through.

An inappropriate remark about the Air Train just to make a debating point.

JD
February 11th, 2003, 10:50 PM
Fair enough: the Verrazano is thirty-nine years old; ergo, if you go by a forty-year marker, New York must be building bridges like crazy. *(Obvious corollary: by a *hundred-year measurement, the subway is not so old; in fact, it's only 99.)

If you asked the average East Sider -- *not* someone whose windows overlooked the tracks -- say, the average East Sider who is walking fifteen minutes to reach a dangerously overstuffed Lexington Ave subway, "Would you prefer to have the elevated trains back?" the answer would be a resounding "yes."

In what way is referring to the most unfortunate and unnecessary death of the Air Train's driver "inappropriate"? * You refuse to address the obvious point, which is indeed appropriate: why was a billion dollars funneled into a slow, teeny train designed to take passengers *away* from Manhattan? *How many travellers do you know who like to take slow, indirect routes to their destination? *

Mr. Chimp, do you really think New York is keeping up to speed with other major cities? *

Thomas
February 11th, 2003, 10:56 PM
The JFK Airtrain is not a Monorail (EWR is), it's a Light Rail that is compatible with the LIRR's third rail power.

The planning going on right now envisions the Airtrain making a direct connection to the LIRR's tracks at Jamaica station. However this is about 10 years away, to facilitate the direct one seat ride to Manhattan they need to...

Build the East Side Access project (which just received support from the President to receive Federal transit money when the program is re-funded either this fiscal year or next). This is separate from the $5 Billion dollar Lower Manhattan transit program currently under development with FEMA, the Port Authority and the MTA.

The East Side Access project will connect the LIRR to Grand Central terminal thus freeing some slots at Penn for the Airtrain to operate directly into Penn Station. Mayor Bloomberg also included a new East river tunnel in his plan for Lower Manhattan which would connect with the LIRR's Atlantic Ave/Fltabush line and provide another direct connection for the Airtrain.

Next the MTA and Port Authority have to develop and new Airtrain car that can ride on the rails with both HEAVY LIRR trains and lighter Airtrains around JFK's terminals. Crash standards are the main factor.

The Airtrain line is powered by a compatible power source as the LIRR, meaning once a hybrid vehicle is designed to survive a crash with a LIRR train the only thing preventing running the same train from JFK over the Airtrain's Van Wyck guideway and onto the LIRR's tracks are the actual connection of the tracks.

The NY State Economic development corp is actively seeking a contractor to build the new vehicles and connect the Airtrain and LIRR tracks, again they have to wait until slots are available when the East Side Access project diverts some LIRR trains from PENN to Grand Central.

http://www.nylovesbiz.com/Press/2000/oneseat2.htm

Thomas
February 11th, 2003, 11:02 PM
More about the East Side Access project,

http://www.parsons.com/about/press_rm/potm/08-2001/index.html

http://nypost.com/seven/02072003/news/regionalnews/54163.htm

JD
February 11th, 2003, 11:03 PM
I appreciate all this information, Thomas, and it's heartening to know that perhaps in a decade someone can arrive at JFK and actually take a train into Manhattan.

But...and this is a big but...why must it be this complicated? *How did English engineers, with a monstrous airport that is almost as confusing and unruly as JFK, manage to connect Heathrow and London with a lightning-fast train five years ago? *

ZippyTheChimp
February 11th, 2003, 11:08 PM
Mr Elmo, or whatever that avatar thingy is:

You asked a question, and I answered it. Then you forgot what you posted. You have made another error in your last post. The last subway was built in the 30s, not 99 years ago. If you don't understand why that remark was inappropriate, that's your problem.

I don't intend to debate you on the problems of the lower East Side. The 2nd ave subway is in planning, and should alleviate some of the congestion. If you think that an el would be welcomed, go to City Hall and run it by Mike Bloomberg. Let us know what he says.

There are several projects being studied now, many of which have been discussed in this forum. By the way, in recent studies, NYC ranks quite high in moving people around.

I suspect you've had a bad day; i hope you have a pleasant evening.

JD
February 11th, 2003, 11:13 PM
The errors are all mine, Zippy. *I am entirely in the wrong in everything I have written. *

You have a pleasant evening yourself.

NYatKNIGHT
February 12th, 2003, 11:34 AM
Of course JD is right. While other cities have made great strides, there hasn't been almost any significant infrastructure constructed in the past few decades. Zippy named a few, but come on, for what the city needs it's clearly not enough. That list of projects is daunting.

But there are plenty of things that have improved over time despite the decay of the infrastructure. The parks look as good as ever, and new ones are under construction. There is far less litter and pollution since the industrial revolution began - look at any old photo. The water is cleaner, the air is clearer, the streets are (generally) less littered. The crime rate is down, the mafia doesn't control the city, and the subways are safe for all. Skyscrapers are still rising as is the population. So the City has been paying attention to other necessities and letting the infrastructure take a back seat.

ZippyTheChimp
February 12th, 2003, 11:59 AM
My reply was sarcasm to the original post. The JFK remark was a little over the top.

diVinci
February 12th, 2003, 01:25 PM
I agree w/ JD. *New York must step up to the plate and invest MAJORILY in its transportation infrastructure for the 21st century i.e., upgrade & expand all three NYC metro airports, subways, intracity/intrastate rail & its Manhatten hubs, high-speed rail from the airports to Manhatten, or loose out to the other cities in the world *(Hong Kong, Shanghai, London) who are making major infrastructure improvements and who want to replace NYC as the capital of the world!!

What's nice is...I think Bloomberg & the LMDC realize how critical this is to NYC's future. *However, with the current Bush Admin., there is no emphasis on funding high speed rail or any rail projects for any city...even New York. *So...shortsighted.

The Europeans are worlds ahead of us here. *Look at the Germans, French and English. *They all are expanding their high-speed trains and terminals. *The Germans are building the first Mag-Lev train from Shanghai's airport to their Fin. Center. *Hong Kong continues to build new airports, bridges, subways, convention centers, etc. . *London the same with its high-speed rail projects...

Our mentality is like a 3rd world country. *It MUST change. *It slowly is...yet with NYC competing for the 2012 Games, infrastucture improvements will have to be approved to win the bid!!!

(Edited by diVinci at 1:35 pm on Feb. 12, 2003)


(Edited by diVinci at 1:37 pm on Feb. 12, 2003)

Thomas
February 12th, 2003, 07:04 PM
The main thing to keep in mind about NYC transportation projects is that Manhattan is AN ISLAND!.

It's not as simple as just laying tracks from the airport to Manhattan, you need to build large tunnels.

Tunneling is not cheap, add onto that the enviromental impact studies and NIMBY appeasement and projects can get expensive.

I will almost gurantee that within 10 years you will be able to board a PATH train from either the WTC, or along the 33rd street line and take that directly to EWR.

And that most likely you will be able to do the same with the JFK Airtrain from Penn Station (at the least), best case scenario would be that the Airtrain would connect to Grand Central (via the East side Access project), Penn (Farley) and very possibly Lower Manhattan.

As for NJ Transit and Amtrak to Newark Airport, if/when they build the new Hudson river tunnel there would enough room to run dedicated trains from EWR's terminals directly to Manhattan very much like SEPTA's airport line. However the fact is that you would get more bang for the buck to continue with the current Airtrain-NJ Transit/Amtrak link at the EWR rail link station because it might not be wise to dedicate 4 train slots an hour to a three car airport train when you could fill a 10 car train from Trenton and Princeton with the same slot.

So I think even with a new Hudson river tunnel the current NJ Transit/ Amtrak set up at EWR will continue (just with more trains added), however it is very likely that the PATH will connect directly to the terminal's themselves.

Kris
November 26th, 2003, 07:43 AM
November 26, 2003

Weighing Transit Possibilities, New Study Follows the Money

By MICHAEL LUO

The wish list of mass transit projects that local, state and federal politicians have drawn up for the city is long and ambitious: the Second Avenue subway, Long Island Rail Road service to the East Side, the No. 7 subway extension, a relocated Pennsylvania Station, a transit hub for Lower Manhattan, and the list goes on.

More important, the projects are expensive, with the potential of costing more than $50 billion. Although everyone has a favorite, money is limited, and some will probably lose out. So how to choose?

One of the city's leading business groups, the Partnership for New York City, has weighed in on the question with a study that evaluates seven of the proposals on whether they pay off economically.

Among the report's conclusions, already generating controversy: the price tag for the Second Avenue subway exceeds its economic development benefits by nearly $2.7 billion, largely because it would take 17 years to build.

The report, conducted for the partnership by the Boston Consulting Group and the Urban Transportation Research Center at the City University of New York, assesses economic development by incorporating real estate development, the increase in property values, jobs and income and sales and tourism. The subway project would produce $12.6 billion in benefits, but it would cost $15.3 billion, it says.

A proposed passenger rail tunnel under the Hudson, connecting New Jersey and Midtown, and an extension of the PATH system to Newark Liberty International Airport would also yield little economic benefit for the city, according to the report, although it does not consider the benefits for New Jersey.

Some of the study's clear winners include the transit hub for Lower Manhattan, the extension of the No. 7 subway line and the relocation of Penn Station.

Both Gov. George E. Pataki and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority have been emphasizing the Second Avenue subway and the East Side Access project, which would connect the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Terminal.

"The M.T.A.'s committed to a full build of the Second Avenue subway," William Wheeler, director of special project development and planning for the authority, said yesterday.

He pointed out that the project, along with the East Side Access proposal, had won support under the criteria set up by the Federal Transit Administration. The criteria include the number of customers benefited and the reduction in crowding.

The Second Avenue subway also has a powerful advocate in the speaker of the State Assembly, Sheldon Silver, who represents the Lower East Side. The report fails to fully recognize the project's economic benefits, Mr. Silver said. This includes its impact on Lower Manhattan, sparing commuters from an overcrowded Lexington Avenue line.

Decisions about transportation infrastructure, however, are too often politically based, said Kathryn S. Wylde, president of the partnership.

"It's not thinking about how investment should be designed to grow the economy and to open up the next generation of economic activity," she said.


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

normaldude
November 26th, 2003, 10:15 AM
N train extension to Laguardia.


It's completely outrageous that 2 blocks of Astoria NIMBYs can keep blocking this project. Being able to link all three major airports (Newark/JFK/LaGuardia) to NYC Subway/PATH trains would make life easier for the whole region, reduce road traffic from buses/cars/taxis, and make it easier for tourists/visitors to get to/from the airports. It even satisfies Bloomberg's vision of a one-seat ride to the WTC.

The money has been allocated, but NIMBYs have kept the project in limbo indefinitely.
http://mta.info/mta/capital/cap-network.htm#lag

The N train is agonizingly close to LaGuardia. It needs to be extended the remaining distance, and finally link NYC with LGA. If there was ever a need for government to exercise eminent domain, and buy out those 2 blocks in Astoria, this is it.

billyblancoNYC
November 26th, 2003, 03:09 PM
Damn right. It's a shame a few loud mouths seem to ruin it for millions of people.

Clarknt67
December 2nd, 2003, 04:55 PM
I recently took a plane and got to thinking, "What is all this drama about needing better rail access between the airports & the City?" I really don't see it as such a pressing need. I mean, if you're coming here for vacation 2 $30 trips via cab from the airports is the least of your budgetary worries. (When was the last time you changed or canceled a trip because the local transportation was inconvient?)

Therefore, I don't see our current situation as a deterrent to tourism.

And if you're coming or going from new york for business, even the cheapest employers I've ever worked for wouldn't balk at springing for a cab. My god, if you send an employee to NYC on business, you're already spending at least $200 a night on a hotel, in addition to airfare, and meals. What's a car service?

So, I don't see our current access as a deterrent to business.

I'm not rolling in dough but when I travel for leisure, I occassionally spring for the cab fare, arrange the extra 2 hours it takes to take the MTA options or split the difference with a $10 shuttle bus from midtown.

It seems that the only people who would really benefit from better rail to airport service would be airline employees living in the city and frequent leisure travelers. And why make a major capital investment for either of them? I mean when one compares to the long-term big picture benefit for projects like the West side highway options, 7 & L train extensions & the Second ave. Subway.

Or am I missing something?

TonyO
December 2nd, 2003, 05:18 PM
The reason that people clamor for a rail link to the airports is because it is obvious. Obvious that it will improve the time to get there, improve the cost they individually pay, improve tourists lives - and in turn ours with more $$.

Go to most European cities. They do this right and understand the need for a mass-transit infrastructure that improves access, speed and is reliable.

Ever been late for a flight in a cab and had to pray that traffic wasn't bad to JFK? Ever wish it didn't cost $60 to take a cab to Newark (thus negating most discounts you pay to fly there)?

Clarknt67
December 2nd, 2003, 05:58 PM
The reason that people clamor for a rail link to the airports is because it is obvious. Obvious that it will improve the time to get there, improve the cost they individually pay, improve tourists lives - and in turn ours with more $$.

Go to most European cities. They do this right and understand the need for a mass-transit infrastructure that improves access, speed and is reliable.

But you didn't address the issues I mentioned.

I see what you're saying, all the other major cities in the world have great airport access. But ours is OK, definately not great, but OK.

But, if we spend 100s of millions of dollars for this rail, where is the return on the investment going to come from?

Will tourism pick up? I doubt it.

Will our City attract more business? I doubt it.

Just keeping up with the joneses is not sound basis for economic investment.


Ever been late for a flight in a cab and had to pray that traffic wasn't bad to JFK? Ever wish it didn't cost $60 to take a cab to Newark (thus negating most discounts you pay to fly there)?

Yes, and that proves my point: that the major beneficiaries will be local, leisure travelers. And we're not going to be offering any return on that infrastructure investment.

ZippyTheChimp
December 2nd, 2003, 06:16 PM
Improved mass transit to airports is not only a benefit to airline passengers. While the occassional traveller may not mind the extra cost and time, the clogged roads are a constant. Trucks stuck in taffic on the Van Wyck increase the cost of doing business in the area.

normaldude
December 2nd, 2003, 11:39 PM
Or am I missing something?

1) Reduction of Traffic & Pollution. Linking mass transit to the airports reduces road traffic & pollution from buses, taxis, cars.

2) Cost. Not all tourists are staying at $200/night hotels. Many will be staying with friends/relatives. Many stay in $90/night hotels. Some stay in cheap youth hostels. So $80 ($35 + toll + tip each way) is a signifcant amount of money.

3) Time Budgeting. It's easier to budget your time with train service than guessing how bad road/bridge/tunnel traffic will be, or whether or not it will be easy to hail a cab (see #4 below). Rain/snow can snarl traffic even more.

4) If it's raining, or a busy time period, hailing a cab might take a while.. and taxi stands at the airport can be very long.

5) Efficiency. NYC already has an extensive network of subways/trains, and with frequent service. It makes sense to extend rails that last mile, and connect to the airports.

normaldude
December 2nd, 2003, 11:57 PM
But, if we spend 100s of millions of dollars for this rail, where is the return on the investment going to come from?

- Lower cost to New Yorkers traveling to/from airport. Airport employees, vacation travelers, and some business travelers. And it will be less of a hassle/expense to meet someone at the airport, or accompany someone to the airport.

- Less road traffic & pollution from getting taxis, buses, cars off the road. Traffic is a significant cost to the NYC economy as a whole. Every business is shipping and moving goods from location to location to warehouse to airport to trucks out of the city, etc.

- More transportation options, and lower costs, makes a NYC trip more attractive. Increased tourism, and more money spent in NYC. And instead of wasting $80 just to get to/from Manhattan, they can spend that money in the city. Another Broadway Show, a few more dinners, or more items bought from NYC stores.

Zoe
December 3rd, 2003, 09:25 AM
And it will improve the quality of life, something that you cannot quantify. I fly out of the NYC airports every week, and I would like to have more options available to me depending on what time of day I am leaving and from where. As was mentioned before, there is nothing like being stuck in traffic to the airport, not sure if you will make your flight or not, and thinking of the repercussions to missing your important 10am meeting wherever it is you are going.
I would also support anything that will reduce the pollution in our area without costing people jobs. This not only does this, but provides jobs.

BrooklynRider
December 3rd, 2003, 10:44 AM
I recently took a plane and got to thinking, "What is all this drama about needing better rail access between the airports & the City?" I really don't see it as such a pressing need. I mean, if you're coming here for vacation 2 $30 trips via cab from the airports is the least of your budgetary worries. (When was the last time you changed or canceled a trip because the local transportation was inconvient?)

Therefore, I don't see our current situation as a deterrent to tourism.

And if you're coming or going from new york for business, even the cheapest employers I've ever worked for wouldn't balk at springing for a cab. My god, if you send an employee to NYC on business, you're already spending at least $200 a night on a hotel, in addition to airfare, and meals. What's a car service?

So, I don't see our current access as a deterrent to business.

I'm not rolling in dough but when I travel for leisure, I occassionally spring for the cab fare, arrange the extra 2 hours it takes to take the MTA options or split the difference with a $10 shuttle bus from midtown.

It seems that the only people who would really benefit from better rail to airport service would be airline employees living in the city and frequent leisure travelers. And why make a major capital investment for either of them? I mean when one compares to the long-term big picture benefit for projects like the West side highway options, 7 & L train extensions & the Second ave. Subway.

Or am I missing something?

There are a number of legitimate and continually building issues that direct rail links to airports address:

1) Traffic - With a couple million visitors each year, those $30 cab rides equate to congestion.

2) Predictable ETA - Rail Links offer ways to get to the airports in a timely manner. Being able to accurately judge the time to get to an airport gives people more time at the destination. Less time sitting in traffic or arriving all tense from a nightmare ride.

3) Rail linksfrom LIRR (Jamaica) allow Long Islanders to arrive via rail rather than driving on their extremely congested main arteries.

4) A more welcoming environment for visitors - Generally speaking, people are not flying into New York area airports to visit Newark or Queens. They are coming to Manhattan. Give them easy, direct ways to get OUT of Queens and Newark.

5) Mass transit in general should be embraced. In this city, especially, there is justno defendable reason for not have rail links.

tmg
December 3rd, 2003, 11:10 AM
What is the most efficient place for a business headquarters? Sixty years ago, the answer was New York. Despite its high costs, it brought people together it a way that no other location could match. But now, why shouldn't a business locate in Atlanta or Houston? Or Shanghai or London?

What advantage does New York have?

Well, it has many of course, but the difficulty of access to its airports makes it an undesirable destination for business travelers. Cities looking to become competitive, like San Francisco and Shanghai, have invested in modern airport access, and New York needs to as well to retain its competitive edge.

That said, the Newark and JFK Airtrain projects are important steps forward. I think the jury is still out on whether the more ambitious proposals that have been floated make sense.

TonyO
December 3rd, 2003, 11:14 AM
What is the most efficient place for a business headquarters? Sixty years ago, the answer was New York. Despite its high costs, it brought people together it a way that no other location could match. But now, why shouldn't a business locate in Atlanta or Houston? Or Shanghai or London?

What advantage does New York have?

Well, it has many of course, but the difficulty of access to its airports makes it an undesirable destination for business travelers. Cities looking to become competitive, like San Francisco and Shanghai, have invested in modern airport access, and New York needs to as well to retain its competitive edge.

That said, the Newark and JFK Airtrain projects are important steps forward. I think the jury is still out on whether the more ambitious proposals that have been floated make sense.

This is a great point and hits it on the head. It just makes long-term sense to have these connections in a world class city like NY.

The "return on investment" argument is a short-sighted one. If you look at the ROI for 20 or 40 years then this type of project would pay for itself many times over.

Why would Boston spend the billions they have on the big dig? Long range planning.

Kris
December 20th, 2003, 08:06 AM
December 20, 2003

New Report Advocates Subway Line for East Side

By PAUL von ZIELBAUER

An influential regional planning group issued a study yesterday that focused on the economic benefits of building a Second Avenue subway line while criticizing another study, released last month, that played down the relative worth of building it.

Standing in front of City Hall yesterday morning, several prominent city, state and Congressional Democrats made it clear that they trusted the new study, by the Regional Plan Association, more than last month's more critical report by the Partnership for New York City, a group representing some of the city's largest employers.

"The partnership is a partnership with the wrong people if they're not with us," said Representative Charles B. Rangel of Harlem, long an advocate for a subway line that would connect part of his district with Chinatown. "I can't wait to have them at the next press conference to explain this misunderstanding."

Beside Representative Rangel were Sheldon Silver, the State Assembly speaker; Gifford Miller, the City Council speaker; and Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, whose district includes the Upper East Side.

In its November study, the partnership said a Second Avenue subway would take 17 years to build and cost nearly $2.7 billion more than the economic development benefits it would create. The study, completed for the partnership by independent consultants, advocated focusing on other large projects, like building a transit hub in Lower Manhattan, extending the No. 7 subway line or relocating Pennsylvania Station.

The Regional Plan Association's study disputed those findings. It said the subway project could be completed in 12 years, not 17, and would create 7 million square feet of commercial development, not the 3.5 million the partnership's study forecast. The association also calculated nearly $1.3 billion in saved time and productivity resulting from a less crowded Lexington Avenue subway line; the partnership estimated a $971 million savings.

"No other project will bring more people to the Lower East Side than the Second Avenue subway," Mr. Silver said yesterday, referring to his own Assembly district. "It's time to get on with it."

Kathryn S. Wylde, the partnership's president, acknowledged in an interview that it might make economic sense to build a part of the proposed subway line, but that other projects would create more development and help more people.

"It's great to advocate for these improvements," she said. "Somebody's got to figure out how to pay for them."

Referring to Mr. Rangel, Mr. Silver and the other Democrats who are against her group's recommendations, Ms. Wylde added: "They're making a political case for the Second Avenue subway. We're looking at the ridership of the future, which doesn't have a voice to speak for it."

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Kris
January 15th, 2004, 02:53 PM
How New Yorkers Get To Work (http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/transportation/20040115/16/837)

TLOZ Link5
January 15th, 2004, 06:26 PM
Looking at a subway map, you can see how many parts of the city are underserved or not served at all. Hollis might benefit from an extension of the F Train, for instance; because aside from LIRR and buses there are no cheap or fast methods of transportation for that part of Queens.

Kris
March 17th, 2004, 11:15 AM
Long Commutes and Lost Opportunities for Planning (http://gothamgazette.com/article/landuse/20040317/12/916)

TonyO
June 13th, 2005, 12:39 PM
NY Newsday

LIRR expansion plan draws ire

BY JOIE TYRRELL
STAFF WRITER

June 13, 2005

As tens of thousands of commuters rush into Manhattan aboard Long Island Rail Road trains each morning, Anne Dorobis does just the opposite.

She travels east from her Manhattan home to her job as the director of training for human resources at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola. Typically, the LIRR's schedule works for her, but sometimes she waits more than an hour when she has to be at work an hour earlier than usual.

"I would love it if the railroad would add another train in the morning during that gap," she said.

But as the railroad proposes building a third track on its main line from Bellerose to Hicksville that would add service for reverse commuters and also increase rush-hour capacity, opponents of the Main Line Corridor Improvement Project say adding another track is too costly, too disruptive and not necessary.

The railroad is hosting a series of meetings in Nassau County on Tuesday and Thursday as well as June 21 to gather input from commuters and residents on the project.

"It's not a case of saying 'Not in my backyard.' It is a case of saying, 'We have enough in our backyard,'" said Floral Park Mayor Phil Guarnieri, adding that four tracks already run through his community. Trains on the Hempstead and Main Line branches go through Floral Park.

In accordance with federal regulations, the Federal Transit Administration and the LIRR are preparing an environmental impact statement for the 111/2-mile project, which still requires funding approval in the MTA's 2005-09 capital plan now before a state review board.

Improvements include elimination of up to five grade crossings and station rehabilitation along the corridor. LIRR officials propose building the project in three stages, with construction of a third track to Mineola and elimination of three grade crossings in New Hyde Park in the first $202-million phase.

Guarnieri said he is not opposed to the grade crossing eliminations but, regarding the third track, he sees no benefit to the community.

"We don't see any upshot for the village," he said.

State Sen. Michael Balboni (R-East Williston) also said the railroad should focus solely on grade crossings. The MTA doesn't "have enough money to do both, and the grade crossings have to take priority," he said.

LIRR President James Dermody said it is imperative to construct the third track at the same time the grade crossings are eliminated. Railroad officials noted that with anticipated growth in ridership, gate-down time at New Hyde Park Road could be as bad as 49 minutes in the evening rush hour, leaving motorists waiting a long time to cross.

"By coupling it with the third track, you'd get it done," Dermody said. "Why would you build a house and not put electricity in the house? You want to do everything all at once."

The third track project is supported by area business and transportation groups and has been called the most important project on Long Island by the region's largest business group, The Long Island Association. Supporters say it would take traffic off the roads, enable trains to bypass breakdowns and add freight capacity. It would also complement East Side Access, the LIRR's proposed link to Grand Central Terminal.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola), whose district covers the area, said in a statement that she has requested funding from the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to finance the reconstruction of four at-grade crossings with overpasses in New Hyde Park, Westbury and New Cassel in conjunction with the MTA's third-track project.

But some question how many reverse commuters the project would draw. Now, according to the LIA, more than 120,000 people drive east in the morning.

"My time in actual commuting from door to door from where I live on the East Side is actually faster driving than it is for me to go to the West Side and use Penn Station," said Richard Elias, an architect with JRS Architect, P.C. in Mineola.
Copyright © 2005, Newsday, Inc.

Ninjahedge
June 13th, 2005, 01:17 PM
"It's not a case of saying 'Not in my backyard.' It is a case of saying, 'We have enough in our backyard,'"


Thanks for the clarification. :rolleyes:

NIMBYA (again).

TonyO
June 30th, 2005, 12:07 PM
NY Sun
6/30/05

Despite Mayor's Commitment, 7 Line Extension in Doubt

By JEREMY SMERD, Special to the Sun

The Bloomberg administration has touted its $2.4 billion commitment to transportation as the largest contribution to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority since the capital plan to rebuild the subways was introduced in 1982.

But the cornerstone of that commitment, a $2 billion plan to finance construction of a two-track, 7,000-foot extension of the no. 7 line from Times Square to Eleventh Avenue and 34th Street, appears far from certain.

For the five-year, $21.1 billion capital program of the MTA to go into effect, a state review board must vote to approve it by tomorrow. If the Capital Program Review Board, a four-person panel that includes representatives of Governor Pataki; Mayor Bloomberg; the Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver; and the Senate majority leader, Joseph Bruno, does not approve the plan unanimously, they will send it back to the MTA for changes.

And just as Mr. Silver, along with Mr. Bruno, killed the mayor's dream of an Olympic stadium on the far West Side, his representative on the board, Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, could deny approval of the no. 7 extension to that neighborhood.

Yesterday, Mr. Silver said the same problem he had with the stadium plagues the building of the no. 7: commercial development on the far West Side that he fears would compete with the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan.

For the city to pay for the $2 billion extension, the Bloomberg administration has created the Hudson Yards Infrastructure Corporation, which would float $3 billion worth of bonds to finance the extension and related upgrades. That debt would be paid off by development. Mr. Silver fears the debt will give the area the impetus to develop faster than Lower Manhattan. The no.7 extension "puts on pressure to provide the incentives to build that [area] as quickly as possible," Mr. Silver said, "and that's the nature of the objection." Until that development takes place, the city will pay $989 million over five years to cover the debt service - a plan the City Council has approved.

Yesterday, Mr. Silver said he would prefer a financing scheme that did not finance the extension through rapid development of the far West Side.

Mr. Silver's comments set up another showdown between the Assembly leader and the Bloomberg administration. Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff said the council-approved plan would not be changed. "There's no reason for a new plan," Mr. Doctoroff said.

Whether that puts the extension of the no. 7 in jeopardy will not be certain until the board votes on the capital plan. Though only a small fraction of the budget to be approved in Albany is earmarked for the no. 7, the MTA would be responsible if the cost of the extension exceeded $2 billion, a spokesman for the agency, Tom Kelly, said. Already the estimated price tag is $2.1 billion, making the project a financial matter for the Capital Program Review Board.

Without the $2 billion contribution to the no. 7 line, Mr. Bloomberg will run for re-election with a much-diminished record on mass transit.

Aside from the mayor's offer to build the no. 7, the city plans to contribute $400 million to the MTA's capital plan, of which $60 million has been earmarked for preliminary planning and design for the no. 7 in 2005, according to the Independent Budget Office.

That leaves an annual average of about $68 million in direct contributions to the MTA's five-year capital plan. That would be $25 million less than the annual average amount for the past four years, and significantly less than average contributions under previous administrations, according to the Independent Budget Office.

Inflation has likewise devalued the city's direct contribution to New York City Transit's operating budget, which Mayor Giuliani first froze in 1995 at $158 million annually - an amount Mr. Bloomberg would have to raise to $205 million to keep up with inflation, according the Fiscal Policy Institute.

"If the no. 7 doesn't happen, the mayor is missing in action when it comes to mass transit," an economist with the Fiscal Policy Institute, James Parrot, said. "Even with the no. 7 it's not an unprecedented level of commitment."

Critics of the mayor - including the rider-advocacy group the Straphangers Campaign and the Regional Plan Association - said that rather than pushing the no. 7 extension, Mr. Bloomberg's legacy would be better assured by committing that money to what they consider to be the subway system's more urgent needs.

"The bigger issue is the city's direct contribution to the maintenance and upkeep of the MTA, that needs to come first," a spokesman for the Regional Plan Association, Jeremy Soffin, said. "The only focus should not be the West Side. We'd like to see that sort of wholehearted support and energy put toward MTA priorities such as the Second Avenue subway and East Side Access."

The modern heyday for municipal investment in mass transit was between 1982 and 1995, when the city gave about $138 million a year to the MTA's capital program to be used by New York City Transit, the subsidiary in charge of the subways and buses. Money appropriated from other sources, including federal funding, swelled that to an average of $231 million annually, according to the city's Independent Budget Office.

Beginning in 1996,under the Giuliani administration those contributions began to fall precipitously. For the 2000-04 Capital Plan, the city contributed around $93 million a year - a figure that does not include money received by the MTA but funneled through the city from the sale of the New York Coliseum for $345 million to Related Properties in 1999. That site is now occupied by the Time Warner Center.

The chairman of the state Assembly's Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, Richard Brodsky, bemoaned the diminution of city financing, although the state has the legal authority to force the city to increase its share.

"Legally we can ask city to pay more, we have the constitutionality to mandate this stuff," the Westchester Democrat said. "But we try not to do it."

BrooklynRider
June 30th, 2005, 02:10 PM
I still think the 2nd Ave Line and one-stop to JFK are more worthy.

NewYorkYankee
June 30th, 2005, 07:36 PM
I could see a one stop ride to Midtown from JFK, but not to downtown.

bkmonkey
July 1st, 2005, 03:16 AM
I think a full modern second avenue line, with super fast trains (or an express service) with lines in the other boroughs would be best. The second avenue line is needed desperatly, and so is a line going down flatbush avenue to Kings Plaza, and so is another express line in the Bronx. Sounds ambishous? This is the kinda thing that New York always use to do... believe me we can get it done. Maybe sometime in the future someone will ponder the impossible.... building a subway line to Staten Island.... GASP......Dream Big again New York:)

pianoman11686
July 1st, 2005, 11:38 PM
Averted: Two Infrastructure Disasters Waiting to Happen

By SEWELL CHAN

Published: July 2, 2005

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is working to fix two significant defects in its sprawling infrastructure: an unstable utility vault beneath the Grand Hyatt New York in Midtown and a concrete retaining wall along the N subway line in Brooklyn that was close to collapse.

A view of the retaining wall along the N line in Brooklyn that was found to be in danger of collapsing. Steel beams provide a temporary remedy.
The authority disclosed the problems this week when its board approved contracts for temporary repairs until permanent ones could be made.

If the problems had not been found, the results could have been catastrophic, according to authority documents, which stated that the wall's condition "could present a danger to life, safety and property" and that the 20-ton vault would "cause major damage to the surrounding facilities" if it collapsed.

The vulnerability of the city's transportation systems has become apparent this year. In January, a fire destroyed a signal relay room in Lower Manhattan, crippling subway service for several weeks. In May, a 75-foot-tall retaining wall collapsed onto the Henry Hudson Parkway in Upper Manhattan, disrupting traffic for days.

Fortunately, the new problems were found during routine work.

The more significant seems to be the retaining wall in Brooklyn, which is 18 feet high and dates to 1914. Early last year, workers found that a 350-foot section of the wall, between 63rd and 64th Streets along the northbound track east of the New Utrecht Avenue station, had moved several inches toward the track.

The wall had major horizontal and vertical cracks, and deteriorated concrete had broken off. The authority took temporary measures promptly, but the wall continued to shift.

Over the last two weekends, workers installed braces against the wall. Under a $539,000 contract approved on Wednesday, Judlau Contracting of College Point, Queens, will install 60-foot struts across the tracks, pressing against the walls on either side.

The agency will eventually award a $10 million contract to stabilize walls along the line, said Mike Kyriacou, a design manager in the department of capital program management at New York City Transit. He said the agency regularly inspected its walls and had not found serious problems elsewhere.

The poor condition of the wall did not surprise its neighbors. "The wall's falling down, no two ways about it," said Paul Sagar, 59, a construction worker whose backyard faces the tracks.

The vault - a metal structure that holds an array of electrical conduits - is in a steam room beneath the Grand Hyatt at East 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue, but is part of the Grand Central Terminal complex, which is directly west of the hotel and is the terminus of the Metro-North Railroad.

In April, a contractor discovered that the 20-ton electrical utility vault had partly collapsed. The vault is suspended by steel supports, several of which had snapped. Two remaining supports and a steel catwalk handrail were keeping the vault from fully collapsing.

Wooden shoring was erected to support the vault, and the authority approved a $187,500 contract to install steel beams to further reinforce the vault, which will eventually have to be demolished and replaced.

Wires and cables run horizontally from the steam room into a utility area between the main concourse of the terminal and the track level, according to Marjorie S. Anders, a railroad spokeswoman.

The date of the partial collapse is unclear, but it occurred sometime after 1994, when major work was done in the steam room, she said.

Workers at the 1,311-room hotel were promptly told about the emergency repairs, said a hotel spokeswoman, Kira Kohrherr, who added that the repairs, to be finished by the fall, should not affect guests or workers.

Although the steam room is part of the terminal, the wires in the vault supply electricity to the hotel, and Ms. Kohrherr said that Hyatt would pay for the $187,500 repairs. The ultimate cost of replacing the vault, which the Hyatt will also pay, has not been determined.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/07/02/nyregion/02walls_lg.jpg
A view of the retaining wall along the N line in Brooklyn that was found to be in danger of collapsing. Steel beams provide a temporary remedy.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

Gulcrapek
July 1st, 2005, 11:54 PM
Bk: many moons ago, there was a plan for a subway to Kings Plaza..

TonyO
July 2nd, 2005, 12:17 PM
NY Post

MTA FUNDING DERAILED AMID ALBANY POLITICS

By KENNETH LOVETT

July 2, 2005 -- ALBANY — Legislative leaders yesterday vetoed a $17.9 billion MTA capital plan — even as an aide to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said the No. 7 subway expansion to the West Side would not be a formal part of the plan.
The state Capital Plan Review Board, consisting of representatives of Gov. Pataki, the Assembly, Senate and Mayor Bloomberg, had until yesterday to act on the MTA plan, which details planned maintenance and major expansion projects.

A disappointed MTA Chairman Peter Kalikow said the action "further delays the important rebuilding projects and rolling-stock purchases that affect the daily lives of our millions of customers."

The sides couldn't reach agreement on separate funding for upstate roads and bridges and an Assembly push for contractors who don't use unionized employees to pay a prevailing wage, according to legislative aides.

No new maintenance or expansion projects can move forward without a capital plan in place.

"All parties are in agreement to continue working to get a resolution as quickly as possible," said Assembly spokesman Charles "Skip" Carrier.

Meanwhile, an aide close to Silver said the speaker was not pushing to include the No. 7 expansion in the plan, which would mean more state oversight.

Instead, the subway expansion plan would have been referenced, but not made a formal part of the MTA capital plan.

ablarc
July 2nd, 2005, 01:07 PM
NY Post

MTA FUNDING DERAILED AMID ALBANY POLITICS

By KENNETH LOVETT

July 2, 2005 -- ALBANY — Legislative leaders yesterday vetoed a $17.9 billion MTA capital plan — even as an aide to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said the No. 7 subway expansion to the West Side would not be a formal part of the plan.

The sides couldn't reach agreement on separate funding for upstate roads and bridges and an Assembly push for contractors who don't use unionized employees to pay a prevailing wage, according to legislative aides.
Also, the moon was in the wrong phase.

.

NewYorkYankee
July 2nd, 2005, 02:11 PM
Im so over Silver, the guy is a dumb ass. To put it bluntly. It does not take a fool to see the downtown is no longer an office center. Geezzz

TonyO
July 14th, 2005, 06:48 PM
This is exciting news:

NY Post

MTA FINALLY GETS ALBANY'S OK FOR $21B TRANSIT FIX

By KENNETH LOVETT Post Correspondent


July 14, 2005 -- ALBANY — State political leaders yesterday signed off on the largest capital program in MTA history, putting much-needed transit repairs and expansion projects like the Second Avenue subway back on track.

The $21.1 billion plan, approved by the four-member Capital Program Review Board, also includes $2.5 billion set aside for East Side Access, which would bring Long Island Rail Road trains into Grand Central Terminal, and create a rail link between Kennedy Airport and lower Manhattan.

The five-year plan includes $14.9 billion for transit repairs, including the purchase of new buses and subway cars, and another $495 million to beef-up security on the rails.

"The MTA will now be able to continue the progress it has made in revitalizing the region's transportation network," said the agency's chairman, Peter Kalikow.

The plan calls for the city to shell out $2 billion to extend the No. 7 line to the far West Side.

Another $1.45 billion earmarked in the plan hinges on passage of a $2.9 billion transportation bond act that will go before voters in November.


The capital program had been stalled for weeks over negotiations to require contractors using non-union workers on public-works projects to pay prevailing union wages.

NewYorkYankee
July 14th, 2005, 07:15 PM
Im suprised Silver didnt get the 7 exstension cut out. Any thoughts on when these projects could start?

Pottebaum
July 14th, 2005, 07:36 PM
Could Sivler still fight the 7 line extension--or is this the end of that debate?

NewYorkYankee
July 14th, 2005, 07:48 PM
I would assume its the end. Due to the fact he had to vote to approve the plan.

Pottebaum
July 14th, 2005, 08:06 PM
^Makes sense I guess. lol

But, if that one 2.9 billion dollar bond doesn't get approved by the voters, how would that affect the 2nd avenue subway, 7 line extension, and eastside access?

Read this article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/14/nyregion/14bond.html

"The board, the Capital Program Review Board, unanimously approved a large chunk of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's plan for $21.1 billion worth of construction and repair projects. And it allowed the Transportation Bond Act, which would pay for $2.9 billion worth of borrowing, to go before voters in November. Half of the bond act money would help pay for authority projects like the Second Avenue subway, a connection between the Long Island Rail Road and Grand Central Terminal, and a direct rail link from Lower Manhattan to Kennedy International Airport."

NewYorkYankee
July 14th, 2005, 08:12 PM
Accord Reached on Transportation Spending Plan

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By AL BAKER
Published: July 14, 2005
ALBANY, July 13 - State leaders settled their differences over how to pay workers on state transportation projects on Wednesday, clearing the way for a state board to approve a five-year capital plan for billions of dollars worth of projects.

The board, the Capital Program Review Board, unanimously approved a large chunk of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's plan for $21.1 billion worth of construction and repair projects. And it allowed the Transportation Bond Act, which would pay for $2.9 billion worth of borrowing, to go before voters in November. Half of the bond act money would help pay for authority projects like the Second Avenue subway, a connection between the Long Island Rail Road and Grand Central Terminal, and a direct rail link from Lower Manhattan to Kennedy International Airport.

As is customary in Albany, officials from the Pataki administration and the Legislature also signed off on a similar five-year capital plan for the State Department of Transportation, said the acting commissioner, Thomas J. Madison Jr.

The action means that state elected officials, as well as union leaders who fought for union-rate wages for workers on transportation projects, can promote the bond act and begin campaigning for it in earnest, something Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has said is crucial considering how a previous transportation bond act was rejected by voters and criticized for being too nonspecific.

"It will be a shot in the arm for the state economy," said Mr. Spitzer, who had stressed the importance of adhering to the state's prevailing wage law when public money is used.

The standoff over transportation spending had stalled dozens of projects around the state, from a plan to rehabilitate the Tillary Street ramp onto the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to replacing two bridges over creeks in Delaware County. And because many projects could not be officially awarded until the plan was approved, officials feared that some bidders would withdraw their bids and come back with higher costs.

Francis X. McArdle, the managing director of the General Contractors Association, said the delay had taken a toll. "Very simply put, a lot of people haven't gone to work," he said.

The deal came a day before Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky, a Westchester County Democrat, was to hold a public hearing to discuss what he said was the "enormous economic dislocation" caused by the delay. News of a deal prompted Mr. Brodsky to cancel his hearing.

Elliot Sander, the director of the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at New York University, said, "Several key transit and highway projects that were stalled can now proceed."

He said that the transportation authority's chairman, Peter S. Kalikow, must now decide whether to award the first construction contracts for the East Side access project, to bring the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Station, and whether to proceed on the final design for the first segment of the Second Avenue subway. Mr. Sander said the authority would now go to Washington to try to "nail down" a commitment of several billion dollars in federal money for the big projects.

NewYorkYankee
July 14th, 2005, 08:13 PM
But, if that one 2.9 billion dollar bond doesn't get approved by the voters, how would that affect the 2nd avenue subway, 7 line extension, and eastside access?


I would assume that it will just take a bit longer for these projects to move forward.

pianoman11686
July 14th, 2005, 09:11 PM
Not necessarily. "A bit longer" sounds like an understatement. A few things still have to fall in place, one of them being federal support. Also, the vote is important to the timing, because as the NYTimes article points out, a previous transportation bond act was rejected which ended up causing delays. I also read that the money designated for the three main projects - 2nd Ave. Subway, LIRR link to GCT, and the rail link to JFK - amounted to only 2.5 billion. The 7 extension alone will cost 2 billion, so that gives you an idea of how far 2.5 billion will go. The MTA was hoping for 8 billion.

Pottebaum
July 14th, 2005, 10:58 PM
^I'm not sure, but I think the 2.5 billion was solely for the LIRR connection to Grand Central. The second avenue subway appears to be covered, and the plan calls for the city to shell out 2 billion for the 7 line extension--which they appear ready to do.

pianoman11686
July 14th, 2005, 11:06 PM
I never said the 7 extension wouldn't be covered. That expense is being taken on by the city, not the state, that's why it wasn't directly addressed in this capital program. I am pretty sure about the other three major projects getting only 2.5 billion. I'm gonna try to find some info to corroborate.

pianoman11686
July 14th, 2005, 11:08 PM
Here's an article:

MTA $21B plan clouds 2nd Ave. line

BY PETE DONOHUE
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

A four-member Albany panel approved an MTA capital plan last night that leaves the timing of three major expansion projects, including the Second Ave. subway, in doubt.

The Capital Program Review Board - with representatives from the Pataki administration, the Legislature and the mayor's office - approved a $21.1 billion plan that envisions only $2.5 billion for the three main projects: the Second Ave. subway, a Long Island Rail Road connection to Grand Central Terminal and a Kennedy Airport rail link to downtown Manhattan. The MTA had sought nearly $8 billion.

The five-year plan hinges on major assumptions, including that voters will approve a bond act in November that would funnel $1.45 billion to theMetropolitan Transportation Authority.

MTA officials previously have said that unless the state and feds come up with more funding for the expansion, the hoped-for completion dates of the first leg of the Second Ave. line and the Grand Central extension - 2012 - will be pushed back.

The plan also includes $2 billion for the extension of the No. 7 line, to be funded by the city.

But MTA Chairman Peter Kalikow last night focused on the positive - $16 billion for the "core program," which involves critical maintenance and upgrades, and includes the purchase of new subway cars, buses and the total rehabilitation of 44 subway stations.

"All of New York benefits from a superior public transportation system, and this capital plan will allow the MTA to continue to offer New Yorkers the best service in the world," he said in a statement.

Copyright 2005 The New York Daily News

peterd
July 16th, 2005, 04:53 PM
There are millions of residents of Queens and Brooklyn (and Long Island) who find the current AirTrain arrangement far more convenient than a Manhattan-only ride would have been. Finally, the Outer Boroughs get some love!

And it's not like a direct-to-Manhattan train would be a "one seat" ride for most people anyway. I mean, it's not like the AirTrain just dumps you in Jamaica or Howard Beach with nowhere to go - you get on the subway to your final destination, just like you'd probably have to do if the AirTrain did go to Penn Station or Lower Manhattan. (If you're on the Upper East Side, is Lower Manhattan *really* more convenient than Jamaica? Not at all.)

pianoman11686
July 18th, 2005, 12:31 AM
Transportation Bond Proposal Will Be on November Ballot

By SEWELL CHAN

Published: July 18, 2005

While few voters may be aware of it, a $2.9 billion bond measure will be on the ballot across New York State in November, and officials at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority are already describing it as crucial to the future of the mass transit system.

Gov. George E. Pataki and the leaders of both houses of the Legislature cleared the way last week for a five-year, $35.8 billion capital plan that includes money for mass transit as well as for highways, bridges, canals and other elements of the transportation infrastructure.

Under the plan, state voters will be asked to vote on a borrowing measure, the Rebuild and Renew New York Transportation Bond Act, in the general election on Nov. 8.

Half of the money, $1.45 billion, would go to the transportation authority for a variety of building projects and new equipment, including new subway cars and buses as well as trains for the authority's two commuter railroads.

The authority's share of the bond proceeds would also provide $450 million each to two major projects - the first segment of a Second Avenue subway and a link between the Long Island Rail Road and Grand Central Terminal - and $100 million to continue planning a direct rail link between Lower Manhattan and Kennedy International Airport.

The other half of the money from the bonds would go to the State Department of Transportation for highway and bridge improvements, and also to finance projects like repairs to freight railroad lines and improvements to airport security.

Whether the bond measure will be approved, however, is far from certain.

Transportation advocates are still smarting from the defeat of a $3.8 billion transportation bond act in 2000. The measure received strong support from New York City voters, but was overwhelmingly rejected upstate.

Republicans who supported the 2000 measure were reluctant to promote it enthusiastically for fear that higher turnout in the New York City area would help Hillary Rodham Clinton in her Senate race .

The state's Conservative Party financed advertisements calling the 2000 measure a giveaway for the Second Avenue subway plan. The Citizens Budget Commission, a fiscal watchdog group, criticized the measure as irresponsible, because it would have increased state debt. Neither organization has taken a position yet on the new bond issue.

Supporters of the measure say they believe the political situation this year is different. They argue that the mayoral race could mean that the city's voters will be disproportionately represented as a share of all state voters, although several upstate cities, including Buffalo and Binghamton, also have mayoral contests.

Last week, Eliot Spitzer, the state attorney general and a Democratic candidate for governor in 2006, announced his support for the measure.

The defeat of the 2000 bond act forced the authority to borrow heavily itself to finance its capital program for 2000 to 2004. "People realize that much more is at stake this time," said a leading transportation advocate, Elliot G. Sander, the director of the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at New York University. "The financing for the last program was horrific and put the M.T.A. in bad financial straits."

A loose coalition of politicians, labor groups and associations of construction and engineering firms has begun a series of strategy meetings to organize a campaign for the measure, although the supporters concede that most voters will probably not start to focus on any ballot measures until Labor Day.

"We're not taking for granted anyone's vote," said Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky, a Westchester County Democrat, who is chairman of the committee that oversees state authorities. "The lessons of the failure of 2000 have been learned."

State Senator Thomas W. Libous, a Broome County Republican, who is chairman of the Transportation Committee, said that supporters must make clear the projected benefits from transportation spending. "The average voter felt that more money was going, in 2000, to a subway project rather than roads and bridges in their area," he said.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

pianoman11686
July 18th, 2005, 01:25 AM
This better get approved. I'm getting sick and tired of the "equal treatment of upstate" attitude, which seems to be stalling a lot of progress in New York. Even if it does go through, however, the money being talked about is a mere pittance, relatively speaking. 450 million is less than a quarter of what either East Side Access or the Second Avenue Subway would cost. It's a start though. The 100 million for the JFK rail link is just laughable, although I feel as if the bulk of the money will be coming from the Feds. The underlying theme still continues - that is, that the MTA will never escape its debt and get the transit system running at an impressive level unless a drastic change is made in determining funding for these projects, big and small. I know this means some fare increases, but I'm also thinking of using some of the surpluses from real estate taxes to fund some of the more visionary, long-term projects. In any case, this bond proposal is a start.

On a different and somewhat off-topic note: Can someone please explain to me why Pataki's roaming around Iowa? If he's traveling anywhere out of state, it should be Washington, for crying out loud. Get us the money for our transit projects, and then worry about your bid for President.

Pottebaum
July 18th, 2005, 08:26 PM
Isn't part of the 2nd avenue subway and LIRR connection already covered by the capital plan approved last week?

lofter1
July 18th, 2005, 09:01 PM
Can someone please explain to me why Pataki's roaming around Iowa?

Because he's a whore (oops, I meant to say politician, but refrained from using that word in case it offends anyone).

He's got to raise some cash and Iowa is at the top of the pay-him-to-run list.

pianoman11686
July 18th, 2005, 10:56 PM
Isn't part of the 2nd avenue subway and LIRR connection already covered by the capital plan approved last week?

Okay, hopefully this clears a few things up, as I've noticed that some of the newspaper reports are a little confusing. I found this at the New York State Department of Transportation website. It comes directly from the governor's office (http://www.state.ny.us/governor/press/year05/july13_2_05.htm):

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Program -- $17.9 billion

$17.9 billion for public transit systems of the MTA, including New York City Transit, the Long Island RailRoad, and Metro-North Railroad

The MTA Capital Program will invest $14.85 billion on core system improvements to enhance the reliability and quality of transportation systems through ongoing repairs, and the renewal and improvement of the MTA's existing infrastructure. The program also includes $2.5 billion to advance the design and construction of several major projects that will expand the transit network. Further, the program invests $495 million on security to allow the MTA to complete the protection of its assets, which was begun in its last capital campaign. The Bond Act provides $1.45 billion to support these program efforts.

If approved by voters in November, the Bond Act funding will be used for:

DOT Projects:

$1.13 billion for state highway and bridge projects;
$50 million for non-MTA lines;
$50 million for Canals;
$76 million for aviation; and
$135 million for rail and port improvements.
MTA Projects:

$450 million for East Side Access;
$450 million for the 2nd Avenue Subway;
$100 million for the JFK Rail Link; and
$450 million for Core Infrastructure Needs.

I don't know why there is such a big discrepancy between what the newspapers report and what is stated here. The capital program provides only 17.9 billion for the MTA, total. 14.85 billion of that is for maintenance. That leaves 3.05 billion leftover. 2.5 billion of that is for the new projects. 495 million is for security upgrades. 10 million is left over for some reason.
Enter the 2.9 billion Bond Act. Only half of that, 1.45 billion, goes towards the MTA. 450 million each goes toward East Side Access, 2nd Avenue Subway, and Core Infrastructure needs. 100 million goes towards the JFK Rail Link. The sum of these four is 1.45 billion. That's all there is to it. If the bond act is defeated, there is still the 2.5 billion in state funding set aside towards these four projects. The distribution of this 2.5 billion among the major projects has not been delineated. However, I am pretty sure that East Side Access alone would cost 2.5 billion to construct. That said, I am unaware of other funding separately agreed on for the 2nd Avenue Subway and East Side Access. I'll try to find that out. As of now, the MTA has 2.5 billion to play with for new projects. It may get another 1.45 billion. Still, 3.95 billion is not that much when you consider the massive scale of these projects.

pianoman11686
July 19th, 2005, 01:23 AM
Here's some more clarification from the NY Times, but no mention of the large projects:

Work Covered by Transportation Bond Act Is Listed

By SEWELL CHAN

Published: July 19, 2005

The Pataki administration has released the full list of 3,414 road, bridge and highway projects that would be partly financed by a $2.9 billion transportation bond act that will go before New York State voters in November.

Half of the money would go to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and the other half to the State Department of Transportation. The last statewide transportation bond act, which would have raised $3.8 billion, was rejected by voters in 2000.

In New York City, the major projects include:

¶$286 million to replace the Willis Avenue Bridge between the Bronx and Manhattan.

¶$149.2 million to replace a bridge on the Bronx River Parkway that runs over East 180th Street and East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx.

¶$148.4 million to replace interchange ramps on the Alexander Hamilton and High Bridges between Manhattan and the Bronx.

¶$141.1 million to rehabilitate the deck of the Gowanus Expressway in Brooklyn from 24th Street to 52nd Street and from Prospect Avenue to the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel.

¶$81.3 million, as part of $171 million in total financing, to improve the Kew Gardens interchange, which links the Van Wyck Expressway, the Jackie Robinson Parkway and the Grand Central Parkway in Queens.

For Long Island, the bond act would include $60.5 million to widen, and build an interchange on, Route 110 in Huntington; $57.2 million to reconstruct Route 112 in Brookhaven; and $50 million for improvements to the Nassau Expressway and the Southern State Parkway. The act also would provide $45.1 million toward a $110 million rail and highway freight terminal in Brentwood.

In Westchester, the projects include $91 million for reconstruction of Interstate 287 in Harrison and $60.6 million for safety improvements on that road from Greenburgh to White Plains.

Gov. George E. Pataki and leaders of the Legislature gave final approval to the bond proposal last week.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

pianoman11686
July 22nd, 2005, 01:41 AM
Hevesi Blocks Transportation Borrowing Plan

By AL BAKER and MICHAEL COOPER

Published: July 22, 2005

ALBANY, July 21 - State Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi Thursday canceled the Pataki administration's plan to refinance $2.9 billion worth of transportation bonds. The move cast doubt on part of a multibillion-dollar plan for transportation projects across the state and signaled the comptroller's resolve to curb the state's expensive borrowing habits.

The comptroller's decision led the Pataki administration to stop awarding new transportation contracts throughout New York until the state's entire transportation plan could be reviewed, and state transportation officials called Mr. Hevesi's move "an 11th-hour power grab."

In canceling the scheduled pricing of the bonds on Wall Street, Mr. Hevesi, a Democrat, said the deal originally proposed by Gov. George E. Pataki, a Republican, would have broken a basic rule of prudent financing: it would have added huge costs in future years in exchange for limited savings today. His aides said it was akin to paying interest only on a house mortgage without paying down principal.

But officials in the Pataki administration questioned Mr. Hevesi's numbers and said he was overstepping his authority by wrongly trying to seize policy-making control from the governor and the Legislature, an accusation Mr. Hevesi disputed. The administration officials charged that the comptroller's move would prove "potentially devastating" to the state's vast transportation network.

The ensuing battle over the debt cast some doubt on the state's ambitious plans to spend $35.8 billion on transportation projects over the next five years, with half the money going to improvements to roads and bridges and other parts of the transportation system across New York, and half going to projects at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The Pataki administration wanted to refinance old transportation bonds and use the short-term savings - $1.3 billion over the next five years - to help pay for a $17.9 billion plan to improve roads and bridges across the state. But Mr. Hevesi warned that those upfront savings would come at a cost: large payments would come due beginning in 2011, burdening future taxpayers with an additional $460 million in debt service. So, after months of warning, he moved to block the plan.

Senior Pataki administration budget officials disputed his analysis and said that by their count, the refinancing would save $30 million.

On one side, aides to the governor said that without the money, the five-year plan would have to be rethought, at least regarding how it is paid for, even though it had just been completed after delicate and complicated talks among lawmakers with competing interests. The governor's budget director, John F. Cape, said in an interview that the comptroller's move could complicate a separate $2.9 billion transportation bond act that depends on voter approval in November, because some projects it would pay for are tied to the overall five-year plan.

On the other side, Mr. Hevesi and Assembly Democrats stressed that the $1.3 billion - spread over five years - was a relatively small portion of the overall transportation plan, and that the state has five years to make up the difference by spending the surplus it is projecting this year, spending reserve funds or refinancing the debt under better terms, among other options.

"Some people will be tempted, and I'm anticipating this, to go public and say there's a series of projects that will be killed as a result of the actions we're taking," Mr. Hevesi said. "If somebody tells you that, you can look them in the eye and say, 'It's not true.' "

His move to block the sale reverberated in Albany, while lawmakers were on vacation for the summer, and stirred an increasingly contentious feud between the governor, a three-term Republican who is nursing national presidential ambitions, and Mr. Hevesi, who is increasingly flexing his legal power over financial issues in the state and is politically aligned with the man who wants to replace the governor, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. (Mr. Pataki vetoed a bill Tuesday that would have given Mr. Hevesi greater flexibility in investing the state's pension funds.)

It is the first time that Mr. Hevesi, who has repeatedly given warnings about the state's debt load, has stepped in to stop a bond sale.

The state's acting transportation commissioner, Thomas J. Madison Jr., and the executive director of the State Thruway Authority, Michael R. Fleischer, issued a joint statement claiming that the comptroller's action would "jeopardize New York's ability to attract and retain businesses and jobs that are critical to our future."

Financial watchdogs praised Mr. Hevesi's move. Edmund J. McMahon Jr., director of the Empire Center for New York State Policy, part of the Manhattan Institute, a conservative policy research group, said it would amount to "yanking the rug out from under" the state's overall transportation plan, which he said should go "back to the drawing board."

"In pragmatic terms, I think it will cast a pall over the bond act and the entire capital plan, and it should," Mr. McMahon said. "The reason the Legislature and the governor resorted to this questionable tactic is because the plan has got more in it than they can afford."

But Mr. Hevesi said he favors the bond act that goes before voters in November and repeatedly stressed that his action would not imperil it. But given the sensitivities involved - the insistence of upstate lawmakers that all money for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority be matched in spending on upstate projects - a change to any one part of the plan could ripple through the entire process.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

BrooklynRider
July 22nd, 2005, 10:39 AM
All of this debt got us to where we are with the MTA "fiscal crisis" today. I vote "NO" on every initiative.

pianoman11686
July 23rd, 2005, 12:44 AM
It's How You Do the Math, Analysts Say of Bond Issue

By AL BAKER

Published: July 23, 2005

ALBANY, July 22 - Behind the increasingly personal fight between Gov. George E. Pataki and State Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi over a proposal to refinance $2.9 billion worth of transportation bonds is a question of math, although perhaps not a simple one.

It boils down to whether the refinancing would cost taxpayers an extra $460 million, as the comptroller says, or save them $30 million, as the governor says.

The comptroller, a Democrat, has called the plan proposed by the Republican governor a "fiscal gimmick." He said that the refinancing would mean $1.3 billion in upfront savings, which is earmarked to help build and improve bridges, roads, rail service, ports and related facilities, but that huge payments would come due in the future that would add up to a $460 million hit to taxpayers. So on Thursday the comptroller moved to block the deal, and no progress was reported on resolving the dispute on Friday.

The Pataki administration countered that Mr. Hevesi was "playing politics on this issue" in retribution for the governor's veto of a bill that would have given Mr. Hevesi more flexibility in investing state pension funds, which the comptroller denies. The administration said the comptroller's decision led it to stop awarding new transportation projects, but maintained that rather than costing extra money, the refinancing plan would save $30 million over the life of the loan.

So who is right? It depends on how you count.

On Friday, the comptroller's office stood behind its math and said the refinancing plan would save $1.312 billion in the first five years, mainly by deferring payments of principal for five years. But then, like a balloon, it would increase debt service costs by $1.772 billion from 2011 to 2025, the remaining 15 years. The burden to future taxpayers would be an additional $460 million in debt service. The office also said the average life of the bonds was being increased.

Aides to the governor disputed that analysis. They said that because inflation shrinks the value of today's dollars over time, the larger payments in the future would be worth less than the upfront savings, resulting in the $30 million in savings.

Citing the "time value of money," the governor's budget director, John F. Cape, said that any other way to do the calculations amounts to "simplistic math." He added, "You cannot just make up your own rules about how to measure it." The comptroller acknowledged that under the governor's theory, the $30 million figure could be correct, but he cautioned, "This savings could easily evaporate based on assumptions used and market conditions."

The fight cast doubt on a part of a multibillion-dollar plan for transportation projects across the state. Mr. Hevesi said the anticipated upfront savings of $1.3 billion could be made up easily over five years, taking money from what he said was an anticipated surplus of $600 million this year.

But Michael Marr, a spokesman for the State Division of the Budget, said the surplus estimated by the comptroller "is just plain wrong." He added, "It's shocking that he wants to raid the state's fiscal reserves to fund the fiscal hole that he himself has now created."

Jeffrey Gordon, a spokesman for Mr. Hevesi, said the $600 million figure came from the governor. "We don't make up numbers," he said. "It's his number."

Unions are intently watching the battle. Denis M. Hughes, the president of the New York State A.F.L.-C.I.O., said he hoped cooler heads would prevail. Francis X. McArdle, the managing director of the General Contractors Association of New York, said, "On the merits, the comptroller is right," since the refinancing plan would mean "less money for real work" in the future.

As lawmakers, their staffs and independent budget analysts surveyed the fallout and made calculations, several officials said it matters not so much who is right, but how the fight can be resolved so that construction on the transportation projects can begin.

"You can spin it any way you want," said a legislative official who insisted on anonymity for fear of scuttling the negotiations to solve the dispute. "They could both be right or they could both be wrong, but the thing is it is irrelevant at this point. What is real is that there is six billion dollars in projects that are in jeopardy if this does not go through."

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

pianoman11686
July 24th, 2005, 12:44 AM
Smoother Rides for All New Yorkers

Published: July 24, 2005

Five years ago, state voters rejected a transportation bond issue mainly because upstate residents thought it was skewed to help New York City. State politicians now appear ready to do a better job of selling the needs of downstate transit by stressing the parallel needs of upstate transit. They will ask voters to approve a $2.9 billion bond package in November that would balance $1.45 billion for the New York City area with another $1.45 billion for the rest of the state.

It could be argued that a bond issue favoring the metropolitan rail and subway system would yield important benefits to New Yorkers elsewhere in the state, including its northernmost reaches. The city, after all, funnels considerable revenue into state coffers, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority moves the workers needed to keep the city's economic engine humming. But that argument does not sit well upstate, especially in communities where people work hard for the minimum wage and think a $2 cup of coffee is for spoiled city spendthrifts.

To bolster support outside the city, the state's transportation department has put out a five-year capital plan - a wish list that runs over 120 pages. The plan includes money for bike paths and pedestrian walkways from Buffalo to Nassau County and for bridge repairs over upstate streams. Upstate's vital arteries, its roads and highways, would also get a healthy share of the pot. Not all of this can be accomplished, even with $1.45 billion, but the bonds would certainly help.

At the same time, money from the bond issue would shore up the authority's capital plan with $900 million for the Second Avenue subway and another $900 million for the link between the Long Island Rail Road and Grand Central Terminal.

The one rub is that the plan would spend an additional $100 million on further study of what would be a very expensive rail link between Lower Manhattan and Kennedy International Airport. That study may well confirm what most people suspect: that downtowners should instead be able to take the PATH train swiftly and directly to Newark Liberty International Airport.

But none of this work will be done unless voters approve the bond issue in November. There is always concern that upstate voters will take one look at the request, even though it is way down on the ballot, and just vote no. To avoid that slippage, Gov. George E. Pataki and powerful upstate Republicans must campaign openly for this bond issue, not pretend, as they sometimes do, that it is not there.

The measure should of course be an easy call for the metropolitan area. The defeat of the bond issue five years ago contributed greatly to the authority's recent financial problems. And other proposals floating around that would use federal money to underwrite the authority's borrowing needs have the feel of a high-interest credit card that makes you pay for 10 sofas on top of the one you actually bought.

The bond issue, by contrast, is a prudent, straightforward and transparent strategy that should help move the authority to more solid financial ground.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

BrooklynRider
July 25th, 2005, 11:28 AM
...The plan includes money for bike paths and pedestrian walkways from Buffalo to Nassau County...

How many people are walking or biking from Buffalo to Nassau County?

billyblancoNYC
July 25th, 2005, 01:55 PM
How many people are walking or biking from Buffalo to Nassau County?

Well, if you're really bored in Buffalo...

TonyO
July 26th, 2005, 01:19 PM
NY Daily News
7/26/05

2nd Ave. line faces 2-year delay - MTA

A top MTA official conceded yesterday that the agency's two major expansion projects - the Second Ave. subway and the LIRR extension - will be delayed at least two to three years.
Mysore Nagaraja, president of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Capital Construction Co., said the projects' slower pace is the result of the state's decision to scale back the MTA's 2005-2009 capital program.

It will be at least November before construction begins on the first leg of the Second Ave. subway, or work resumes on the Long Island Rail Road extension to Grand Central Terminal, Nagaraja said.

And that time line assumes voters approve a bond act in November authorizing the state to raise $2.9 billion for transportation projects.

Half the money would go to the MTA, including about $1 billion for the two expansion projects.

The MTA was hoping to have the first section of thenew subway line and the LIRR extension completed in 2012.

TonyO
July 26th, 2005, 10:03 PM
NY Times
July 27, 2005

Damaged Cars Hinder New York's Order for New Subways

By SEWELL CHAN

A $1.1 billion contract to build 660 subway cars for New York City has run into significant problems, including damage to two car shells during shipment from Brazil and a failure to order parts that must be installed before safety and mechanical tests can begin. The problems were made known this week in an internal report commissioned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

According to the report, the problems revolve around Alstom, a French conglomerate that was hired in 2002 to build 400 of the cars. Kawasaki, a Japanese company, is to build the remaining 260 cars.

Alstom was supposed to deliver by Friday a 10-car test train, which the authority plans to run for 14 months to allow engineers to identify mechanical or operating problems before construction on the rest of the order can begin. Alstom recently told the authority that it would miss the deadline and was granted a seven-week extension, until Sept. 16. Now it says it will need until Oct. 3, the report said. The delay will probably affect the delivery of the cars, which are supposed to be in use by August 2006.

The new cars are intended to replace decades-old models, some of which have become unreliable. In addition, officials disclosed this week that the authority had rejected car shells made in a plant in Lapa, Brazil, near São Paulo, after discovering welding defects. "The quality down there was very, very poor," the president of New York City Transit, Lawrence G. Reuter, said on Monday. "We just refused to accept them."

The Alstom cars are in the prototype phase, and it appears that the problems with them are not nearly as severe as, for example, those of the Grumman Flxible buses, which were withdrawn from service in 1984 after cracks were found in their undercarriages and steering columns. That transaction is still remembered as one of the authority's biggest contracting fiascoes.

The current problems represent a setback for the authority as it tries to maintain the momentum of a modernization program that began in 1982 and as it looks to state voters to approve a $2.9 billion transportation bond act in November. The delays also demonstrate the challenges the authority faces as it tries to monitor work by the specialized manufacturers that make rail equipment.

Months after Alstom won the contract in October 2002 - the French company paid former Senator Alfonse M. D'Amato to lobby for the contract, and other bidders also hired lobbyists - it signaled that it would go bankrupt without a government subsidy. The French government agreed to buy a stake in the industrial giant.

A spokesman for Alstom would not address any of the production problems described by the authority. The spokesman, Todd Harvey, did say yesterday that in June, the company accepted the resignation of Francis Jelensperger, a senior vice president for the United States, Canada and Mexico in Alstom's transport division.

The extent of the problems was described in a report last month by Carter & Burgess, an engineering consulting company that regularly reviews the progress of the authority's major building projects. The report, which was released on Monday, detailed problems in Alstom's performance over the past 18 months.

In early 2004, the company began making car shells at a new plant in Brazil, but welding problems were quickly discovered. Alstom, Kawasaki and New York City Transit sent experts to Brazil to "provide an analysis of the welding operation and make corrections to the process," the report said.

By the end of the year, most of the 10 car shells for the test train were complete and ready to be shipped to Alstom's 70,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Hornell, N.Y., about 70 miles south of Rochester.

The shipments did not go smoothly. In December, one car shell was hit by a crane, and in February, a second shell was damaged during loading. Alstom, which agreed to pay to replace the damaged shells, requested and received the seven-week extension.

But more problems were soon discovered at the Hornell plant. Windowpanes, ceiling panels and brake resistors, used to slow down the train, did not fit properly. The window problems were discovered when the test cars were sprayed with water, which seeped in.

In addition, Alstom had delayed the creation of a purchasing unit to order specialized components. The Carter & Burgess report was particularly critical of this delay.

"This is disturbing, as many critical activities such as first-article inspections, testing and watertightness tests cannot be done, will soon stack up the schedule and are difficult to mitigate," the engineers wrote. "These component issues are not easily resolvable by adding production personnel or adding a second shift to production."

Mr. Reuter and his top deputy for subways, Michael A. Lombardi, spoke on Monday at a meeting of the capital program oversight committee of the authority's board.

Mr. Lombardi told the committee that Alstom had "underestimated the difficulty of producing these cars." Asked by a committee member if the transit agency would consider voiding the contract, he replied, "We're a little disappointed in Alstom, but not to the point where we're thinking of defaulting them."

The other construction company, Kawasaki, has met its contract requirements so far, according to the report. Tests were completed at the manufacturing site in Kobe, Japan, in May, and Kawasaki's 10-car prototype is expected to be delivered by Friday.

The new cars are supposed to last up to 40 years.

The 660-car contract with Alstom and Kawasaki includes two optional extensions, for a total of 912 cars, that could bring the size of the contract to $2.3 billion. Officials said it was too soon to know whether the authority would exercise those options.

pianoman11686
July 27th, 2005, 10:07 PM
M.T.A. Projects Surplus of $833 Million

By SEWELL CHAN

Published: July 27, 2005

Buoyed by a surge in tax revenue, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced today that it would have an unexpected surplus of $833 million this year and that it would consider using the money to create a giant platform over its West Side railyard in Manhattan on which a developer could build offices and apartment towers.

The authority would, in effect, enter the field of real estate development.

The surplus represents a remarkable reversal of fortunes for the authority, which in February had projected a tiny surplus for the year and large deficits starting next year. It now predicts that tax revenue and lower-than-expected costs in servicing its debt will add $493 million to the authority's coffers by December. The authority, however, did not revise its plans to increase fares and tolls in 2007 and 2009.

The authority conceded that an earlier plan to sell the railyard rights to the Jets to build a football stadium was, for all practical purposes, dead.

But its executive director, Katherine N. Lapp, said that with a platform over the train yard, control of the 13-acre site could be sold to a developer for several billion dollars, which would pay for the authority's construction and renovation projects.

A platform would create one of the biggest undeveloped parcels of land in Manhattan, and Ms. Lapp said it would allow a wide array of bidders to compete for the development rights.

"There are a confluence of circumstances that I would argue exist once in a lifetime," she said. "This is like Lincoln Center in the 50's or Rockefeller Center in the 20's. It's creative. It's bold."

Ms. Lapp also presented a more conservative alternative: Using $481 million to pay down part of the authority's $2.2 billion unfunded pension liability that accrued over decades. That plan would save the $38 million in annual pension plan contributions.

A small part of the surplus, $12 million, will be used for immediate improvements in service and security, in a reflection of recent concerns about subway delays and the possibility of a terrorist attack.

The authority announced it would spend $6.5 million a year on an "intensive cleaning initiative" for subway stations, tracks an equipment; $3 million to add morning and early afternoon service on the Long Island Rail Road and late-night service on the Metro-North Railroad, and $300,000 to improve rail and bus connections for Staten Island commuters.

The authority, responding to two attacks this month on London's transit system, also plans to add $10 million a year in security spending. The money will pay for police overtime, a public awareness campaign and additional platform conductors, who are trained to evacuate riders onto the tracks in an emergency.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

ZippyTheChimp
July 28th, 2005, 06:51 AM
July 28, 2005
Transit Surplus Announced, Along With Plan to Spend It

By SEWELL CHAN (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=SEWELL CHAN&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=SEWELL CHAN&inline=nyt-per) and CHARLES V. BAGLI (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=CHARLES V. BAGLI&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=CHARLES V. BAGLI&inline=nyt-per)

Buoyed by an unexpected surge in tax revenue, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced yesterday that it would have a surplus of $833 million this year and that it would consider using the money to create a giant platform over its West Side railyards, which it could then sell to developers for office and apartment towers.

Despite the surplus, the authority indicated that it still planned to raise fares and tolls in 2007 and 2009.

The windfall represents a remarkable - but probably short-lived - reversal of fortunes for the authority, which in February had projected a tiny surplus for the year and large deficits starting next year. It now predicts that a combination of soaring tax revenue and low interest rates will add $493 million, all of it not previously anticipated, to its coffers by December.

The authority also agreed to negotiate with the developer Forest City Ratner on its plans for a basketball arena and apartment buildings at another railyard it owns in Downtown Brooklyn. (Related Article (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/28/nyregion/28atlantic.html))

After months at the center of one of the city's most contentious land-use disputes in decades, the authority conceded yesterday that its earlier plan to sell the West Side railyard rights to the Jets to build a stadium was, for practical purposes, dead.

Now, instead of looking for a developer with the resources and confidence to invest an estimated $350 million and nearly three years to build the platform, the authority is looking to do the job itself. Doing so would attract more bidders for the property and, presumably, a higher price.

But that could be a controversial strategy in an election year. The City Council speaker, Gifford Miller, who is running for mayor, called on the authority to use the surplus to avert or reduce the projected fare increases. "The M.T.A. should put first things first: making the trains run on time, not building a new headquarters," he said.

The authority's executive director, Katherine N. Lapp, said that with a platform over the train yards, control of the 13-acre site could be sold to a developer for $1 billion or more. The money would finance construction and renovation projects in the authority's subway, bus and commuter railroad networks.

"There are a confluence of circumstances that I would argue exist once in a lifetime," Ms. Lapp said, comparing the proposal to the development of Rockefeller Center in the 1930's and Lincoln Center in the 1960's. "It's creative. It's bold."

Under the plan, the authority would also build a new headquarters building on the platform, allowing it to vacate and then sell its current headquarters in three buildings on Madison Avenue. The site, between 44th and 45th Streets, sits in the city's premier office district.

Ms. Lapp also presented a more fiscally conservative alternative to the real estate proposal: Using $481 million - the $493 million in unexpected surplus, minus $12 million for security and service improvements - to pay down part of a $2.2 billion unfunded pension liability that accrued over decades. That plan would save $38 million in annual pension-plan contributions.

The development proposal is riskier, but it could be a lucrative move, and it appears to be entirely within the authority's powers. Experts said it would not require legislative approval. Ms. Lapp said the authority would work closely with the city to determine the best uses for the site, which is in a neighborhood of brick warehouses, tenements and factories that was recently rezoned to allow for larger buildings.

Most of the $833 million projected surplus can be attributed to two sources. The authority expects to collect $365 million more than it predicted in February from taxes on mortgage recordings and on the transfer of commercial properties. It also has identified $128 million in unexpected savings on debt service, because interest rates have remained low. The rest of the surplus comes from a combination of new state revenues, restated financial results and other accounting adjustments.

Neither phenomenon is expected to last, and the authority projects that its revenue from taxes and subsidies will be largely flat through 2009. "These transactional taxes are extremely unstable," said the city's budget director, Mark Page, who sits on the board. "These things historically are always cyclical. It is extremely hard to predict when the cycle is going to turn down on you."

The authority expects a deficit of $194 million in 2007, rising steeply to $1.5 billion in 2009 without planned fare increases and budget cuts.

The city has committed $2 billion to extend the No. 7 subway line from Times Square to 11th Avenue and 34th Street, across the street from the railyards and at one end of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. In building a new headquarters, the authority could use its power to override local zoning laws and avoid the city's lengthy review process.

News of the surplus and of the authority's proposals appeared to take city officials by surprise. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was circumspect about the windfall.

"Nobody is going to build anything on the West Side without the city being part of it," he said. "Nobody's sure yet what will go over there."

Another mayoral candidate, Fernando Ferrer, asked, "Why is the M.T.A. sitting on piles of money while New York City subways remain vulnerable to terrorist attack and in need of basic repair?"

In 2003, the authority raised the cost of a base ride to $2 from $1.50, and this year, it raised the price of unlimited-ride fare cards. Asked if any part of the surplus should be used to avoid future fare increases, the authority's chairman, Peter S. Kalikow, was noncommittal. "There are 25 things we're talking about, that possibly being one of them," he said, referring to the proposal. "The plan is just for information."

A longtime advocate for subway riders, Gene Russianoff of the New York Public Interest Research Group, seemed positive about the idea, saying it was "worth debating."

Robert D. Yaro, the president of the Regional Plan Association, a major civic organization, said he expected a vigorous debate on the proposals. "Whether or not the M.T.A. is going to become a quasi-developer is a very important issue," he said. "There is a visceral sense that we want their time and energy focused on running a transit system, not developing real property - but if that's the only way to maximize the value of their assets, it's something we should look at."

A small part of this year's surplus, $12 million, will be used for immediate improvements in service and security, in a reflection of recent concerns about subway delays and the possibility of a terrorist attack.

The authority announced that it would spend $2 million this year to begin an "intensive cleaning initiative" for subway stations, tracks and equipment; to add morning and early afternoon service on the Long Island Rail Road and late-night service on the Metro-North Railroad, and to improve rail and bus connections for Staten Island commuters.

The authority also plans to add $10 million this year in security spending. The money will pay for police overtime, a public awareness campaign and more platform conductors, who are trained to evacuate riders onto the tracks in an emergency.

Jim Rutenberg contributed reporting for this article.



Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

NoyokA
July 28th, 2005, 11:05 AM
This is a pipedream of mine but I would like to see cross-town connections at 125th street and 34th street, both are already established as two of the major thoroughfares in Manhattan and a subway line would not only solidify this but with have effects on the areas nearby these already established thoroughfares.

debris
July 28th, 2005, 12:09 PM
I've thought about this, too. Let's say East Side Access happens, someday. Then half of LIRR trains will be diverted to Grand Central, freeing up 50% of capacity from the LIRR East River tunnels to Penn Station. So you run a subway from Jamaica to Long Island City along the Montauk branch, through the East River tunnel, and along 33rd street to Penn Station. Then, potentially along the West Side tracks used by Amtrak's Empire Express, up to 59th and 11th avenue. Presto, a 33rd street crosstown subway. Amtrak and LIRR would continue to use the tunnel from the East River to Penn Station along 32nd street.

As for 125th, that's easy. The SAS is planned to turn west from 116th and 2nd avenue to 125th and Lex for its last stop. Its already headed in that direction, so just run it to 8th avenue, where it connects to the 8th avenue line. This would allow for creative possibilities as the A,B,C,D and SAS trains head uptown and to the Bronx.

I LOVE THE SOCCER
July 30th, 2005, 11:22 AM
Is it true that this year there will be a late night service on the Metro North Railroad?

TonyO
August 12th, 2005, 09:13 AM
NYNewsday

Cortlandt St. subway station to close for 6 months

BY JOSHUA ROBIN
STAFF WRITER

August 11, 2005, 6:15 PM EDT


The Cortlandt Street subway station in Lower Manhattan will close for six months beginning Aug. 20, NYC Transit announced yesterday.

The move is needed to construct an underpass to connect a new $785 million MTA Fulton Street transit center with a new PATH Station at the World Trade Center site, according to the agency, an arm of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The station serves the R and W lines and is located at the intersection of Trinity Place and Cortlandt Street. Trains will bypass the station until next February.

The 14,585 passengers who use the station each weekday will instead be forced to use the nearby Rector Street, City Hall, World Trade Center, Fulton Street or Broadway-Nassau Street stops.

The underpass, expected to measure 150 feet, will cross the existing track and platform. During the closure, crews are also expected to widen the platforms in the station.

The Fulton Street Center is expected to open in December 2008. The $2.2 billion PATH terminal at the World Trade Center, designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, is to open in December 2009.

The upcoming closure will not be the first time the MTA shuttered the site. For about a year following the Sept. 11 attacks, crews had to renovate the damaged station. The Cortlandt Street Station on the No. 1 train, just west of the R/W station, has remained closed since the attacks.

TonyO
August 15th, 2005, 09:14 AM
Crain's
Editorial

NY Harbor tunnel a drain on worthier transit projects

By Greg David
Published on August 15, 2005


Last year, a member of the city's congressional delegation was discussing his efforts to secure more federal funds for the many big infrastructure projects on the region's agenda. This congressman admitted that he saw no value in West Side Congressman Jerrold Nadler's dream to build a freight tunnel under New York Harbor.

"I am not going to tell Jerry that," he said. "If I did, Jerry would try to eliminate my projects.


The passage of the recent $286.4 billion highway and transit bill in Congress shows how deeply that attitude has taken hold in Washington. Rather than bringing more aid to New York, such political logrolling threatens the region's most important projects.

Take Mr. Nadler's tunnel, which would put freight arriving at the port in New Jersey onto railroad cars, send it under the harbor to be unloaded in Maspeth, Queens, and then dispatched by truck to Long Island and New England.

The original motivation for Mr. Nadler and one-time supporter Rudy Giuliani was nostalgia: an effort to recreate a Brooklyn based on manufacturing and longshoremen's jobs. Since even Mr. Nadler now realizes those days are long gone, he's turned his scheme into a national security measure. He's promoting the tunnel as a means to keep the economy moving if terrorists disable the George Washington Bridge, over which those goods move now.

The project has survived through his dogged determination and some quirks of timing. At one point, the Bloomberg administration was in a position to pull the plug, but decided to go along, hoping to win Mr. Nadler's support for the West Side stadium. When he wouldn't play ball, the administration withdrew its support. Both the city and Port Authority are now opposed to the plan, which means the project ultimately won't go anywhere. Yet the new highway bill provides $100 million in funds to continue the planning work.

It isn't just Mr. Nadler who has pet projects. Brooklyn congressman and mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner won $15 million in the bill for ferries to connect the Rockaways with Manhattan. Never mind that the three boats required will cost more than that sum and that studies have shown that such a service would require huge subsidies.

Both congressmen can claim they are bringing home the bacon, but in fact they are endangering the city's economic future. These futile projects are taking away money desperately needed to fund the four major mass transit projects that offer the biggest gains for the city--the extension of the No. 7 line to the far West Side, the new rail link between downtown and JFK Airport, the Second Avenue Subway, and East Side access to bring the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Terminal.

Someone has got to set priorities, and they ought to begin by telling Mr. Nadler his tunnel is dead.

ablarc
August 15th, 2005, 10:59 AM
^ Amen, brother.

TonyO
August 18th, 2005, 09:17 AM
NY Newsday

$147B needed for transit and roads, review finds

BY JOSHUA ROBIN
STAFF WRITER

August 18, 2005

Transportation needs in the region will require at least $147 billion over the next 25 years, a council comprised of area transit officials has determined.

About 80 percent of the money would go to keeping infrastructure in a "state of good repair," with the remainder marked for expansion projects such as the Second Avenue Subway and the Long Island Rail Road link to Grand Central Terminal, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council concluded on Aug. 4.

The group includes the city and state transportation commissioners, leaders from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, city department of planning and representatives from five suburban counties. The review is done every three years to help guide long-term transit planning.

The $147 billion does not include the cost of other transportation projects seen as critical for the region that are still in planning stages. Those include a rail link between lower Manhattan and Kennedy Airport, a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River, a freight tunnel under New York Harbor and a sweeping program to relieve traffic on Interstate 95.

Based on current figures, the council anticipates $160 billion in local and federal funds will be available for projects between now and 2030.

In the next 25 years, the region is expected to grow from 22 to 26.1 million people.

ZippyTheChimp
August 26th, 2005, 03:14 PM
http://www.downtownexpress.com/index119.html


Talking Point

Have it all with one new rail tunnel

By Brian Hatch


Lower Manhattan is the fourth largest business district in the country. To continue to be a major job engine, it must have a transit system that connects directly to the entire region. The city has 8 million people, but most of the metropolitan area’s 20 million people are beyond reach of the subways. Midtown has numerous direct rail links to the region and beyond, but Lower Manhattan has none.


It is ironic that Downtown is in this predicament, given that rail transit was invented here. Europe initiated rail transportation, but the trains stopped at the edge of the city. In 1832, the New York & Harlem Railroad was the first to move people within a city. The line went from City Hall to Harlem, via Fourth Ave. (The Harlem also put the “mass” in transit by quintupling the capacity of the “omnibuses” of the time – essentially large stagecoaches.)


The Harlem was a hit, and quickly pushed well north of the city. With a quick switch from steam to horsepower, it was possible to take a one-seat ride from Westchester to Lower Manhattan in the 1800s, something that’s impossible today.


After steam power was banned below 42nd St., the Harlem, Hudson and New Haven railroads jointly built a station there to be as close to Downtown as possible. By 1926, the New York Times noted that rents around 42nd St. were already higher than Downtown in an article entitled, “‘Uptown Wall Street Grows Wealthy; New Financial District Scattered Around the Grand Central.” Midtown continued to grow in the post-war era until it eclipsed Wall St. altogether. Two-seat rides and the lack of a Lower Manhattan commuter terminal had a direct role in this reversal.


By 1997, a study prepared for the state, city and Alliance for Downtown New York bluntly concluded, “Lower Manhattan needs dramatically improved access to the regional commuter rail system to survive as a Class A office market.”


Appropriately, a consensus has emerged on the need for a new rail connection for Downtown. The question is how to go about it. The current plan is to build a tunnel eastward that could connect Lower Manhattan to a commuter railroad and an airport: namely most L.I.R.R. lines and J.F.K.


A tunnel to the north is the superior approach. By connecting with Penn Station, Lower Manhattan could be connected to not only J.F.K. but Newark Airport as well. More importantly, all L.I.R.R. lines, as well as New Jersey Transit, Amtrak and the Metro-North Railroad could access Downtown. Metro-North is of particular importance, as a disproportionate number of C.E.O.’s live in Westchester and Fairfield counties. A count of headquarter buildings near Grand Central vs. Penn Station illustrates their influence.


With a northern tunnel combined with the East Side Access project creating Metro-North platform space at Penn Station, one-seat rides would not only be available to Babylon, but to Stamford, New Canaan, White Plains, and Poughkeepsie as well. Not just Ronkonkoma, but Morristown, Princeton Junction and Long Branch. Not only Huntington, but also Albany, Buffalo, Back Bay and Capitol Hill. The hundreds of connections to the entire Northeast would electrify the Downtown economy. The wider service area would also dramatically improve ridership, and therefore political support and funding options.


The cost of a commuter tunnel to the east or to the north should be similar. Either option would require a tunnel of about four miles. Either would also need a multi-platform terminal that could accommodate many commuter trains at a time. (There has been some discussion of a simple AirTrain-only terminal, but that limited approach couldn’t justify the multi-billion cost.)


A study in the late 1990s looked at options to improve Lower Manhattan access by building a commuter tunnel to the north. The Second Avenue Subway was also being advanced at the time, but only to the Upper East Side and Harlem – the much-derided “stubway.” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver secured a full-length Second Avenue Subway in 2000, but the commuter rail study was dropped soon thereafter, as though the M.T.A. decided to support just one Downtown project. Today, they are back to looking at a regional rail connection for Lower Manhattan. The opportunity must be maximized.


One option is to connect Downtown to part of the region. It would be far better to directly connect Lower Manhattan to the entire Northeastern United States.



Brian Hatch, a consultant on transportation and urban planning issues, founded NewYorkGames.org, which studied the effects the plan for a Hudson Yards stadium and nearby office towers would have on the city and Lower Manhattan in particular.

Downtown Express is published by
Community Media LLC.
Downtown Express | 487 Greenwich St., Suite 6A | New York, NY 10013

ablarc
August 26th, 2005, 03:24 PM
Brilliant! This is a silver bullet.

ZippyTheChimp
August 26th, 2005, 04:04 PM
So it has no chance?

BTW, it's worth noting that the erosion of Downtown as a business district was less influenced by land use policy, and significantly impacted by the construction of Grand Central Terminal.

ablarc
August 26th, 2005, 05:03 PM
So it has no chance?.
Silver bullets never do?


BTW, it's worth noting that the erosion of Downtown as a business district was less influenced by land use policy, and significantly impacted by the construction of Grand Central Terminal.
Yeah, I was struck by that too. The guy makes a good case.

NewYorkYankee
August 27th, 2005, 06:45 PM
This article noted that Downtown is the 4th largest business district? I thought it was the 3rd largest, after Midtown and Chicago?

TLOZ Link5
August 27th, 2005, 08:59 PM
This article noted that Downtown is the 4th largest business district? I thought it was the 3rd largest, after Midtown and Chicago?

Good eye. If it's not a mistake, what could the new third-largest be?

TLOZ Link5
August 27th, 2005, 09:13 PM
Havana.

Har-dee-har har.

STT757
August 28th, 2005, 12:44 PM
Good eye. If it's not a mistake, what could the new third-largest be?

Houston?..

There was an interesting artcile a week or two ago in USA Today about Omaha Nebraska and it's Corporate presence, included in the article was a chart listing the Cities with the most Fortune 500 Companies.

NY was first with something like 43 , the next largest was Houston with 20 something.

debris
August 28th, 2005, 02:19 PM
Its Washington DC, I'm positive of it.

ablarc
August 28th, 2005, 05:10 PM
Its Washington DC, I'm positive of it.
That's not hard to believe, in light of the seemingly irreversible growth of government.

NewYorkYankee
August 28th, 2005, 07:33 PM
I believe it has to be a mistake. Lower Manhattan has to be #3 still.

billyblancoNYC
August 30th, 2005, 11:16 AM
I believe it has to be a mistake. Lower Manhattan has to be #3 still.

No, it's DC. Gov't is growing. Lower Manhattan lost the WTC and millions of sq. ft. of space are now residential. Not sure where we would stand after WTC and GS, but we should be close again.

ZippyTheChimp
August 30th, 2005, 11:55 AM
Lower Manhattan and DC had been close for some years.

I read somewhere that the total NYC CBD is larger than the next 5 cities combined.

TLOZ Link5
August 30th, 2005, 12:00 PM
The fact that Downtown is now fourth-largest is unsettling; the article could have made a lot more impact if Brian Hatch had merely written "until recently it had been the third-largest, but has since been supplanted by Washington/Atlanta/Houston/whatever". Then the emphasis on weak transportation links could come into play, making the situation seem all the more dire — which it is, of course.

That said, to build a rail link from 33rd Street-Penn Station all the way down to Lower Manhattan will have to clear multiple hurdles, particularly concerns about inconveniences and demolition resulting from construction of what will likely be a deep-bore tunnel.

ZippyTheChimp
August 30th, 2005, 12:17 PM
Wouldn't a deep bore tunnel be less inconvenient, since the only surface disturbance would be at the vertical access shaft?

TLOZ Link5
August 30th, 2005, 04:30 PM
Yes, but even as we've seen with the construction of the Third Water Tunnel, even boring that deep will result in complications.

lofter1
September 10th, 2005, 01:05 AM
Houston St. Dig Begins

By Albert Amateau
Volume 18 • Issue 16 | September 09 - 15, 2005
http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_122/houstonstdigbegins.html


Much actual digging might not be noticeable yet, but the reconstruction of Houston St. began Aug. 1 with the contractor, Tully Construction, marking out the project on the street surface between Bowery and West. St.

The project, to begin with the deepest work, the replacement of sewer lines and water mains, followed by surface reconstruction, is expected to take 29 months with completion expected in January 2008.

“At $29.4 million, this is about as big as these jobs get in the city,” said John Spavins, spokesperson for the city Department of Design and Construction.

Residents and merchants along the route that separates the Village and Noho from Soho, the South Village and Nolita are bracing for the noise dust and disruption of traffic. And Community Board 2 members, who found fault with many of the surface features that they reviewed more that two years ago, are still dissatisfied with the final plan.

While a few of the disputed features were changed, most remain in the plan.
“We still hope to be able to get some more changes in the final phase of the reconstruction, because Houston St. affects the way traffic moves through our neighborhoods,” said Brad Hoylman, a member of the Community Board 2 Traffic and Transportation Committee.

The board is working with the TriState Transportation Campaign, a nonprofit advocacy group, to assess truck traffic on Houston St., Hoylman noted.

On the plus side, the Houston St. final design reflects community objections that median tips were to be eliminated from crosswalks at Elizabeth, Mott, Mulberry, Lafayette, Broadway, Mercer, Greene, Wooster, W. Broadway, Thompson, Sullivan and MacDougal Sts. All those median tips will extend into the crosswalks when Houston St. is rebuilt, Spavins said.

But proposed left-turn bays from westbound Houston St. onto Mercer, Broadway and W. Broadway are still in the final plan, as is a left-turn bay from eastbound Houston onto northbound Lafayette St.

However, the medians at the left-turn bays will be 7.5-feet wide to accommodate pedestrians.

The proposed 5-foot-wide median at the Houston/Crosby intersection, which residents fear would act as a barrier between Soho and Noho, is still in the plan. The medians will all be about 2-feet high.

The widening of the sidewalk on the south side of Houston St., a feature that some supported and others opposed, remains in the plan. Between W. Broadway and Sixth Ave., the sidewalk will be widened from 9 to 22 feet.

Between Sixth Ave. and Varick St., the sidewalk on the south side of Houston will be widened from 15 1/2 feet to 20 feet.

DA SMAZ
September 13th, 2005, 02:13 PM
What do you guys think about a subway line from Queens directly connected to the Bronx? Now, I think you have to take the 7 to Manhattan then the 4,5,6, to the Bronx?




The N line could be extended over the Hell Gate Bridge from Ditmars Blvd to The Bronx and run along Amtrak's ROW. Randall/Wards Island would finally get a stop in the process. I think it's worthy.

lofter1
September 13th, 2005, 04:58 PM
MTA Chairman Starts Push For Bond Act Approval
September 13, 2005

http://www.ny1.com/ny1/NY1ToGo/Story/index.jsp?stid=1&aid=53485

With the general election now less than two months away, supporters of a Transportation Bond Act on the November ballot are starting their push to get out the vote.

Later this week, posters will go up throughout the subway and bus system explaining the Bond Act. If approved, it would authorize the state to borrow $3 billion, with half that money going directly to MTA projects, including $450 million for the Second Avenue subway, $450 million for East Side Access – which would bring the LIRR to Grand Central – and $100 million for a new rail link to JFK Airport from Lower Manhattan.

By law the MTA cannot advocate for the measure, but supporters, including the New York Building Congress, are hoping to raise as much as $2 million for their campaign, starting with a fundraising breakfast Tuesday.

"Without the money, without the infrastructure, without all the stuff that I'm telling you guys about, this system will start to deteriorate, no question about that," said MTA Chairman Peter Kalikow.

If approved, the bond act would also authorize about $1.5 billion worth of state highway and bridge projects.

DA SMAZ
September 15th, 2005, 05:27 AM
I mean directly into the Bronx. I wouldnt want to destroy the Hells Gate Bridge.



The Astoria El could be extended to a new upper deck on the Hell Gate Bridge. That bridge is a very solid span and was built to allow for double decking. The el section on 31st St. between Astoria Blvd and Ditmars (only about 4 blocks) would have to be dismantled and rebuilt to allow for the higher elevation and curve. A new Ditmars station would be on top of the Hell Gate span slightly to the west of the current one complete with elevators and ADA access. I don't think it would even cause a NIMBY problem. This could be done concurrent with the building of an AirTrain structure from Astoria Blvd to LGA along the Grand Central Parkway that would continue on to the Flushing Meadows/Shea Stadium IRT and LIRR stations. I think it's very doable and not nearly as cost prohibitive as the LIRR from Brooklyn to Downtown tunnel boondoggle.

DA SMAZ
September 21st, 2005, 04:45 PM
Is there any plan to extend the L west to the Hudson and then north to 34th St and beyond in conjuction with the "7" train's extension west and south down 11th Av? Now would be a good time to do it. They should also extend its southern terminal so it reaches the end of the Bay Ridge freight line on the waterfront.

lofter1
September 21st, 2005, 08:01 PM
^ There has been no discussion of that, though it would be a great service. The far west side has no public transportation except for a few of bus routes. With the large amount of new housing going in from W. 12th St. north to W. 72nd St. new transportation options are needed.

lofter1
September 21st, 2005, 08:30 PM
There is no infrastructure existing to support a new subway line that I know of.

When the Westside Hiway was built a huge opportunity was missed -- that was the chance to add a light rail line / trolley down the westside.

DA SMAZ
September 22nd, 2005, 01:20 AM
What would the subway line be called on the UWS? Is there a pre-existing tunnel already? I think part of the 2nd ave project is using an old tunnel.


I guess the 11th Ave. Subway (EAS) would be the most logical name for it. A line from 79th to 23rd St and then on to the existing "L" terminus at 8th Ave. and 14th St. would be great to complement the "7" train extension. (where the lines run together they could make it 4 track or two levels) With some inter-State collaboration one could connect the 7 with PATH on Christopher St down Hudson St and have an AirTrain from Newark to LGA (via major stops like Port Authority, Times Square and GCT) run on it. (PATH and IRT are compatible) It Bloomberg and Doctoroff are really serious about West Side development this would do wonders. The area would be instantly accesible for commuters from Queens, Brooklyn and NJ. If they bring the MNR Hudson line service down the Amtrak tracks to Penn Station and put a station on 59th St to connect with the "L" things could be booming for this area. I'm surprised that residents, property owners and businesses in Upper West Side, Clinton/Hell's Kitchen, Chelsea and West Village aren't clamoring for it. The increase in revenue from sales and property taxes in that area alone would more than pay for it. Other important projects wouldn't have to suffer.

Ninjahedge
September 22nd, 2005, 09:03 AM
They could also look into trying to get funding to make one of the lines on the PATH train able to cross over from Christopher to the WTC.

I believe both lines use the same tunnel, but split well before the Christopher stop, but with some city approval, an additional rail route might be able to be established after Christopher to allow a line from 33rd directly to the center of the WTC.

I don't know if this is already serviced by the NRQ (the yellow lines) or any other subway though......


I also agree that a set of peripheral lines would be handy in Brooklyn/queens so that you did not have to practically go into Times Square in order to get from Forest Hills to Coney Island.


And west side train service sucks. Bus is even worse. I think it is the M33 (not sure) that s so slow that I WALK from the 33rd street stop on the path to the Javitz center without seeing a single bus pass me.....

lofter1
September 22nd, 2005, 09:14 AM
^ Similar situation with lousy bus service on 23rd St. all the way across from river to river.

DA SMAZ
September 22nd, 2005, 04:37 PM
[QUOTE=Ninjahedge]They could also look into trying to get funding to make one of the lines on the PATH train able to cross over from Christopher to the WTC.

I believe both lines use the same tunnel, but split well before the Christopher stop, but with some city approval, an additional rail route might be able to be established after Christopher to allow a line from 33rd directly to the center of the WTC.

I don't know if this is already serviced by the NRQ (the yellow lines) or any other subway though......




yeah the R/W and sometimes N run from 34th st/Herald Square to the WTC and beyond. PATH to WTC uses different tunnels from PATH Midtown. However the WTC PATH terminal (future Calatrava Station) should be extended to the 6 train terminal at City Hall. There is a group which has strongly lobbied for this but of course the PA and MTA ignore them with the lamest excuses. The project is called PATH/Lex and would only extend a couple of blocks. They should also have the PATH tracks run to the site of the former Hudson Terminal so that they don't interfere with the South Tower's footprints and would also be closer to the Fulton Transfer Project. That space is still intact and ready. Now would be such a great time to do it since the site is a big hole in the ground. As for the Midtown PATH, if half of the 7 plus AirTrain would use the Cristopher St connection, the rest of the 7 could presumably continue down Hudson St to the vicinity of the WTC. It could terminate at Chambers St with transfers to the 1/2/3. I think the time is ripe to merge PATH with IRT and AirTrain. WTC site development and the approved 7 extension to Javits could make it a reality if NY and NJ politicos could think big.

Ninjahedge
September 22nd, 2005, 05:41 PM
The ONLY thing I am worried about is the fact that PATH is rated one of the best systems we have so far, I would not want to "ruin" it by connecting a bunch of other stuff to it (god forbid the MTA).

As for AirTrans, I a really dissapointed with that one. Why couldn't they have just run an elevated track down Queens Boulevard? There are only a couple of places where this would be a PITA to do, most of the boulevard has a center island!

Imagine getting a direct air-trans line from Port Authority to JFK!!!!!

STT757
September 22nd, 2005, 08:22 PM
Is there any plan to extend the L west to the Hudson and then north to 34th St and beyond in conjuction with the "7" train's extension west and south down 11th Av? Now would be a good time to do it. They should also extend its southern terminal so it reaches the end of the Bay Ridge freight line on the waterfront.

There was talk of extending it to 10th AVE then across the Hudson to Hoboken Terminal.

STT757
September 22nd, 2005, 08:29 PM
They could also look into trying to get funding to make one of the lines on the PATH train able to cross over from Christopher to the WTC.

I believe both lines use the same tunnel, but split well before the Christopher stop, but with some city approval, an additional rail route might be able to be established after Christopher to allow a line from 33rd directly to the center of the WTC.

I don't know if this is already serviced by the NRQ (the yellow lines) or any other subway though......


I also agree that a set of peripheral lines would be handy in Brooklyn/queens so that you did not have to practically go into Times Square in order to get from Forest Hills to Coney Island.


And west side train service sucks. Bus is even worse. I think it is the M33 (not sure) that s so slow that I WALK from the 33rd street stop on the path to the Javitz center without seeing a single bus pass me.....

They are not the same tunnels, they are two sets of PATH tunnels underneath the Hudson.

http://www.nycsubway.org/img/maps/pirmann-2003-path-track.gif

DA SMAZ
September 22nd, 2005, 11:31 PM
The ONLY thing I am worried about is the fact that PATH is rated one of the best systems we have so far, I would not want to "ruin" it by connecting a bunch of other stuff to it (god forbid the MTA).


The MTA could and should cede the Lex Local (the 6 train) and the "7" train entirely to PATH. I don't know how sharing the fare revenue could work with free transfers between systems. If PATH hiked the fare to that of NYCT to pay for this welcome expansion and create Metrocards valid for both systems they could devise a revenue-sharing formula based on riderships of their respective lines and it shouldn't be a problem.

As for AirTrans, I a really dissapointed with that one. Why couldn't they have just run an elevated track down Queens Boulevard? There are only a couple of places where this would be a PITA to do, most of the boulevard has a center island!

Imagine getting a direct air-trans line from Port Authority to JFK!!!!!


I can imagine it running from Newark Airport to PATH to Christopher ST then run with the 7 from there to Queensboro Plaza. It could then switch to the Astoria Line without making stops because of the wider gaps on those BMT station platforms and then to a new structure from Astoria Blvd along the Grand Central Parkway to LGA. From there back to the GCP to Willets Point/Shea Stadium near the "7" and LIRR stops then continue down the Van Wyck Exp. to connect with the current AirTrain terminal in Jamaica. from there it would go on to JFK on the existing line and terminate at Howard Beach terminal and turn back. 4 trains an hour would be sufficient and wouldn't disrupt existing service along the "7" and "N" lines.
They are already talking about extending PATH to Newark Liberty Airport. Fees on LGA travelers could pay for the Queens structure like JFK fees did for the existing segment. I can't imagine NIMBY protests since it would be using existing expressways for ROWs.

TonyO
September 23rd, 2005, 01:46 PM
NY Times
September 22, 2005

Metro-North Will Schedule Latest Trains Even Later

By PATRICK McGEEHAN
The suburbs are not so sleepy anymore, at least not in the eyes of officials of the Metro-North Railroad.

Starting next month, Metro-North will run more late-night trains along its three lines that wind through the bedroom communities north of Manhattan. The last trains out of Grand Central Terminal will leave at almost 2 a.m., about 30 minutes later than they do now.

The changes are part of an overhaul of the railroad's nighttime schedule aimed at meeting the demands of a growing flock of night owls, Metro-North officials said yesterday. The schedules are also being adjusted to accommodate theater patrons, they said.

"People have told us in letters and phone calls that they have to jog from Lincoln Center to make their train," said Marjorie Anders, a Metro-North spokeswoman. "We hear plenty of tales of missed trains."

The railroad is giving theatergoers who live in the northern suburbs an additional eight minutes to catch the first train out of Grand Central after 11 p.m. On the Hudson Line, that train, which now departs at 11:02 p.m., will leave at 11:10 p.m. The Harlem Line's 11 p.m. express to Southeast will depart at 11:08 p.m.

"When you're walking from the Broadhurst, those eight minutes make a huge difference," Ms. Anders said, referring to a theater on West 44th Street. "They could be the difference between a hectic end to a night on the town and a leisurely one."

So far this year, the average number of passengers boarding trains on weekdays after 10 p.m. has risen more than 8 percent from last year, to about 5,300.

The railroad carries about 5,500 late-night passengers on Saturdays, an increase of more than 75 percent in the last decade, said Robert MacLagger, director of operations planning. Mr. MacLagger's boss, Howard Permut, vice president of planning and development, said he believed more frequent service would bring in even more riders.

"We want to attract new people," Mr. Permut said. "The way to do it is to add service."

The changes could appeal most to young adults, some of whom consider 1:30 a.m. the prime of the evening.

"One-thirty cuts off your time to hang out in the city," said Mike Banach, 24, a grant writer at St. Joseph's College who lives in New Rochelle, N.Y. "Most people my age get to the city by 10:30 or 11 o'clock."

He said he had missed the last train out and been "marooned in Manhattan."

"One time I found a grocery to squat in for three hours and spent $8 on candy bars and then caught the first train back," he said.

"Extended service would be fantastic," he added. "How magnanimous of them."

Alex DeOliveira, 21, of Mount Vernon, said making the last train, at 1:30 a.m., can be tense. "I almost missed it last Sunday," he said. "I got here at 1:25."

To avoid getting trapped in Manhattan, Carley Staron, 30, of Bridgeport, Conn., said she would drive into the city if she had somewhere to go at night. Adding more trains, she said, "will make me ride the train more."

Metro-North expects the changes to cost an additional $1.7 million. The railroad did not provide an estimate of how much additional revenue they might bring in.

Among the improvements will be new inbound and outbound express trains after midnight on the New Haven Line in Connecticut, new inbound and outbound local trains after midnight on the Hudson Line and a new local train to North White Plains on the Harlem Line that will leave Grand Central at 1:20 a.m.

On each of the three lines, the last train from Grand Central will now depart at 1:50 a.m. or a few minutes later. Extending the schedules will require Metro-North to hold the doors of Grand Central open a little later. The terminal is now closed to the public from 1:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.

The changes also will bring Metro-North a step closer to being a round-the-clock operation. On the new schedule, the last northbound train on the Hudson Line will arrive in Poughkeepsie at 3:57 a.m. and the first southbound train will leave Poughkeepsie 43 minutes later.

"We're not planning to go 24 hours, but we are taking a step in that direction," Ms. Anders said.

Tourism and theater-industry officials applauded the changes, which some said were long overdue.

Bruce Cohen, president of the Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers, said that as tourism waned after 9/11, suburbanites made up a larger segment of the audience for Broadway shows. He said Metro-North's moves would follow along the lines of accommodations the theater industry had made to cater to suburbanites, like starting shows at 8 p.m. instead of 8:30 p.m. and adding Sunday matinees.

"Anything that makes it easier for people to patronize theaters is good for everyone in New York," Mr. Cohen said.

He noted that the crowd rushing from the theater district toward the train stations included a lot of stagehands, musicians and others who work on Broadway, most of whom are finished by 11 p.m. and many of whom live in the suburbs.

"It's always been an issue that when the curtain goes down, it is a mad dash," said Cristyne L. Nicholas, president of NYC & Company, the city's convention and visitors bureau. "There really shouldn't be a need for that mad dash. This will allow people to grab a bite after the show. We're encouraging people to stay late and enjoy."

NIMBYkiller
September 24th, 2005, 04:02 PM
I believe the Hell Gate Bridge only has 2 tracks on it, though it CAN fit 4.

As for the subway extensions, I love the idea of extending the L and have been thinking about it too for quite some time. There is the proposal as well from MN to operate Hudson line service to NYP(Penn Station) via the Empire Connection(which is the connection Amtrak uses to get to NYP), which would include the opening of several stations. I could see stations in the vicinity of 125th St, 72nd St, 59th St, and possibly even the Javits Center.

As for the 7, I would say run it down the far west side to the new Fulton St Transit Center, or atleast to WTC.

LGA: either extend the Astoria line, or Airtrain(as much as I despise Airtrain). The way I see an Airtrain extension was really brought from someone at SubChat. His idea was to extend it from Jamaica, up the Van Wyck, along the LIRR to Shea Stadium, then up the GCP to LGA. Included is a branch from LGA, after Shea Stadium to Flushing. There is also a line from LGA to 59th St/2nd Av via GCP, BQE, along LIRR tracks, and over the 59th St bridge, with stops at Northern Blvd and the planned LIRR Sunnyside Station. The only problem is that there are rumors that the 59th St bridge can no longer support the weight of trolleys/light rail vehicles. If that is the case, then perhaps tunnel under into the abandonned trolley terminal at 59th/2nd or just simply terminate at Sunnyside(or possibly Long Island City ferry terminal).

Restart commuter service on the Bay Ridge line. Run it from Bay Ridge all the way up to Astoria. It'd be a sort of half belt. Hell, in the future, maybe extend the service to New Rochelle.

Path/Lex is a great concept, but I wouldn't support it. PATH is an excellent operation run by the PA, and the Lex is an overcrowded mess operated by the MTA.

And BTW, it's the M34 that you're thinking of Ninjahedge

DA SMAZ
September 25th, 2005, 03:14 AM
[QUOTE=NIMBYkiller]I believe the Hell Gate Bridge only has 2 tracks on it, though it CAN fit 4.


The HGB has two tracks for Amtrak (and possible future MNR service from the NH line). It also has one track for freight. If they ever build the Cross-harbor Freight Tunnel from NJ to Bay Ridge they would probably activate the other unused track. I support that project because it would get loads of trucks and pollution off the streets, expressways and bridges of NYC. However double decking it would extend the N to Randall's Island and The Bronx.


As for the subway extensions, I love the idea of extending the L and have been thinking about it too for quite some time. There is the proposal as well from MN to operate Hudson line service to NYP(Penn Station) via the Empire Connection(which is the connection Amtrak uses to get to NYP), which would include the opening of several stations. I could see stations in the vicinity of 125th St, 72nd St, 59th St, and possibly even the Javits Center.

I think that a northward extension of the "L" should be a no-brainer. After an extensive study MNR decided upon 125th St and 59th St but ruled out 72nd and Javits for new stations. (once LIRR East Side Access is completed that is) One could feature an elegant elevated walkway from the Empire tracks in the Hudson River Park on 125th to the nearby IRT station for tranfers. The 59st station would allow transfer to the L train.

As for the 7, I would say run it down the far west side to the new Fulton St Transit Center, or atleast to WTC.


I absolutely agree that 7 should keep on going south beyond the Javits Center.


LGA: either extend the Astoria line, or Airtrain(as much as I despise Airtrain). The way I see an Airtrain extension was really brought from someone at SubChat. His idea was to extend it from Jamaica, up the Van Wyck, along the LIRR to Shea Stadium, then up the GCP to LGA. Included is a branch from LGA, after Shea Stadium to Flushing. There is also a line from LGA to 59th St/2nd Av via GCP, BQE, along LIRR tracks, and over the 59th St bridge, with stops at Northern Blvd and the planned LIRR Sunnyside Station. The only problem is that there are rumors that the 59th St bridge can no longer support the weight of trolleys/light rail vehicles. If that is the case, then perhaps tunnel under into the abandonned trolley terminal at 59th/2nd or just simply terminate at Sunnyside(or possibly Long Island City ferry terminal).

I saw that that thread on AirTrain too. Unfortunately a new tunnel would be cost-prohibitive for such a narrow purpose. Since AirTrain is a light-rail/subway-type system, the law prohibits it from running it on railroad and freight lines anyway. It would be too dangerous. I think that an AirTrain integrated with the current and future important stops on the 7 in Manhattan + Queensboro Plaza would be the most cost-effective and widely used option. I would also connect it with the express tracks at Howard Beach and let it run with the A all the way to the new PATH station at WTC and back to Newark Airport. (Since it would be IRT style, special automatic platform fillers would be uses at stops in Brooklyn and Fulton St Transfer) This would create one big seamless AirTrain circuit from Newark to Christopher St along PATH, to the 7 along Midtown, along the Astoria Line (no stops) from QB Plaza, to it's new structures along the GCP, LGA and the Van Wyck to JFK, then thru Brooklyn and Dowtown Manhatten and back to Newark. AirTrain is operated by the PA anyway.

Restart commuter service on the Bay Ridge line. Run it from Bay Ridge all the way up to Astoria. It'd be a sort of half belt. Hell, in the future, maybe extend the service to New Rochelle.

I like the idea of an L extension along the BR Line to its terminal on the waterfront, however after Fresh Pond in Maspeth (the start of the NY Connecting Railroad segment of this freight line) the ROW narrows and wouldn't allow for more than two tracks and NY desperately need more rail freight to reduce congestion and pollution.

Path/Lex is a great concept, but I wouldn't support it. PATH is an excellent operation run by the PA, and the Lex is an overcrowded mess operated by the MTA.

Yeah the Lex is a mess. NJ commuters have to transfer to it anyway eventually if they want to go up the East Side. They might as well connect the two. That way at least the stations themselves wouldn't as crowded from transferees (is that a word?)

NIMBYkiller
September 25th, 2005, 12:04 PM
I also support a new Hudson River freight crossing in the NYC area. Selkirk is just too far north. The locations I see possible are:

St George-Bay Ridge
Greenville-Bay Ridge
Hoboken-Lower Manhattan-Bushwick
THE tunnel-Long Island City
Tappan Zee Bridge

Extending the Astoria line into the Bronx might become a bit redundant if a rail service from Bay Ridge to New Rochelle is put in place.

And the tunnel into the old trolley terminal could also be used by other trolley lines, meaning it'd be more than just Airtrain using it, making it more worth while. I've been pushing for reverting the Q60 to a trolley, as well as a line down the old LIRR Rockaway line to Howard Beach. Also, revert the Q101 and the Q66 to trolleys. So those 4 lines plus Aitrain would use the tunnel(Airtrain would probably have it's own track). No part of the Airtrain would share tracks with heavy rail, nor was that proposed in the plan on SubChat.

Combining Airtrain with any subway line will never happen, nor should it. Run ferries and buses from the airports to downtown and Brooklyn. PATH though should extend to EWR.

Extending the L to Bay Ridge is impossible. The existing terminus of the line is in Canarsie. Just operate a seperate commuter rail service. It'd serve so much more than any extension of the L.

And I agree that the PATH and Lex stations should be physically connected, but the PATH/Lex plan is to run them as one service, from Pelham Bay, downtown, and over to New Jersey.

DA SMAZ
September 26th, 2005, 04:44 AM
[QUOTE=NIMBYkiller]I also support a new Hudson River freight crossing in the NYC area. Selkirk is just too far north. The locations I see possible are:

St George-Bay Ridge
Greenville-Bay Ridge
Hoboken-Lower Manhattan-Bushwick
THE tunnel-Long Island City
Tappan Zee Bridge

Extending the Astoria line into the Bronx might become a bit redundant if a rail service from Bay Ridge to New Rochelle is put in place.




I think they pretty much settled on Greenville-BR although St. George/BR would be great too. I love your idea of a commuter rail belt-line along this ROW. One could keep it going to NJ thru the freight tunnel then south to SIR along the Bayonne Bridge and the North Shore line or directly to the SIR via the St. George option. They should charge subway fare but build it commuter standard because of the laws. I'd call it the "O" Train. It would be a boon to the regional economy I think. If all this happened it would indeed be redundant to extend the Astoria Line. I don't think they would ever build a freight tunnel under Manhattan streets. Too much toxic and dangerous freight under the streets would freak out even its strongest supporters. It would be hard to blame NIMBYs on that one and no politician in his right mind would do so. The present plan is already meeting resistance from Maspeth residents. (they complain about everything) If they ever build Access to the Region Core's "THE TUNNEL" for NJT under 34th St they should make it double-decked like the 63rd St tunnel and bring the Hudson-Bergen LR into the City. I totally agree about the old LIRR Rockaway Line ROW. It would be so easy too from 63rd Drive station in Rego Park. You could run the "R" or "V" (or future SAS line) to Rockaway Park. That's what drives me crazy the most. I wish the MTA and PA took their ideas from these forums. There are so many good and relatively simple ideas that make use of existing infrastructure.

NIMBYkiller
September 27th, 2005, 08:20 AM
You know, I never did think of the loop extending through the possible NY Harbor tunnel....that's a great idea. However, I wouldn't be so quick to send it to SI. If the tunnel was to SI, then yes, and then run it via the North Shore Line. But that's not the case. Your idea would end up beeing a very round a bout way to get to St. George.

I think in this case it'd be better to keep going to Jersey City, and perhaps terminate at either the former CNJ terminal or at Hoboken.

DA SMAZ
September 28th, 2005, 06:04 AM
You know, I never did think of the loop extending through the possible NY Harbor tunnel....that's a great idea. However, I wouldn't be so quick to send it to SI. If the tunnel was to SI, then yes, and then run it via the North Shore Line. But that's not the case. Your idea would end up beeing a very round a bout way to get to St. George.

I think in this case it'd be better to keep going to Jersey City, and perhaps terminate at either the former CNJ terminal or at Hoboken.




You are right. Continuing north to JC and Hoboken would indeed better serve its mission as a "belt" line. Do you think travellers would be better served by making it start around Mt. Vernon and then run it down the Harlem Line to the Oak Point freight yards there and to a new ramp to the Hell Gate freight line or let it commence in Spuyten Duyvil or even Yonkers along the Hudson Line to that same connection? Or would you use the Amtrak NH Line from Pelham Manor?

NIMBYkiller
September 28th, 2005, 08:52 AM
I did originally say New Rochelle, so that means the Amtrak NH line. Even better will be if I-287 rail gets done along with the Tappan Zee. Then it'd be a true full belt. Start Hoboken, down to Jersey City, across to Bay Ridge, up to Fresh Pond, then Astoria, across the Hell Gate to The Bronx, up to New Rochelle, along the NH line to Port Chester or the Oak Point up to White Plains, then across the Westchester, over the Tappan Zee, over to Suffern on the existing tracks, then down to Hoboken.

ZippyTheChimp
October 25th, 2005, 01:04 AM
October 25, 2005

Stakes High for M.T.A. and City in Vote on $2.9 Billion Bond Act

By SEWELL CHAN (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=SEWELL CHAN&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=SEWELL CHAN&inline=nyt-per)

Its name, the Renew and Rebuild New York Transportation Bond Act of 2005, hardly arouses excitement. Many voters are only dimly aware of it. It is not an issue in the mayoral race, since both major candidates have endorsed it. But the success or failure of the $2.9 billion proposition on Election Day could have a profound effect on the New York City region for decades.

The stakes are especially high for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which would get half the money. The authority considers the measure essential to maintaining and improving its transit network over the next five years, and has recently saturated subway cars with advertisements urging support. Approval on Nov. 8, the authority says, would permit the completion of the first leg of a Second Avenue subway by around 2015.

The other half of the money would pay for 130 projects for roads, bridges, inland ports and railroad systems.

The bond act, Proposition 2, has drawn a remarkable unanimity of support from business, labor, environmental and planning organizations. Gov. George E. Pataki (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/p/george_e_pataki/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and State Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/h/alan_g_hevesi/index.html?inline=nyt-per) support it, as do Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/michael_r_bloomberg/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and his Democratic opponent, Fernando Ferrer (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/f/fernando_ferrer/index.html?inline=nyt-per).

Even so, passage by the state's 11.7 million registered voters is far from assured. A similar $3.8 billion measure narrowly failed in November 2000, when upstate voters overwhelmingly rejected it, outweighing the support of city voters.

Supporters said new state borrowing is critical for future economic growth. "The availability and reliability of mass transit continue to be major factors in business-location decisions, driving demand for commercial real estate and dictating patterns in job growth," said Kathryn S. Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, the city's most prominent business group.

Mr. Pataki, in a speech on Oct. 14, linked the bond act to the struggle against terrorism, arguing that the transportation investments could save drivers 17 million gallons of fuel a year.

"Reducing oil consumption is critical to New York's ability to compete in the global marketplace, but make no mistake about it, it is also critical to the security of our nation," he said in the speech.

Opponents say Proposition 2 is fiscally reckless because it would add to the state's $47.6 billion debt burden.

"Voters should reject the transportation bond act so that the already dangerous debt situation is not immediately made that much worse," said Charles M. Brecher, research director of the Citizens Budget Commission, a nonpartisan watchdog group.

Among the 50 states, New York has consistently been ranked fourth or fifth for net tax-supported debt as a percentage of personal income, and only California (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/national/usstatesterritoriesandpossessions/california/index.html?inline=nyt-geo) has a worse credit rating, according to the New York City Independent Budget Office. The budget office has not taken a position on the bond act.

"The question," said Preston Niblack, a deputy director of the budget office, "is whether the economic returns from transportation investments are enough to outweigh the costs to the state's economy and budget of the additional debt burden."

Over all, projects in New York City would directly receive about 43 percent of the proceeds from Proposition 2 - roughly equivalent to the city's regular contribution to the state treasury.

Practically every transit agency survives on subsidies. Fares and tolls - which were raised in 2003 and again this year - cover about half of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's operating expenses, a larger proportion than in most transit systems in the United States (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/unitedstates/index.html?inline=nyt-geo). Having the state, rather than the authority, assume new debt lessens the relative burden shouldered by riders. Debt service consumes 13 percent of the authority's operating budget and is projected to rise to 20 percent by 2008.

"There is no responsible alternative to approving the bond act," said Beverly L. Dolinsky, executive director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee, a panel that advises the authority. "Issuing bonds that expand the M.T.A.'s debt load is a fare-hike bomb with a time-delay fuse."

The opponents see in the bond act a lack of fiscal discipline by the state. The chairman of the state's Conservative Party, Michael R. Long, said the state "simply cannot afford" new debt. If interest rates rise and the repayment period is lengthened, he said, the true cost of the bond could rise to $4.6 billion over 20 to 30 years.

Proposition 2 arose from an April agreement between Mr. Pataki and the Legislature to finance five-year capital programs for the authority and for the State Department of Transportation. The State Constitution generally requires new long-term debt to be submitted to voters for approval.

Elliot G. Sander, director of the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at New York University and a central organizer of the coalition supporting the bond act, said the alternative to new borrowing - significantly raising taxes and motor-vehicle fees - is "dead on arrival in Albany."

Rejecting the measure, he said, "is nothing short of playing high stakes Russian roulette with New York's future."

The outcome of the vote could well rest not on the arguments, but on turnout in New York City, which may be higher as a proportion of statewide turnout this year, because of the mayoral race, than it was in 2000, a presidential election year.

A Quinnipiac University poll released this month showed that state voters supported the act over all, by 56 percent to 36 percent. The measure was strongly favored by city and suburban voters, but upstate voters opposed the bond act by a slight margin, according to the poll, of 1,219 registered voters.

Public awareness, or the lack of it, also could be crucial. The coalition - of business, labor and environmental groups - announced yesterday a $1.5 million campaign to promote the bond act. The sum includes $400,000 on advertisements and a Web site (www.voteyesny.org (http://www.voteyesny.org/)). The opponents have done little outreach, limiting themselves to statements at public hearings.

The authority says it had learned much from the failure of the measure five years ago.

"Few voters knew what it was, what was in it and what the consequences were of its passage or rejection," said Christopher P. Boylan, a deputy executive director of the authority. "We in government collectively did a poor job of educating the public about what the act would mean to them."

On its Web site, the transportation authority has emphasized core investments covered by the bond act, including $117 million to replace tracks, $115 million to buy subway and commuter-railroad cars, and $90 million for new buses.

But in subway and bus advertisements, the authority also has emphasized three major expansion projects for which the bond act is critical: a Second Avenue subway; a new connection between the Long Island Rail Road and Grand Central Terminal; and plans for a rail link between Lower Manhattan and Kennedy International Airport.

The three projects would be the first significant expansion of the authority's transportation network since the completion of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in 1964. But they might also seem like dreamy abstractions; a Second Avenue subway has been under discussion since the Depression.

Riders frustrated by fare increases, service disruptions and terrorism threats also may not feel kindly toward the authority, which still plans to raise fares and tolls in 2007. A plan by the authority's chairman, Peter S. Kalikow, to offer fare discounts and free tickets to riders during the holiday season could be seen as an attempt to buy good will in advance of the Nov. 8 vote.


Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

kfkwp
November 7th, 2005, 01:30 PM
I am sceptical of the MTA's ability to handle the construction for LIRR access to Grand Central without totally screwing up Metro North.

I would be willing to vote for a transit bond, but not at the cost of making my comute a disaster.

Sorry.

STT757
November 7th, 2005, 08:47 PM
I am sceptical of the MTA's ability to handle the construction for LIRR access to Grand Central without totally screwing up Metro North.

See that's where the MTA is not doing a good job, the general public is totally ignorant of what the MTA is planning.

The LIRR East Side Access Project to Grand Central has nothing to do with Metro North, the ESA project involves building a brand new 8 track concourse below Grand Central exclusively for the LIRR. LIRR trains would access the new station within a station via a new tunnel beneath Metro North's Park Ave viaduct, the trains would then enter the lower level of the 63rd street tunnel to cross over to Queens.

The Long Island rail road would never run on or across Metro North Tracks, it would not interfere in the operation in anyway. In fact the LIRR cannot ever operate over Metro North Tracks because of the incompatibility of their third rail power sources, totaly different set up. One goes above the third rail and the other uses one that runs beneath the third rail.

debris
November 7th, 2005, 11:22 PM
No one has ever lost money betting on the stupidity of the average voter.

I'm guessing maybe 70% of New Yorkers statewide would be in favor of the Bond Act if you sat them down (stapped them down, if necessary) and explained it to them patiently. But this thing is going to come down to the wire, because half the voters won't even figure out how to vote for it.

lofter1
November 8th, 2005, 09:58 AM
Plus there is great skepticism regarding the MTA and its ability to be responsible with the public's money.

GVNY
November 8th, 2005, 10:30 PM
Was the bond approved?

lofter1
November 8th, 2005, 11:00 PM
Right now it's running ahead at ~ 73%, but not all votes counted.

TLOZ Link5
November 8th, 2005, 11:17 PM
Where'd you find this out, lofter?

Scruffy88
November 8th, 2005, 11:38 PM
Rocking. The MTA bill passed. Fox 5 just said so

Scruffy88
November 9th, 2005, 12:02 AM
Here's a personal pet project that i would love to see. A subway line starting at Jamaica LIRR station where the E, JZ already are and goes north through hillcrest/fresh meadows, queens college, kissena and all those neighborhoods that have no subway access and meet the end of the 7 line in Flushing. Then continue (underground) northeast through north flushing stopping all along the way to Bayside. A major neighborhood with no mass transportation other than severly overcrowded buses. then heading north through whitestone and crossing the East River between the throgs neck and whitestone bridge and hitting the bronx at this massive empty lot next to the whitestone bridge toll booth. I dont know if anyone knows this lot but its big enough to be developed into an entire neighborhood and should be developed into something like the village. this line would then continue through castle hill and cross the 6 line at Parkchester and continue northwest and cross the 2 and 5 line at e.180st which is already a big station and can accomodate. continue along the bronx zoo border veer north and cross under the fordham train station. The line would then continue underneath fordham road all the way underneath the university heights bridge and cross through inwood and end at broadway at the end of the A line. It would also connect to the b,d,4,and 1 train while under fordham rd. it would be a standard 4 line train line. local and express. the express would stop only at jamaica, flushing, bayside, new neighborhood, parkchester, e180, the zoo, fordham station, grand concourse, university ave, and Broadway (manh) with many local stops in between. This way you can get anywhere pretty much without having to through Manhattan therefore easing up congestion there. And the Bronx has a faster route to get to Jamaica and then to LIRR or Airtrain. It would underground the whole time. I know the odds of this all happening and slim to none, but what do you think, would it work?

GVNY
November 9th, 2005, 04:26 PM
Very good news!

NIMBYkiller
November 10th, 2005, 06:27 PM
I could see a BRT line like this working, but not a subway. What you are proposing is basically making the Q44 a subway. Closest thing I could see happening is Q44 express services. Local from Jamaica to Main St in Jamaica, then the Van Wyck non-stop to Flushing, maybe local to Whitestone, over the bridge, express to the 6 train, local to West Farms Square.

The only other thing I could suggest is my X678 Island Transit route suggestion. It would run from JFK to the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal. Stops would be at Jamaica LIRR station, Flushing, West Farms Square, (maybe) Tremont, and then GWBBT.

As for serving northeastern Queens, here's my take:
1. Extend the 7 to Whitestone like it was supposed to
2. Boost LIRR service on the PW line to Bayside. Make it full time city-ticket. Reopen Winfield, Corona, and Elmhurst stations.

As immidiate improvements, run some more express bus service. The QM2 only has 3 runs in each direction, and it goes all the way to Little Neck!

Scruffy88
November 10th, 2005, 10:32 PM
I know it will never happen, but its a nice thought. It annoys me that I have to go through Manhattan to get to Queens, BK, Long Island. the 44 bus more direct but it takes an hour and a half almost to get from Parkchester to Jamaica. A subway through that route would be a fraction and you know it would be a heavily used subway so it would pay itself. it would lower property value in bayside though.

lofter1
November 10th, 2005, 11:25 PM
Driving Around Manhattan?
You Pay, Under One Idea

NY Times
By SEWELL CHAN (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=SEWELL CHAN&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=SEWELL CHAN&inline=nyt-per)
November 11, 2005

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/11/nyregion/11traffic.html?hp&ex=1131685200&en=ff15a8b5044d2e59&ei=5094&partner=homepage


It is an idea that has been successful in London, and is now being whispered in the ears of City Hall officials after months of behind-the-scenes work by the Partnership for New York City, the city's major business association: congestion pricing.

The idea is to charge drivers for entering the most heavily trafficked parts of Manhattan at the busiest times of the day. By creating a financial incentive to carpool or use mass transit, congestion pricing could smooth the flow of traffic, reduce delays, improve air quality and raise the speed of slow-crawling buses.

To be sure, it is far from being a reality, or even a complete proposal - when pressed, the mayor's spokesman said it was not on his second-term agenda.
Yet the Partnership's work suggests a plan that, if carried out, could profoundly alter the way New Yorkers and those visiting the city use their cars.

Congestion pricing is the focus of a nine-month study by the Partnership, a group with great influence at City Hall, and participants have provided the first rough outlines of how such a plan might work.

The 840,000 cars that enter Manhattan south of 60th Street on an average weekday could be subject to a $7 charge during peak hours. Vehicles starting and ending their trips within that zone might pay a $4 charge. Several roadways would remain free, like the West Side Highway and the Franklin D. Roosevelt (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/r/franklin_delano_roosevelt/index.html?inline=nyt-per) Drive on the East Side, according to people with knowledge of the study.

Drivers could be required to prepay traffic fees, either online or at street-level vending machines. Video cameras would capture license plates of vehicles in the payment zones, and allow the city to match cars to accounts, people familiar with the study said. Failure to pay would result in a fine. No toll barriers would be involved.

Raising money would not be the main goal - although millions of dollars could be collected and funneled into subways, buses, commuter trains and bridges.

The video cameras would be at street intersections, and tolls would not be charged on the East River bridges - a prospect that doomed previous proposals, including one Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/michael_r_bloomberg/index.html?inline=nyt-per) advanced in 2002.

City officials acknowledged that Mr. Bloomberg had always been interested in some type of congestion-pricing model, but had said that he considered tolls on the East River bridges politically daunting. And while officials said some sort of business-district traffic charges could conceivably be workable, they would have to seriously consider what sort of political fight that would bring.
They stressed that congestion pricing is a battle Mr. Bloomberg would not wage if it distracted from his other priorities, like education and crime reduction.

"Although we're always open to ideas from the business community, this isn't on the mayor's second-term agenda," said Edward Skyler, a spokesman for the mayor.

Even so, several administration officials have discussed the plan with the partnership, and Michael Primeggia, the deputy commissioner for traffic at the city's Transportation Department, has said publicly that congestion pricing should be considered. The Partnership intends to complete its study by the end of the year and to present it to the administration, which the business group hopes will do its own study.

In London, where congestion pricing began in February 2003 after a year of planning, traffic has been reduced by a third and some bus lines are moving twice as fast. Officials are so satisfied that they intend to nearly double the size of the congestion-pricing zone in 2007. One thing seems certain: New York would not charge nearly as much as the $14 it takes to drive into London's financial district during the day.

"Is there an opportunity to create a congestion-relief zone that would help this global city?" asked Ernest Tollerson, a senior vice president at the Partnership. "This is a city that wants to add tens of thousands of jobs, but we can't continue to build streets and roads. For the long-term growth of the city, we need demand-management tools."

Mr. Tollerson oversees a working group that includes five engineering and construction firms, Parsons Brinckerhoff, STV Group, Washington Group International, Siemens and D M J M Harris; a consulting firm, Booz Allen & Hamilton; and two prominent advocacy groups, Environmental Defense and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The team has met about once a month since April, and technical analysts have been analyzing reams of authoritative traffic data from the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council, an intergovernmental body that measures traffic for air-quality and planning purposes.

Andrew H. Darrell, the New York regional director at Environmental Defense, said that 80 percent of the cancer-causing substances inhaled by New York City residents comes from tailpipe emissions. "Most people think of traffic congestion in the same way they think about lousy weather - it's too bad but you can't do much about it," he said. "There is no other tool out there as effective as congestion pricing for cutting traffic congestion in a big city like New York."

In London, he said, congestion pricing led to a 20 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and a 12 percent cut in emissions of harmful particulates and nitrogen oxides, the main components in smog.

Walter B. Hook, executive director of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, which works to reduce automobile dependence worldwide, said congestion pricing was still a fairly new idea. "For a long time people thought it was political suicide to implement congestion charging," he said. Singapore (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/singapore/index.html?inline=nyt-geo), Oslo and Riga, the capital of Latvia (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/latvia/index.html?inline=nyt-geo), have all experimented with charging for driving in town.

The most extensive congestion pricing plan, in London, was pushed by an activist (and populist) mayor, Ken Livingstone, and overseen by a transport commissioner, Robert R. Kiley, who happens to be a former president of the Partnership for New York City and a former chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Mr. Kiley has urged other cities to consider the London model.

Under the plan, drivers are charged a daylong flat fee of £8 ($14) to enter the so-called congestion zone, an eight-square-mile area around London's financial district.

Officials ruled out using "smart cards," similar to the E-ZPass toll-payment devices used on many bridges and tunnels on the East Coast, as cumbersome. Instead, 700 video cameras capture multiple images of license plates of cars that drive through the zone between 7 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., except on weekends and holidays. Computers process the images, matching the license plates photographed against a database of drivers who have paid their congestion fees.

Drivers pay in advance, online, over the telephone or at machines at London stores. Failure to pay by 10 p.m. on the day of the trip results in higher fees or fines up to £150 ($261). Disabled drivers and residents of the congestion zone are exempt, as are cars that have 9 or more seats or run on electricity or natural gas.

The Federal Highway Administration is spending $59 million through 2009 to study congestion pricing. San Francisco is exploring how a plan like London's could be adopted. "The focus would be on where we have the most serious and chronic congestion," said Tilly Chang, deputy director for planning at the San Francisco Country Transportation Authority.

She, too, said the program might rely on easy-to-install cameras rather than transponders, the term for toll-payment devices like E-ZPass or FasTrak, which is used on the Bay Bridge. "The benefit of using cameras is that they can roll out quickly," she said. "You don't need transponders."


Carolyn Marshall and Jim Rutenberg contributed reporting for this article.



Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html)The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

NIMBYkiller
November 11th, 2005, 08:33 PM
That's why I suggested a 44 express bus. It'd be only a little more time than a subway.

Island Transit would have alot of other express routes too, which include travel to the outboros without going through Manhattan

noik53
November 12th, 2005, 11:16 PM
I know this is an impossible but maybe one of the greatest ideas to revitalizing Lower Manhattan, Extented Metro North to the WTC, it would cut down communting time and give access to Upstates growing population

NIMBYkiller
November 13th, 2005, 12:15 AM
Actually, I've had a plan for a while for extending MN downtown. They could extend Grand Central Terminal's CURRENT lower level tracks to tracks 1-5 of Penn Station. Have trains continue that way, then branch off under the West Side Highway. Merge it with an NJT tunnel for an extension of NJT from Hoboken)

Deimos
November 13th, 2005, 04:35 AM
That sounds extremely expensive... First off, to extend the 18 tracks from the lower level would require a complete redesign of the lower level to remove the stairs at the end of the tracks. Then you're talking about a deep-cut tunnel bored system to bring those tracks to Penn Station, although you could reduce the number of tracks to 4 probably.

How would those tracks merge into Penn however? Go straight down Park Ave under the 4-5-6 tracks and connect at 34th to the LIRR/Amtrak tubes?

STT757
November 13th, 2005, 12:15 PM
I know this is an impossible but maybe one of the greatest ideas to revitalizing Lower Manhattan, Extented Metro North to the WTC, it would cut down communting time and give access to Upstates growing population

That's not even on anyone's radar right now, there's 5 projects each with an estimated price tag of over $3 Billion.

NJ Transit Hudson tunnels/34th street station $6 Billion

Cross Harbor Freight tunnel $3-6 Billion

East Side Access project LIRR-Grand Central $6 Billion

LIRR-Lower Manhattan rail access $6 Billion

Second Ave Subway, first segement $3.5 Billion total full build $12 Billion.

NIMBYkiller
November 13th, 2005, 01:49 PM
Here is my list of those projects in order of importance of my opinion:

SAS
THE(NJT Hudson River tunnel)
Cross Harbor(or some form of a new river/harbor crossing that is compatible with rail freight)
ESA
LIRR Downtown

I only put LIRR downtown as last b/c for LIRR riders to get to the east side from NYP, they have to take TWO subways(or one from FBA), whereas downtown is just ONE subway from both FBA and NYP.

BTW, FBA stands for Flatbush Av(the LIRR Brooklyn terminal)


As for MN to downtown, I only suggested extending the lower level tracks to NYP b/c that was the former ARC(Access to the Regions Core) plan. I should've been more clear. The plan is/was to extend I think only 6 or so tracks, I believe UNDER the subway, and then curve UNDER the existing LIRR/Amtrak tunnels, and continue as a new tunnel to tracks 1-5 of NYP. BTW, tracks 1-5 of NYP are stub end tracks, meaning they have no access to the East River tunnels. They are used only by NJT. Once the trains come in from NJ, they have to either layover there or head BACK to NJ. They can't go to Sunnyside Yard b/c there is no connection from those tracks to the LIRR/Amtrak East River tunnels.

Then, from NYP, branch the tracks off into a new tunnel under the West Side Highway(really West St). They could even use the same tunnel routing from NYP to downtown for LIRR downtown access(they can't use the same tracks though because LIRR and MN have different 3rd rail operations). Then NJT can join in on the fun from Hoboken. The downtown terminal can be built somwhere near Fulton St, as that seems to me like the most logical place for a downtown terminal given the plethora of bus and subway connections.

Sure, all that'd be expensive, but so is every other half baked idea out there(except SAS, that is FAR from half baked). Also, by having NJT run the extension to downtown from Hoboken, that eliminates their need for another Hudson River tunnel, as they could reroute some trains from midtown to downtown.

ablarc
November 13th, 2005, 02:25 PM
...there's 5 projects each with an estimated price tag of over $3 Billion.

NJ Transit Hudson tunnels/34th street station $6 Billion

Cross Harbor Freight tunnel $3-6 Billion

East Side Access project LIRR-Grand Central $6 Billion

LIRR-Lower Manhattan rail access $6 Billion

Second Ave Subway, first segement $3.5 Billion total full build $12 Billion.
Seems like it costs billions just to talk about these projects. While they get discussed and partially funded, their cost seems to go up by about the amount spent on appropriations and administration, like a dog chasing its tail.

Maybe if they were discussed less one or two of them might get built.

.

lofter1
November 14th, 2005, 12:41 AM
The Bond Passed.
Now Comes the Hard Part:
Actually Building a 2nd Avenue Subway.

New York Times
By SEWELL CHAN (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=SEWELL CHAN&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=SEWELL CHAN&inline=nyt-per)
November 14, 2005
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/14/nyregion/14mta.html


As the November election approached, the mayor and other officials urged citizens to support a transportation bond issue that would allow a Second Avenue subway to be built. Planners said the project would work wonders for congestion. New York State voters went to the polls and approved the measure.

That was in 1951.

And it happened again, in 1967.

Thirty-eight years later, the scene was replayed once again on Tuesday, when the state's voters approved, 55 percent to 45 percent, a $2.9 billion borrowing measure that officials had described as essential for the new subway line - a project that has been discussed since 1929.

With $450 million designated for the Second Avenue Subway (and the rest of the money for many other transportation projects), the Metropolitan Transportation Authority hopes to build a first segment, from East 96th to East 63rd Streets, by 2012 or so. But even supporters of the project are not holding their breath.

"It's the most famous thing that's never been built in New York City, so everyone is skeptical and rightly so," said Gene Russianoff, an advocate for subway riders since 1981. "It's much-promised and never delivered."

Mr. Russianoff, a Harvard-trained lawyer who leads the Straphangers Campaign, a project of the New York Public Interest Research Group, is no naif, but he said the project has a better chance of being built than at any time in the past quarter-century.

The project was first proposed just before the start of the Great Depression, as a replacement for the Second Avenue elevated line, which was demolished between 1940 and 1942, and the Third Avenue elevated line, which was taken down in 1955. (Its Bronx segment closed in 1973.)

Money from the 1951 bond measure was diverted to buy new cars, lengthen platforms and maintain the aging system. The proceeds of the 1967 bond act were partly used to begin tunneling under Second Avenue. Digging began in 1972; a few years later, the city became insolvent.

"It had been a long-term project even before we arrived at the scene," said Donald H. Elliott, who was a member of the authority's board from 1968 to 1978. "When the fiscal crisis came, all of those projects were stopped."

Peter S. Kalikow, the authority's chairman since 2001, said he was confident that he would ride on the subway line's maiden voyage. "I'm going to be on the first car, with my senior-citizen MetroCard, waving at everybody as we roll into the stations," said Mr. Kalikow, who is 62.

Mr. Kalikow plans to travel to Washington this month to meet with David Horner, the chief counsel and acting deputy administrator at the Federal Transit Administration, to begin discussions on a "full-funding grant agreement," which will secure a federal contribution to the project. The federal agency has identified the project as a priority.

For now, the authority is focused on building a 2.3-mile segment of the Second Avenue subway, with new stations at 96th, 86th and 72nd Streets and a connection to the existing F line station at 63rd Street and Lexington Avenue. The line would eventually be 8.5 miles and extend to Lower Manhattan.

The first segment would carry 187,000 riders a day if it existed today, according to official estimates. The projected cost for the first segment is $3.8 billion. The authority budgeted $1.05 billion in its capital program for 2000 to 2004 and will have an additional $450 million, from the bond act, in its new program, for 2005 to 2009.

It hopes for a federal contribution of about $1.3 billion. But even if that best-case situation occurs, that leaves about $1 billion to be raised between now and 2012 - the estimated completion date for the first segment.

Privately, officials concede that the first segment might not be completed until 2015. Mr. Kalikow insisted that the 2012 date was still in place, but said that any change would involve public notification.

"As far as I am concerned, my people say they can meet that date and that's what I'll go with," he said. "You'll come to the meetings and see the reports. You won't have to wait until 2012 to see whether we're on time or not."

Robert A. Olmsted, who was a planner for the authority for two decades until his retirement in 1989, is intimately familiar with the project's troubled history but predicted eventual success. "I think we'll get through the first phase," said Mr. Olmsted, who at 81 hopes to ride the line. "From there, we'll see."




Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html)The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

antinimby
November 14th, 2005, 01:15 AM
That's right. Nothing.
The job of building new subway lines, new stations and all renovations should be PRIVATIZED.
Give the money to one or several private companies (if there any) that will do nothing but plan, develop, design and build.
The MTA's only job should be to just run the damn thing and nothing more.
It's apparent that asking them to do anything beyond that is too much.

If only I was in charge. . .

BPC
November 17th, 2005, 12:34 AM
Rail Link to Benefit From Unused 9/11 Aid


By RAYMOND HERNANDEZ

Published: November 17, 2005

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 - The Senate is set to approve a measure that would allow New York officials to use $2 billion in unused Sept. 11 aid to build a rail link connecting the World Trade Center site to the Long Island Rail Road and Kennedy International Airport, Congressional officials said on Wednesday.

It is the first significant effort by Congress to fulfill a request that New York officials made last year to finance the rail link project with unused parts of a $5 billion tax-incentive package. Washington had approved the package shortly after the terror attack to encourage the construction of office towers, residential buildings and retail shops in Lower Manhattan.

The fate of the rail link project is still uncertain in the House, where conservatives, who are increasingly alarmed about the growing federal deficit, have been averse to redirecting the remaining 9/11 dollars to the rail link project.

A senior Republican aide said last night that it was too early to determine how the House would respond.

Nevertheless, city and state officials said they were encouraged by the developments in the Senate and immediately called on Republican leaders in the House to follow suit, saying that the rail link was a vital part of efforts to rebuild Lower Manhattan.

In a statement, Gov. George E. Pataki, a Republican, urged the House "to act in concert with the Senate and help secure this important funding," arguing that the rail link would help restore "tens of thousands of jobs" lost as a result of the attacks.

Daniel L. Doctoroff, the deputy mayor for economic development, said that getting the money from Washington would ensure that "the federal government keeps its promise to New York to help in the rebuilding after Sept. 11."

ablarc
November 17th, 2005, 06:45 AM
To put New York back in the pack of progressive cities where it belongs, this train should be engineered to run at 90 mph or faster.

NIMBYkiller
November 18th, 2005, 12:27 PM
The commuter trains are engineered to go well over 90, but track improvements are what need to be made. As for the subway, that will NEVER hit those speeds. One because the distances between stations, even on express runs and under the rivers, are too close.

antinimby
November 24th, 2005, 02:45 AM
I was reading a post on another thread suggesting light rail around Manhattan, and I thought "that's a great idea!"
To discuss this without going off-topic on that thread, I decided to bring up this idea over here.

The rail line would parallel the waterfronts running along the FDR and Westside Highways. I'm thinking something similar to the JFK Airtrain and the Van Wyck Expresssway in Queens. Of course, exactly where the rails will be running to in relation to the highways (next to, above, underneath or a combination of these) can always be decided later.

Seriously, the idea of light rail going up and down the riverfronts is fantastic for several reasons. First, it would eliminate the need for a Second Ave. subway line or SAS and provide another needed transport line for the Westside where no subways run west of Ninth Ave.

I don't need to go into details of all the benefits this would bring to the Westside as I'm sure everyone already knows. Basically, it'll open up a substantial part of Manhattan (you're talking about 9th, 10th, 11th Ave.'s and beyond, all the way to the waterfront) that has so far been underused because of the lack of subway service.

Secondly, it's reasonable to presume that light rail would be cheaper and quicker to construct than underground subway lines. I do caution that although it'll be cheaper and quicker, it won't necessarily be cheap nor quick since I know that this IS afterall NY (bureacracy, community resistance, lawsuits, funding, eminent domain, etc. will always unfortunately exist).

However, compared to the torturous task of subway building--as evident by the SAS--it should certainly be cheaper and quicker.

Upon further contemplation, I think that in order for this idea to be a complete success, it would have to be fully integrated with the city's subway system.

What I mean is that the light rail lines would somehow have to be connected to the subways. This way, people would be able to transfer to subways just as conveniently as they do now with the subway to subway transfers.

For this, I propose to have for the rail lines--in addition to regular stations--main transfer stations that are situated right over the crosstown lines such as the underground 7 line that it will cross over at around 42nd St.

At these main transfer stations, there would be stairs right at the rail station that will allow the rider to go down and transfer directly to a subway train.

Of course that would not be possible for the Westside since there are no crossing subway lines underground. At that point, I guess we would have to then either bring the rail lines to the subways or vice versa so they can meet at some point.

What do you think? Will it work? Is this a good alternative to the SAS?

It seems like these are the types of ideas that the MTA should explore but aren't. Sadly, the MTA people and the city in general, lack progressive thinking and vision that had once made the city great during the first half of the 20th century.

ablarc
November 24th, 2005, 09:31 AM
Great idea, and I agree with all your points except the claim that it would obviate the Second Ave subway. Light rail doesn't have the capacity or the speed to do what SAS should accomplish: swift, high-capacity transport over the length of Manhattan.

Lowest cost would be surface lines. Harnessing technology to give rail priority at all intersections would yield the necessary speed without the costly exertions of tunnels or (shudder) elevated structure.

An expensive component will be wheelchair accessibility.

NIMBYkiller
November 24th, 2005, 10:28 AM
I don't care what anyone does/says...SAS will always be needed. Build it. Having a light rail line on the FDR will still mean a huge gap between transit services and wont help the Lex nearly as much as SAS will.

As for the west side, extend the 7 to the Javits, then downtown to Fulton St. Also, extend the L to the far west side and extend it up to say 57th St. From 57th St north, have Metro North run some Hudson Line service to NYC via the Empire Connection. Build some stops along the line at 57th st, maybe 72nd st, 125th St, and maybe some other places.

As for one seat rides along the rivers and around Manhattan, let the ferries take care of that. Perhaps the gov't should subsidise them though so the fares aren't so outrageous.

Yes, LRT is cheaper to build, implement, and maintain, but I think that in this scenario, there are better options that, overall, will provide more transit options. Where I could see a good light rail line is:

1. Pier 11 over to WFC Ferry Terminal. It would connect the 2 ferry terminals with inner parts of downtown. Perhaps build it as a loop. From WFC, straight across town to Pier 17, then down South St to Pier 11, along the water and Battery Park up to the WFC terminal, with a stop at the Whitehall Terminal(SI Ferry) as well.

2. From 59th/East River to Pier 79(NY Waterway 38th St ferry terminal). It'd run across town until 12th Av, then down 12th to the ferry terminal. The reason I say start it at the East River is b/c if and when I start Island Transit, and if I do in fact start the ferry division, I want to have a ferry stop at 59th St, or somewhere between 59th and 63rd(the light rail terminal would be at the same location as the ferry stop). Also, if and when I start Island Transit, I am hopping to use the abandonned trolley terminal at 59th/2nd as a bus/trolley terminal.

3. If they can't do a 125th St subway, then a 125th St light rail. And if it is possible, extend it via the Triboro and GCP to LGA, and then down to Flushing Main St LIRR station. Sort of an express version of the M60 that is extended to Flushing.

As for an east side 7 stop, no chance. The tunnel is way to deep and steep from what I'm told to have a station there.

I think light rail in Manhattan will work. Also, I think light rail along 12th Av and the West Side highway would be very nice. Perhaps from a downtown loop(like in #1), up the West Side to 57th St. And perhaps another fom the same loop, up the FDR to about the Willy B, then under/alongside the Willy B to I think 2nd Av(where ever the 1st subway station after the Willy B is).

ZippyTheChimp
November 30th, 2005, 01:14 AM
November 30, 2005

New Subway Cars Promise All Kinds of Information

By SEWELL CHAN (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=SEWELL CHAN&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=SEWELL CHAN&inline=nyt-per)

Nicholas Malave, a senior at Pacific High School in Brooklyn, entered a subway car yesterday and let out a cry of delight. This is not something he normally does during his regular trips on the A and J lines.

But those older cars lack what the new R160 subway car has: a Flexible Information and Notice Display, or FIND, with a liquid crystal display screen like the ones in television or computer monitors. The FIND panel will also have light-emitting diodes that will constantly update information about the train's progress.

After each stop, the display will change to show the next 10 stops, along with stops farther along the line. The video screen can be used to show the route symbol (like the letter "N" or "Q") or advertising.

Mr. Malave was one of dozens of curious riders who attended an "open house" sponsored yesterday afternoon by New York City Transit to show off and receive feedback on a five-car test train, a prototype of the R160, the newest generation of subway cars.

Next summer, the test train will be put in use so that engineers and mechanics can conduct technical tests, see how the cars hold up and iron out any problems before the rest of the order - a $952 million contract for 660 cars, awarded in October 2002 - is completed by a joint venture of Kawasaki Rail Car and Alstom Transport.

The cars will be delivered starting in 2007. Although the agency has not decided yet, the new cars may be used on the N or Q lines, which currently use some of the oldest cars in the system.

The test train yesterday was fully functioning, but it was not available to ordinary riders trying to get home. It was parked for five hours at the Hoyt-Schermerhorn station in Downtown Brooklyn.

The R160 is 60 feet long and 85,200 pounds when empty. It comes in two versions: one with a train operator's cab at the end, which can seat 42, and one without the cab, which can seat 44. Except for the new display system, the R160 is almost identical to the R143, which has been in use since 2002 on the L line.

Riders yesterday, told to focus on the FIND panel, were asked questions like, "Do you feel reassured that the train is going to your station?" and "How easy or hard is it to read the words and letters on the sign?"

But riders seemed to be paying less attention to the sign than the rest of the car. Some of them said they did not regularly take the Nos. 2, 4, 5 and 6 lines (which use R142 cars, similar in design to the R143) or the L line and so were not familiar with the latest design.

Asked to compare the new car with the F train that she normally rides, María Romero, 72, a retired nurse's aide from Gravesend, Brooklyn, said, "This is three times more advanced!" Jared M. Skolnick, 34, an Internet marketer from the Upper West Side, said he admired the bright fluorescent lights, since he often took photographs in the subway.

James V. Sears, the agency's senior director of marketing research, said the results of the surveys - along with comments from focus groups convened in 2003 - could be incorporated into the final design of the FIND panel.

Among the transit specialists who crowded the test car yesterday was Masamichi Udagawa of Antenna Design New York. He was partly responsible for the bluish-gray color of the seats on the R142 and future generations. Asked whether he missed the red, orange and yellow seats used in many cars built in the 1970's, he said, "They were good for disco, but not for everyday commuting."

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)http://www.nycsubway.org/cars/r160.html

Ninjahedge
November 30th, 2005, 08:42 AM
That's great.

How long will it last before it:

a) Breaks
b) has grafitti scratched all over it.

As for the light rail, it would be interesting, but there is no real room for it. Unless, of course, you want to get rid of pedestrian ways or any possibility of parkland.

I think an El would be fine, so long as they spent the extra $$ and made it look more like an aqueduct rather than an elevated offramp.

ZippyTheChimp
November 30th, 2005, 09:02 AM
The new R142 cars on the IRT have been remarkably free of graffiti.

TonyO
November 30th, 2005, 09:24 AM
All the new cars have plastic covering on the windows to prevent scratching, which works really well.

TLOZ Link5
November 30th, 2005, 11:29 AM
The only lasting graffiti that I see on the R142 trains are the letters "HA" carved into the drywall boards at the ends of some of the cars. And those showed up in 2002.

Ninjahedge
November 30th, 2005, 11:45 AM
The new R142 cars on the IRT have been remarkably free of graffiti.

I have not seen the new cars, just the stainless ones that have been around for a while.

While they are remarkably free of paint grafitti, the scratchitti is really bad on some of them.


I compare this with most commuter rails and the PATH train, which show little, if any, of that kind of vandalism (primarily because of the people that use it and the areas it serves not being as casual or used in off hours as the NY subway system...).

I hope the coating it an effective deterrant, but it is rare that any plastic cannot be scratched with something like a metal callous remover or file.

As for the LCD's, they tried those in the Hoboken PATH terminals, and the changes in voltage, poor ventalation, and vibration knocked them out in 3 months. I am not sure which was the major culprit, but they are in sad shape now.... (See Christopher street).

TLOZ Link5
November 30th, 2005, 02:25 PM
The PATH is cramped and badly ventilated compared to the NYC subway.

ZippyTheChimp
November 30th, 2005, 02:59 PM
I wish they would New York-ize the recorded voices.

The male voice, especially, is right out of the heartland.

TonyO
November 30th, 2005, 04:50 PM
I wish they would New York-ize the recorded voices.

The male voice, especially, is right out of the heartland.

They're from Bloomberg news apparently. The guy is a little hokey - almost Johnny-cab-ish (Total Recall). The woman is a better fit, especially her "Wall St." - when she's all about business.

NYatKNIGHT
December 19th, 2005, 01:15 PM
Posts related to the wall found in the Battery Park Subway tunnel have been moved here (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8037).

antinimby
December 29th, 2005, 01:04 PM
WIRELESS EXTENSION

December 29, 2005 -- The MTA has postponed for a second time the deadline for bids to build and operate a wireless telephone network in some subway stations.
Bidders — which include the country's top four cellular providers — will have until Jan. 18 to submit proposals, agency spokeswoman Mercedes Padilla said.

The date extends yesterday's deadline and an original deadline of Oct. 12 after bidders asked for more time, she said.

Cingular Wireless, the largest wireless services provider, is working with Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel Corp. and T-Mobile to submit a combined bid to provide wireless phone and Internet access in 277 of the city's 468 subway stations.

MTA officials want a wireless network that allows phone calls and Web access on subway platforms, according to the agency's request for procurement. Post Wire Services

Scruffy88
January 29th, 2006, 10:31 PM
QUOTE: They could extend Grand Central Terminal's CURRENT lower level tracks to tracks 1-5 of Penn Station. Have trains continue that way, then branch off under the West Side Highway. Merge it with an NJT tunnel for an extension of NJT from Hoboken

QUOTE: That sounds extremely expensive... First off, to extend the 18 tracks from the lower level would require a complete redesign of the lower level to remove the stairs at the end of the tracks. Then you're talking about a deep-cut tunnel bored system to bring those tracks to Penn Station, although you could reduce the number of tracks to 4 probably.
How would those tracks merge into Penn however? Go straight down Park Ave under the 4-5-6 tracks and connect at 34th to the LIRR/Amtrak tubes?



I know this was from a few months ago, but I heard this and its very relavant. This wouldn't work for a different reason. If the lower level continued past its ending, yes they would have to remove the ramps and stairs that are there but it would run straight into the 7 line which runs perpendicular to the lower level at the same elevation under ground. They cant go above it becuase you have the the 456 on top and then the sub station main concourse and Shuttle above that. If they wanted to go under and not have too steep a descent, i forget the maximum grade allowed for subway trains, but theoretically they would have to start the descent halfway through the actual platforms which would make the passenger platforms obsolete.

TonyO
May 5th, 2006, 01:45 PM
Crain's

Spitzer backs slew of transportation projects

by Erik Engquist

New York state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer on Friday endorsed a slew of major projects he called essential to the economic growth and safety of the region as part of the transportation agenda he would pursue if elected governor.

Speaking at an annual assembly of the Regional Plan Association, Mr. Spitzer said priority should go to a slew of "mega projects:"


* Long Island Rail Road East Side Access, including a third track to increase capacity for the reverse commute to Long Island;

* The Second Avenue subway, including extensions to the Bronx and Brooklyn;

* Extending the No. 7 subway line to the West Side, which is largely a Bloomberg Administration plan;

* Replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge, whose minimum cost of $5 billion should be funded by toll revenue. He said the bridge could be leased to a private operator if a long-term agreement could be reached on toll costs and job protections for bridge workers;

* Upgrading Stewart Airport in Newburgh, N.Y., including adding rail access;

* Building another tunnel for commuters under the Hudson River, funded by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Mr. Spitzer, a Democrat, said the proposed cross-harbor rail freight tunnel championed by Rep. Jerrold Nadler should be more aggressively pursued. “We must complete the long overdue draft environmental impact statement,” he said.

The gubernatorial front-runner stopped short of endorsing a rail link to John F. Kennedy International Airport, calling for an environmental impact statement to help evaluate whether the project should go forward.

Mr. Spitzer also blasted the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for funding much of its 2000-2004 capital program with debt, leaving it with interest costs that contribute to a projected $900 million deficit in 2009.

He added that Amtrak’s Northeast corridor service should be protected, regardless of the rail company’s financial difficulties elsewhere.

©2006 Crain Communications Inc.

__________________________________________________ ________

Spitzer has vision, I like him.

ZippyTheChimp
May 5th, 2006, 02:17 PM
Something going on here between Spitzer and Nadler?

BPC
May 5th, 2006, 03:15 PM
Why, because Spitzer listed 27 transit projects he favors, and somehow left off the one that Nadler has been obsessing over for the last 20 years?

Ninjahedge
May 5th, 2006, 04:04 PM
Problem with another tunnel is that there is not enough capacity on both sides to handle more traffic.

The pallisades create a bottleneck up north, and you already have 2 tunnels within 2 miles of each other down south.

Also, things like Bus traffic will not abate unless another PA or a PA expansion is done.

What might be needed is a direct tunnel through Manhattan that wil allow buisness traffic a more clear access to areas like Brooklyn, Queens and NYC without having to tie up NYC roads or access.

czsz
May 5th, 2006, 10:13 PM
Cross-Manhattan Expressway...

ablarc
May 5th, 2006, 10:20 PM
How about the Under-Manhattan Expressway? New Jersey to Queens with no Manhattan access or exits. Shorter than many tunnels in the Alps.

lofter1
May 6th, 2006, 12:59 AM
How about the Under-Manhattan Expressway? New Jersey to Queens ...
God Bless you if you can make THIS happen

tmg
May 6th, 2006, 01:28 AM
Problem with another tunnel is that there is not enough capacity on both sides to handle more traffic.

This is the tunnel ("THE Tunnel") he is talking about:
http://accesstotheregionscore.com/index.html

It is a passenger rail tunnel, not a highway tunnel

ablarc
May 6th, 2006, 07:20 AM
God Bless you if you can make THIS happen
With a lesson or two from China.

Ninjahedge
May 8th, 2006, 09:01 AM
This is the tunnel ("THE Tunnel") he is talking about:
http://accesstotheregionscore.com/index.html

It is a passenger rail tunnel, not a highway tunnel

Thanks (seriously), but that is also a problem.

Trying to walk around the stations in NYC and being jostled on all sides by overcrowded venues with construction always present in one way or another and traffic competing for passage it is hard to see how MORE access to the city would be warranted.

The city is full. They need to find ways to get people across it without having to go through it in order to relieve some of the conjestion on the roads, rails and stations.

It would be nice if you could get to some places without having to go into Manhattan first and transfer....

pianoman11686
June 14th, 2006, 11:08 PM
From http://cityrealty.com/new_developments:

Broadway to get new "station house" at 96th Street 14-JUN-06

The transportation committee of Community Board 7 last night passed a resolution endorsing a plan by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to dramatically alter the 100-year-old 96th Street station of the IRT subway on Broadway.

The $80 million plan would eliminate sidewalk entrances to the subway at 96th Street and erect a new “station house” in the middle of Broadway between 96th and 95th Streets. The station house would be close to 95th Street and would include two elevators and four stairways to the subway platforms. It is one of 100 stations of the city’s 467 stations that the city has agreed to provide with disabled access.

Recently, the MTA redid the crowded express subway station at 72nd Street and Broadway and Andrew Albert, co-chairman of the transportation committee, remarked that the board was lucky to get another major station renovation.

The proposed new station house will be quite different from the handsome Post-Modern design at 72nd Street. The design by Urbahn Associates Inc., and Daniel Frankfurt PC calls for an arched building, somewhat reminiscent of some of the famous designs of Salvador Calatrava.

A spokesman for Daniel Frankfurt engineering firm told the committee that the proposal will reduce from 65 to 32 the number of steps that non-disabled subway riders will have to make each trip at the station. At present, access to the express platform at 96th Street must be made by descending the sidewalk entrances to the local platforms and descending beneath them and walking to the middle of the street and ascending another set of stairs to reach the express platform. The new stairways and elevators will direct access the express platform. The spokesman also said that the redesigned mall with the new station house would be surrounded by a wall that would prevent mid-block jaywalking.

Some members of the public at the meeting expressed concerns about increased pedestrian traffic from new high-rise construction in the area.

The plan would reduce the width of the sidewalks by as much as 9 feet on either side of the avenue to provide “left turning” lanes to speed the flow of north-south traffic.

The resolution specifically agreed to provisions in the proposal to make adjustments to the mall on Broadway between 94th and 97th Streets. The resolution also specifically did not approve plans in the proposals to permit a Parks Department concession stand.

The committee spent almost two-and-half hours debating the merits of the proposal with most of its attention focused on pedestrian safety and parking spaces.

Several members of the public asked a spokesperson for the city’s Department of Transportation about the possibility of changing traffic signals to the count-down signals used in Washington, D.C., but the spokesperson said that was a “different philosophy,” much to the chagrin of most of the committee.

A spokesperson for the MTA told the committee that it hopes to bid the project out to bid by the end of the year and the 36-month construction would start early next year.

The station, which is in the top 5 percent of most used in the city, now gets about 37,000 entries a day.

A spokesman for the Broadway Mall Association asked the committee to include a provision in its resolution requesting the MTA to pay the association for its recent costs in beautifying the mall it is replacing, which, he said, “was the most beautiful on Broadway.” The committee declined his request.

http://www.cityrealty.com/graphics/uploads/1150318264_96mta.gif

ablarc
June 15th, 2006, 03:21 AM
...somewhat reminiscent of some of the famous designs of Salvador Calatrava.
He got so famous he changed his name.

He also changed his style.

lofter1
June 15th, 2006, 09:58 AM
A box with an arch -- pure Calatrava????

pianoman11686
June 15th, 2006, 10:24 AM
You gotta remember, this article was written by the same people who use the word "handsome" to describe virtually every building in Manhattan.

Dagrecco82
June 15th, 2006, 10:28 AM
He got so famous he changed his name.

He also changed his style.

LOL. Maybe they were thinking of his Spanish compatriot, Dali.

TonyO
June 16th, 2006, 07:49 PM
NY1

Schumer Throws Support Behind S.I. Light Rail System

June 16, 2006

A political heavyweight is throwing his support behind a proposed light rail system on Staten Island.

Senator Charles Schumer says new passenger rail systems along the island's north and west shores are essential to meeting the borough's growing transportation needs.

The North Shore rail link would run from Arlington to the St. George ferry terminal. Officials estimate anywhere between 11,000 to 15,000 riders would use the North Shore line.

The West Shore line would link the Hudson-Bergen station in New Jersey to a new "park and ride" in Staten Island's Bloomfield section, and stretch all the way to the Staten Island Mall.

Supporters say the rail lines would alleviate traffic and revitalize the area.

“The people that go to Manhattan to work, down to the ferry, the growth would be tremendous,” S.I. Borough President James Molinaro said Friday. “It would be tremendous, plus it would have a impact on the economy and an impact on the quality of life for people."

"That's the difference between bumper-to-bumper traffic and moving traffic. So this not only good for the people who live near here and can use this light rail system, but it's good for everybody who has to commute," said Schumer.

The cost of the north shore rail link is estimated at $360 million. The cost of the west shore link is still being studied.

pianoman11686
June 18th, 2006, 01:45 PM
An Incredible Shrinking Sidewalk (Maybe)

By JOHN FREEMAN GILL

Published: June 18, 2006

It pays to keep on your toes at Broadway and 96th Street. With crosstown and Broadway buses rumbling past, cars headed to and from the Henry Hudson Parkway, and 37,000 subway riders entering the station daily, crossing the street or just walking the sidewalk can require the agility of a dancer.

But the stage itself may be in for big changes. If a proposed $80 million renovation of the 96th Street subway station is adopted, the sidewalk on each side of Broadway between 95th and 96th Streets will be narrowed by nine feet, and pedestrians will have one more crosswalk to navigate to reach the subway.

That's because the plan would create a new station house on a widened Broadway mall while eliminating the sidewalk entrances on both sides of Broadway.

On Tuesday, at a joint public meeting of Community Board 7's Transportation Committee and its Parks and Preservation Committee, members voted 9-0 with two abstentions to approve the project. The role of the committees, and of the full community board, which will vote on the project in July, is advisory, but it can influence city and state officials.

Neil Lucey, an engineer with Daniel Frankfurt, one of two firms redesigning the station, explained that it would allow direct stair and elevator access to the platforms, the latter to comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

But some residents at the meeting worried that narrowing the sidewalks from 24 feet to 15 would make pedestrians less safe.

"The sidewalks are constantly flooded with people, particularly the many young children that attend the four elementary schools nearby," said Siobhan McDermott, a longtime area resident. "Two days ago a car careened off 97th Street and took out the coffee cart."

Margaret Forgione, Manhattan borough commissioner of the city's Department of Transportation, defended the plan. "We don't think it's flawed or unsafe," she said.

Even with the narrowed sidewalks, Ms. Forgione said, the "level of service" — a measure of how freely pedestrians can walk down a street — would merit a grade of B, which the transportation department considers acceptable.

If the State Legislature votes this summer to allow the station house to be constructed on the Broadway mall, which is currently parkland, the three-year project could begin next winter.

"I'd argue for making it work as best we can with the current design," said Andrew Albert, co-chairman of the transportation committee, adding that the committees' approval was conditioned on making pedestrian safety a priority.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

Eugenious
June 18th, 2006, 02:35 PM
How about simple maintenance and painting to cover up the rust, dirt, peeling paint, and human feces that are all over the transit system. I think that would be a worthy transit improvement.

antinimby
June 18th, 2006, 06:03 PM
That is gross.
Thankfully, I can't say I've ever come across that though.

Scruffy88
June 18th, 2006, 09:00 PM
ugh. i have. at 59th and lex. it was so gross. everytime a train would come by, the wind blew the stink around

Dynamicdezzy
June 19th, 2006, 12:28 AM
This might be a little off topic


NEW YORK, June 15 (Reuters) - A new rail link between New York City and Atlantic City, New Jersey, could be approved as early as Monday, promising New York's casino patrons another option for public transport to the gambling mecca of the U.S. East Coast.

The New Jersey Transit board of directors is scheduled to consider the plans on Monday, New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority spokesman Karlis Povisils said.

The proposed express train from New York's Penn Station will only stop at Newark, New Jersey, on its way to Atlantic City, Povisils said. The trip would take about 2.5 hours, about the same time as it takes on a bus from Manhattan.

If approved, the train service would start in the latter half of 2007, giving people who must now either drive or take a bus to Atlantic City an alternative, Povisils said.



Atlantic City -- home to casinos operated by companies such as Harrah's Entertainment Inc. (HET.N: Quote, Profile, Research), Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. (TRMP.O: Quote, Profile, Research), MGM Mirage (MGM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Boyd Gaming Corp. (BYD.N: Quote, Profile, Research) -- is trying to transform itself into an entertainment destination along the lines of Las Vegas.

A train service would help attract younger and more affluent people from New York, Morgan Joseph analyst Adam Steinberg wrote in a research note.

An attempt in the late 1980s to connect New York with Atlantic City with a direct train failed. But this time casino companies, faced with looming competition from Pennsylvania and New York, are putting their weight behind the project.

The train would be run as contract operation, with the casino industry guaranteeing operating costs and handling other services such as marketing, Povisils said.

stache
June 19th, 2006, 04:03 AM
I wonder what they would charge?

pianoman11686
July 13th, 2006, 02:10 PM
A lot of this is stuff we've already read about, but it provides a good summary of the major projects going on right now:

McGraw-Hill Construction

Transportation

New York's Subway System Finally Starting Major Expansion

(newyork.construction.com, May 2006 issue)

By Tom Stabile

Infrastructure designers and contractors around New York endured a tense wait for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's new capital program to take shape last year, but the bumpy ride may have been worth it. The MTA's subsidiaries have since unleashed dozens of projects, including major jobs to expand the region's transit capacity.

The logjam broke after New York's state legislature and Gov. George Pataki agreed to fund a $21.2 billion 2005-09 capital program for the MTA last year. Voter approval of a $2.9 billion transportation bond on the ballot last November provided an extra boost, said Mysore Nagaraja, president of the MTA's Capital Construction Co., which oversees large-budget efforts, including two - East Side Access and the Second Avenue Subway - that split $900 million from the referendum.

"That was voted for overwhelmingly - by 55 percent - and gave a mandate that the projects are important," he said. "The confidence level for funding from both the state and federal perspectives is up."

New York City Transit is another busy MTA division, with more than $2 billion a year in the new capital program for bus depot, rail yard, fan plant, station rehabilitation, signal, track, and tunnel lighting projects in the five boroughs, said Cosema Crawford, the agency's chief engineer.

"It's good work across all disciplines - a lot of deep excavation work, complex logistics work," she added. "It's a great capital program for contractors of all sizes."

New Work Expands System's Reach

The MTA's docket has three high-profile projects, two to expand the city's subway system for the first time in decades, and the third to transform commuting patterns for thousands of suburbanites.

One is an extension of the Flushing line, known as the 7 train, from its terminus at W. 42nd Street and 7th Avenue. It will head west and south to the Jacob K. Javits Center on W. 34th Street and 11th Avenue. New York City is footing the $2 billion bill, which does not include funds to acquire land, such as a planned staging site on W. 26th Street, Nagaraja said.

The MTA plans to award a $350 million to $400 million contract by year's end to tunnel from 26th Street north to W. 41st Street and 10th Avenue. A contract to build the 34th Street station would follow next year. The agency is also hiring a construction manager consultant this fall.

"My goal is by 2011 to finish the whole thing," Nagaraja said.

The 7 line will have to work around various underground features, said David Donatelli, project manager for New York-based Parsons Brinckerhoff, the design consultant. Those include the 8th Avenue subway; Amtrak's West Side rail yards, access tunnels, and open tracks; infrastructure for the Lincoln Tunnel and Port Authority Bus Terminal; the viaduct supporting 11th Avenue; and a planned $6 billion commuter rail tunnel under the Hudson River from New Jersey that would end at 34th Street and 7th Avenue.

"We will have to make sure that the other features are shored up properly," Nagaraja said. "But we will be digging deep."

Another subway expansion has a much larger reach - the $16 billion Second Avenue line planned to one day stretch 8.1 mi. from 125th Street and Park Avenue in East Harlem down to Hanover Square near Wall Street. Aimed at easing congestion on the Lexington Avenue line on Manhattan's East Side, the four-phase project would start next year with construction of a leg from E. 96th Street to E. 63rd Street, where it would link to an existing station, said David Palmer, a principal with London-based Arup, a lead firm on the joint-venture design team.

The job will involve a cut-and-cover dig for a station at 96th Street and mining with TBM and other deep excavation equipment for stations at 72nd and 86th streets, Palmer said. Three tracks heading south into the 72nd Street station will fan out to four on the other side, added Don Phillips, an Arup principal.

"You have to plan for crossovers between the tracks at both ends, which means you have to mine larger caverns," he said.

Preliminary engineering and environmental approvals are complete on the first $3.8 billion, 2-mi. phase, Nagaraja said.

"My hope is that next spring we'll have the tunnel contract," he added.

The first leg would finish in late 2012 or early 2013 to serve an expected 202,000 riders, Nagaraja said. The design effort so far has cost $400 million, and funding for the rest of the first phase would come from $1 billion left over from the 2000-2004 capital plan, $450 million from last November's referendum, $1.5 billion in federal money, and future MTA funds.

The significance of adding a new line led the MTA to ask its design team to also develop modern systemwide station construction guidelines. The template will also apply to the 7 line expansion.

"One of the things we tried to do is make the space as attractive as we can - it has to function well day and night," Phillips said. "For instance, the platforms will be column-free spaces so that people can see all around the train arrival area."

The project brought together DMJM Harris and FXFowle, both based in New York, Arup, and others. They took roost in an MTA office, drafting preliminary and conceptual designs over three years, said Sudhir Jambhekar, a FXFowle principal.

"It was an amazing collaborative process," he added. "Projects of this nature are led by serious engineering decisions, so we had to be cognizant of that as we designed stations and streetscapes."

At some point, the teams on Second Avenue may cross paths with crews working on another MTA project - the $6.3 billion East Side Access program that will bring Long Island Rail Road trains, which currently head straight to Pennsylvania Station on Manhattan's West Side, into a new station complex deep under Grand Central Terminal on the East Side.

The busiest phase is approaching with the planned award next month of a $380 million contract to bore 1 mi. southward from the existing 63rd Street rail tunnel - which connects to Queens under the East River - in order to reach Grand Central in a deep dig under existing subway lines. Nagaraja said he also expects to award a $90 million contract next month to build rail infrastructure under Amtrak's Sunnyside Yard rail complex in Queens.

Nagaraja said he hopes to clear up East Side Access funding by locking in an expected federal contribution this year. His agency has spent about $1 billion so far and has $1.1 billion on hand in funds from the last capital plan and the November referendum. He expects the federal government to contribute $2 billion.

Another East Side Access contract for a $150 million chilling and ventilation facility on E. 50th Street in Manhattan, set for award next year, will end a bitter fight with neighbors, who objected to the planned seven-story height. Nagaraja said the solution to move three to four floors underground and add a park added $50 million to the tab.

"It was frustrating," he said. "But it's a good design that's friendly to the neighborhood."

Upgrading the Core Infrastructure

Expanding a 100-year-old transit system may capture the imagination, but the MTA is also deep into efforts to maintain or upgrade its bus and rail infrastructure. That translates into scores of big projects.

A signature effort is New York City Transit's $260 million Grand Avenue Bus Depot in Queens, which began in December 2003 under the last capital plan. The work is under a design-build contract with Granite Construction Northeast of Mount Vernon, N.Y., as contractor and Gannett Fleming of Camp Hill, Pa., as engineer, said the transit agency's Crawford.

"We wanted to go quickly, and design-build allows that," she added. "We like to use it when we're off the right of way."

The 560,000-sq.-ft. depot, slated to open in August, will hold 200 buses and 27 maintenance bays and have green features, including a 200,000-gallon underground rainwater collector tank to supply bus washing water, a 200 KW fuel cell on the roof, and natural lighting.

Another big upgrade in Manhattan is creating the Fulton Street Transit Center - an $847 million subway complex that will greatly ease transfers, said Arup's Palmer, whose firm is designing the project.

"Now, you have 11 lines and six stations where you go through a rabbit warren to get around," he said. "The goal is to open up the space and make it all visual."

The 215,000-sq.-ft. job will open up the maze by demolishing old corridors, adding new passageways and mezzanines, and building a grand entry hall with a glass-domed atrium designed by London-based Grimshaw Architects - all while keeping the stations open for 275,000 riders. The construction managers, Bovis Lend Lease and Parsons Brinckerhoff, are both based in New York.

Nagaraja's office scaled back the project last year after work had begun. The original $750 million budget is now $847 million, but includes $150 million for land buys, he said. It is funded by federal redevelopment money for Lower Manhattan.

Two contracts are under way. Citnalta of Bohemia, N.Y., is general contractor on a $35 million reconstruction of two station areas, and Slattery Skanska of Whitestone, N.Y., is general contractor on a $133 million pedestrian tunnel to connect the complex to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's planned World Trade Center transit hub. A contract to demolish several buildings to make way for the main hall is slated for award in June.

"By the end of this year, almost all of the contracts will be out," Nagaraja said.

A $106 million rehabilitation of the Columbus Circle subway station in Manhattan is also starting this spring. It entails rebuilding the roof, upgrading platforms, and adding a new entrance, which alone will require digging up W. 60th Street, driving soldier piles, and installing a precast deck to temporarily support the road, said Rich Ocken, vice president for Judlau Contracting of College Point, N.Y., the general contractor.

"There's a lot of staging and mobilizing on this job because at Columbus Circle you can't close anything," Ocken added.

Other big jobs wrapping up include:

a $192 million overhaul of 4 mi. of elevated track and 10 stations on the White Plains Road line in the Bronx. Judlau is rebuilding mezzanines, canopies, wind screens, and guard rails, while also installing several elevators, Ocken said.

installation of communication-based train control on the Canarsie line, known as the L train, to replace 70-year-old signal systems. CBTC will run trains by computer for parts of routes, allowing for closer train spacing, while funnelling train location data to the agency's command center and eventually to passengers. A Siemens, Union Switch, and Railworks joint venture is adding train and switch equipment, software, and systems for the $287 million job finishing in August.

http://construction.com/NewsCenter/Headlines/RP/20060523ny.asp

© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies - All Rights Reserved

BrooklynRider
July 15th, 2006, 01:26 AM
Very exciting stuff. I never thought I'd see the subway funded for expansion in my lifetime.

lofter1
July 20th, 2006, 06:29 PM
ON THE WATERFRONT

NY POST (http://www.nypost.com/realestate/furnish_line_realestate_.htm)
July 20, 2006

Expect the forthcoming Yonkers-to-Battery Park ferry service to spur interest in upstate New York. Case in point: 66 Main, a new rental building opening next spring at 66 Main St. in Yonkers, already has a list of 100 interested parties, according to Alan Litt, president of development company Kohl...

Ferry service to Battery Park will launch next spring, with boats running four to five times a day. The commute will take just 45 minutes.

yonkersdowntownwaterfront.com

Copyright 2006 NYP Holdings, Inc

futurecity
March 12th, 2008, 06:16 PM
The future is a long way off. However, I think new york should look into more rail capacity, a regional rail link express service similar to the new crossrail in london. This would free up crowding on the current lines and allow links between key business areas and transport terminals within the city and suburbs. The 2nd avenue subway would not fulfill this, so this would be a seperate project funded by a more pro-transit administration somewhere down the road, especially when NYC realises that in order to compete it must invest in world class services to match its foreign world cities.

The idea would be a new major deep tunnel trunk line capable of carrying fast regional rail services (faster than subway) that would be built from midtown manhattan to lower manhattan and to the airports. You would have a new stations in midtown in key areas (5th avenue, Union Square, Penn Station), Lower manhattan. New connections would be formed to allow thru running onto existing suburban lines. JFK airport link through jamaica station and air-train would be linked through a new east river tunnel. Services to NJ would occur through the new tunnel a Penn.

This would allow a person to travel from the new jersey suburbs to major points in manhattan, LI airports, etc without transfer. An arriving JFK passenger would have a quick trip to midtown or downtown - no connection. Speeds would be higher and capacity. You could link the tunnel to the metro north system, allowing someone from westchester to get to lower manhattan without transfer, and someone from new jersey to link to westchester quickly without transfer.

What do you think? Sounds much better than some mickey mouse loop in brooklyn. If London can do it, this city can. The RER/Crossrail type system is what is missing in NY, a regional link that goes through the city.

Don31
March 12th, 2008, 06:27 PM
An interesting idea, but I shudder to think of the cost......

futurecity
March 12th, 2008, 06:38 PM
Look at the crossrail project, 30Billion pounds or is that dollars?

Paris made the investment years ago, now look at the benefits of the RER. Tokyo too. Sure, its expensive, but so is losing business to those cities and the new ones like Shanghai and Dubai.

For one thing, its appalling that NY is the only world city without a direct one-seat airport to city service (express). I can only think that this will hurt business in NY over the long hall. No body wants to be jammed in a taxi on the highway when you're on a quick business trip.

NY will be sorry it finds itself further behind. It or Washington should just admit it doesn't intend to compete globally, because its clearly not showing any signs of really trying by neglecting its world city.

Meerkat
March 12th, 2008, 10:16 PM
^I'm always a big fan of projects such as this. The cost would be high, but the long term benefits would outweigh that eventually. I think a scheme like this is the way forward for any major city.

Look at the 'RER' system Paris - you can get from just about anywhere in the city / suburbs without changing trains very quickly.

By the way, the crossrail in London is £16 billion, or around $30 billion.

futurecity
March 13th, 2008, 12:57 AM
Well, u won't be seeing this in NY anytime soon.:(

Meerkat
March 13th, 2008, 10:52 PM
^ So i take it there is no scheme such as this in the pipeline at the moment?

NYC has a pretty good rail transport system anyway, i was looking at a map yesterday. It looks pretty straight forward getting from A to B.

As for crossrail here, don't hold your breath until its actually under construction.

ramvid01
March 14th, 2008, 12:30 AM
I was thinking about how the old Rockaway LIRR ROW would be a great place to run a subway service. I think it would really serve a large area of Queens that is right not either driving or taking buses. From what I understand the ROW is all but there, maybe they can connect it Queens Boulevard line.

It seems like a ROW that is just wasting, because realistically LIRR service on that ROW just wouldn't be profitable, nor would it maximize commuter capacity (price of ticket over distance to nearest subway, the latter would most likely win)

brianac
March 14th, 2008, 05:23 AM
I don't know if this has been asked before.

Traveling by train from the airport to the city.

What are the current times and distances for,

JFK to Grand Central

La Guardia to Grand Central

Newark to Penn Station.

nick-taylor
March 14th, 2008, 09:26 AM
Look at the crossrail project, 30Billion pounds or is that dollars?

Paris made the investment years ago, now look at the benefits of the RER. Tokyo too. Sure, its expensive, but so is losing business to those cities and the new ones like Shanghai and Dubai.

For one thing, its appalling that NY is the only world city without a direct one-seat airport to city service (express). I can only think that this will hurt business in NY over the long hall. No body wants to be jammed in a taxi on the highway when you're on a quick business trip.

NY will be sorry it finds itself further behind. It or Washington should just admit it doesn't intend to compete globally, because its clearly not showing any signs of really trying by neglecting its world city.New York already has that - New Jersey Transit and Long Island Rail Road lines converge at the same point: Penn Station. With a few ammendments it would be pretty easy to connect both to create through lines - something I've thought would be pretty beneficial (ie frequencies, cost of operations, cutting out dwell times and increasing capacity) but not taken forward.

With London, the networks are there, but the tunnels connecting them are not.

futurecity
March 20th, 2008, 01:12 PM
Everyone talks about a 1-seat-ride to a major airport from manhattan via rail. Why on earth didn't the authorities go for the easiest solution instead of the airtrain malarky, or am I missing some feasability problem.. Take EWR for example. You have the main line rail just 3/4 mile from the major terminals. A short, deep tunnel bored from the NEC to the major terminals ( with rails joining the main line at a switch) wouldn't be too expensive to pull off given the benefit of business/leisure passengers willing to pay the fare required. There would be an underground station under each terminal. A small fleet of exsting trains would be retrofitted as airport trains (i.e, space for bags, etc) and would make the express journey into penn. Now that is a much cheaper solution than building a massive new LIRR tunnel under the east river and extending air train from JFK. Given the capacity growth with the new hudson tunnel, i can't imagine how they couldn't stick 4/5 more trains on the NEC every hour. This would be a better solution than the existing airtrain as well as a Path extension. No changes at all, heaven!! There could be a stop at NEWARK station, thats all.

And the same thing could have been done with JFK - putting the LIRR tracks under the terminals (with around 2-3 stations connecting with airtrain) to join the LIRR line at rosedale or laurenton stations only 2 miles away or so. With the new capacity at G.central, i'm sure a few dedicated airport LIRR style trains could be fit into the schedule. I mean, who runs NYC? Why hasn't this option been announced at all, has nobody even bothered to raise the question? I'm serious, if NYC wants a one seat ride, than these are the most effective solutions, not trying to extend the airtrain into a new tunnel, building more tracks, etc.

Security wouldn't be a problem for the airport, as the trains would be special airport trains and would be deep enough under the terminal that any bomb would not destroy the airport. Also, they would have more security on the airport lines. The fares would be higher than the regular trains, helping to pay off the cost of the tunnels, etc..

More biz traffic would use this service than the airtrain. It just seems like the most sensible solution to a one-seat-ride, and not the new east river tunnell which would probably be more expensive.

MikeW
March 20th, 2008, 02:13 PM
^
I know with the airtrain, there was money, but it was from a special airport fund that came out of airline ticket fees, that couldn't be used for general mass transit. That prevented the money from being used to extend the normal rail systems to JFK. I'm doing this from memory, so I'm short on details, but that was the gist of it.

JCMAN320
March 20th, 2008, 02:18 PM
Futurecity they have done a fesiability study to determine how cost effective the PATH extesnsion to Newark Liberty would be. It literally is a straight shot from Newark Penn to Newark Liberty. I think it will happen eventually and it makes sense since both the airport and PATH are owned by the Port Authoirty. My father works for PATH so I'll be kept abreast of this.

futurecity
March 20th, 2008, 02:48 PM
JCman' but the path is not the point...that would be nice too, but its a 1-seat-ride that will lure the most people including important biz traffic and reduce taxi congestion on hyws. PATH/NJTransit will not offer 1 seat ride from the terminals, unless buried beneath them. A better option would be a tunnell for airport-only trains retrofitted for baggage holding, etc.. that would run on the existing tracks after leaving the airport area. Most other world class cities are have a one seat ride or are building one, including many cities below NYC in class/standing/importance. I think its an embarassment to the nation that we can't match our competitors overseas. NYC will eventually lose out to other large financial centers due to HWY congestion from airports -> city. i.e, London (LHR express), Paris (CDG train), HK expres, Nartia Express, Bejning train /Shanghai maglev, BKK express train, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Munich, Frankfurt, Gatwick, Stansted, Incheon, and the list goes on and on....

And, regarding funding, this wouldn't really be a mass-transit project. Thats a poor argument made by the PA - probably in order to skimp on funding the full, future proof option :( The existing commuter rail tracks would be used, but the trains would be airport only express trains. So this is an airport project only. There would be no benefit for regular LIRR/NJT passengers.. Since we are wasting so money on wars, we are neglectin our infrastructure and maybe it will destroy the ability to sustain economic growth if more investment isn't made soon. How the heck can we be happy with this situation :(

JCMAN320
March 20th, 2008, 02:55 PM
Futurecity I know what you mean but that line that would be extended from Newark Penn to the NWK Liberty would the line straight from WTC to NWK but with stops.

futurecity
March 20th, 2008, 02:59 PM
ITS a truly sad day when a small PATH extension is the best the US can aim for -- very very very sad IMO. Where's the ambition? Are NY'ers still living in a delusion that they are so important and great that business/travellers, companies and FDI will put up with this backward infrastructure. They are in for a shock some day and someday they will be forced to regain what they once had. What a mess!!

No really, airports are vital for economic growth and companies will not invest here if we continue to neglect our infra.

ZippyTheChimp
March 20th, 2008, 03:56 PM
Where's the ambition? Are NY'ers still living in a delusion that they are so important and great that business/travellers, companies and FDI will put up with this backward infrastructure. Tell the delusional people in DC to send money up here.

All the projects you talk about require huge amounts of money, and those in other countries get investment from their central governments.

Cities have to balance their budgets, or borrow money. We can't print it.

futurecity
March 20th, 2008, 06:08 PM
NYC is important to the usa. The government will yield if pressured. Remember, so much of the economy depends on NYC.

The problem is, nobody in NY is demanding such projects, putting pressure on the govt. to listen up. If a bunch of experts came out and talked about these issues to the press, etc, well maybe then someting would happen. You can't expect any attention given if the problem is not made known. Articles talking about how NYC is behind other world cities in its transport infrastructure and how it could harm the economic growth of this city would get at least be a start. I see none of this. There are no ideas in the press regarding future NYC infrastructure. And when the MTA comes out with its plan, I don't see any real objective disucssion about it in the press either. Business groups should be demanding improvments. Its all the same attitude I hear "that will never happen here", "not in my lifetime buddy". How depressing.

These projects may cost alot of money, but they are sensible constructive projects that americans don't seem to grasp the need for. Perhaps they believe they are special, they don't need to invest in infrastructure and everything will still be OK. I mean the ideas I talked about here are small tunnells that at least somebody should be talking about. I mean comon, they've been talking about a ONE SEAT RIDE for Decades to an airport, and they neglect to mention the most sensible solution. NO, they would rather build an entire new train system, a new river tunnell, and try to get special HYBRID trains to run on them. What a load of CRAP!!! Just bloody well dig a short tunnell under the terminals, link it to the current mainline, retrofit some old trains, and there you go... shallow and short tunnells, no river to deal with, no hybrid trains, new capacity on the way at Penn and G.Central... charge higher fares to recoup operating and construction costs and there you go. How the hell did the Brits get LHR express? By digging the tunnel and connecting it to existing mainline rail, and by using an airport only train. How hard is that??

IF NY has no ambition to improve its transport infrastructure and if it can't even match the technology of places such as Bangkok, then there is no hope for the future i'm afraid. AND PLEASE, don't tell me that a PATH extension would be fantastic -- its small peanuts compared to what could be done. a 2 seat ride is a big deterrant. Its sad that people put up with the scraps the dog brought in.

ZippyTheChimp
March 20th, 2008, 06:23 PM
The problem is, nobody in NY is demanding such projects, putting pressure on the govt. to listen up.Oh, really?

futurecity
March 20th, 2008, 08:46 PM
Well, nothing public anyway. Anyway, are you against me or with me on this?

ZippyTheChimp
March 20th, 2008, 10:52 PM
Well, nothing public anyway.That's not true. Bloomberg talks about it all the time - in Washington.


Anyway, are you against me or with me on this?You have the money in place? Then I'm in.

By the way, have you done a feasibility study on tunneling under JFK? The airport and all the surrounding area is a wetland.

futurecity
March 21st, 2008, 01:20 PM
Ha, no sorry. I'm not capable of doing that--i'm just a guy with some ideas, not an engineer/planner. :)

However, if not JFK, EWR would be just as good. I'm sure a deep tunnel under JFK would hit bedrock of some type, of course that would add to the expense. Still, these are just ideas for exploration. If I had the money myself, i.e, if i were a multi billionaire I might actually propose these things to the city and donate money, but of course that never happens and I'm not sure they accept private funds (?). How many times have you seen a very wealthy city resident donate a few billion to improve the city he/she loves espcially in terms of infrastructure? Rarely. There are good reasons for this i'm sure, including budget over-runs, govt incompetence, etc..

Dynamicdezzy
March 21st, 2008, 01:33 PM
^ I suggest you do more research. There is a plan to extend the Airtrain from Jamaica to the future WTC hub. It would use the existing Lirr branch to flatbush terminal and then run under the east river via a new tunnel (with possible provision for 2nd ave line) and terminate at the Calatrava designed hub. This would be a 1 seat ride. The Path will eventually extend to Newark Liberty, as many stated above. While this is not a one seat ride, it does give the WTC station a starting/ending point for travelers going/coming from JFK or Newark.

futurecity
March 21st, 2008, 03:57 PM
:confused:Actually, maybe if you read my posts properly you would see tht I've been talking about that proposed new river tunnell and airtrain extension all along. I'm not sure why you are acusing me of not knowing about this!!!
Anyway, it seems to be a dead project since Pataki left. Do you know anything about its status?

Regarding that project, I've been saying all along that this is a waste of money in comparison to other easier options. Think about it, what you are talking about is building a hyper expensive tunnell under a river (meaning deep bore), aquiring a special train that runs on airtrain tracks and LIRR tracks (hybrid) or building new airtrain tracks along existing atlantic branch LIRR to the new tunnell. Why on earth would this be more cost-effective than simply tunnelling under JFK or EWR for a couple of miles, then linking that up with existing tracks i.e, LHR express. That saves a river tunnel. Although you lose LIRR access to downtown, it would be more financially feasable I'm sure. You can read my proposal in the previous posts, i'm not repeating it again here.

P.S, is that you in your avatar?

JCMAN320
March 24th, 2008, 04:45 PM
Rail tunnel should reach the East Side

Monday, March 24, 2008
BY TOM DAVIS
STAFF WRITER

The proposed second rail tunnel to New York City should go all the way to Manhattan’s East Side, according to a planning study that will be released Tuesday. Instead of ending at Penn Station, the tunnel would reach Madison Avenue with a possible link to Grand Central.

The Regional Plan Association, a transportation advocacy group, also recommends adding a light-rail loop to NJTransit’s Access to the Region’s Core project to increase midtown circulation that would accommodate new Manhattan development.

“New York and New Jersey need the same access over the Hudson River that Long Islanders will realize when the LIRR starts arriving at Grand Central in 2015 — shaving times off already long commutes and getting to their jobs faster,” said Jeffrey Zupan, senior transportation fellow for RPA and the report’s primary author.

The three-part analysis, the result of a multi-year research effort called, “The New Trans-Hudson Tunnel: Making it Work Best,” says the extension would shave approximately 20 minutes per day off the commutes of 30,000 New Jersey commuters arriving at Penn Station but destined for the East Side.

Those riders now face a two-seat subway ride across town to the Midtown central business district around Grand Central, according to the report.

E-mail: davist@northjersey.com

futurecity
March 24th, 2008, 06:11 PM
Are they going to have a rail link to GC or just pedestrian link? If your going to madison, why not go all the way to GC.

JCMAN320
March 24th, 2008, 06:24 PM
I think they mean rail link future.

JCMAN320
March 26th, 2008, 02:18 AM
Support for extending rail tunnel to near Grand Central

Wednesday, March 26, 2008
By TOM FEENEY
NEWHOUSE NEWS SERVICE

A new commuter rail tunnel beneath the Hudson River would be good. Extending it from the West Side of Manhattan to the East Side would make it better.

That's the central argument offered by the nonprofit Regional Plan Association in a report made public Monday.

New Jersey Transit and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey plan to build an $8 billion commuter rail tunnel to provide much-needed capacity for getting trains back and forth between New Jersey and a new station beneath 34th Street, close to the existing Penn Station. The project, known as Access to the Region's Core, or ARC, is scheduled to be completed in 2017.

The RPA supports the project, but its report encourages the agencies to consider adding a second phase to connect the 34th Street Station to a new station beneath Madison Avenue at 45th Street, near Grand Central Terminal, on the East Side. The extension would provide New Jersey commuters with a one-seat ride to the part of Manhattan where a majority of jobs are located.

"Access to the Region's Core will have tremendous benefits for New York, New Jersey and the entire Mega-region," reads the report by RPA, an independent, not-for-profit regional planning organization that has been working to improve the quality of life and the economic competitiveness of the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut region for more than 80 years. "These benefits can be expanded by considering a second phase of the project connecting to Manhattan's East Side," the report adds.

Gov. Jon Corzine has called the ARC project New Jersey's top transportation priority. The Port Authority has pledged $3 billion toward its completion, and New Jersey has pledged $1.5 billion. The agencies hope the Federal Transit Administration will pay for much of the balance.

brianac
December 13th, 2008, 05:03 AM
Feds To Solicit Bids for NY-DC Bullet Train; Nadler Upset

by Eliot Brown (http://www.observer.com/2007/author/eliot-brown)
4:22 PM December 12, 2008

http://www.observer.com/files/imagecache/article/files/acelacliff1066.jpg cliff1066 via flickr.
Soon obsolete? An Acela train in D.C.'s Union Station.

Come Monday, the U.S. Department of Transportation is expected to announce it is soliciting bids for a Euro-style high-speed rail that could connect New York and Washington, D.C., in a two-hour trip (http://www.nysun.com/national/congress-eyes-a-rocket-train-to-dc/78763/), an intriguing, if highly unlikely and expensive, proposal.

U.S. DOT sent out an advisory today noting that it was holding an event to make an announcement at Penn Station Monday (U.S. DOT Secretary Mary Peters, Mayor Bloomberg, and Representative Carolyn Maloney are listed as attendees), and a congressional aide with knowledge of the event filled me in on the subject matter.

The bids are expected to be solicited via a request for proposals, an initiative that was included in a reauthorization bill for Amtrak passed earlier this year.

The idea, championed by Representative John Mica (the Florida infrastructure-loving Republican who I briefly spoke with (http://www.observer.com/2008/real-estate/mica-cant-think-headline) this summer in St. Paul), envisions the private sector building and operating the line, which would undoubtedly cost many, many billions to build. Amtrak's Acela runs trips at about 2 hours 45 minutes, but can't go that much faster as the route is marked by curves. Mr. Mica said in August that the Amtrak lines have plenty of value themselves that could be better utilized if a high-speed corridor was built, and the Northeast's aviation congestion problem would be solved, but noted that "it'll cost probably $30 to $40 billion."

Given the economy, one wonders how much enthusiasm such a proposal will have among private investors these days, especially given that transportation experts tend to be dubious that the high-speed line would ever get funded or built.

Noticeably absent from the event was New York City’s railroad-loving congressman, Jerry Nadler. Mr. Nadler, who sits with Mr. Mica on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is apparently no fan of the proposal, as evidenced by this statement from the Manhattan-based congressman


"I oppose privatizing the Northeast Corridor. While I appreciate and support efforts to expand high-speed rail service in this country, it remains to be seen whether or not this RFP will achieve that goal. The only thing that Congress authorized is the submission of proposals. There will be a rigorous review process, and Congress will have to take subsequent action to move ahead should any of the proposals be worthy. In the meantime, Congress should continue to increase investment in Amtrak, which has been chronically under funded and faces a multi-billion dollar backlog on the Northeast Corridor alone. I fully expect the incoming Democratic Congress and Administration to increase funding for Amtrak as part of a rational transportation policy and an economic stimulus package for infrastructure."

A spokesman for U.S. DOT said he couldn’t confirm the content of the announcement.

http://www.observer.com/2008/real-estate/us-solicit-bids-ny-dc-rocket-train-nadler-upset

© 2008 Observer Media Group,

stache
December 13th, 2008, 06:20 AM
If they want this thing to get done it will have to be private. Getting the right of way will be the real headache.

NYC4Life
December 13th, 2008, 03:25 PM
We are perhaps, the only developed country without a significant high-speed rail system. Acela's speed is usually limited.

stache
December 13th, 2008, 06:22 PM
The NY/Boston Acela run is a giant fifteen minutes faster than the same route was 50 years ago. :(

lofter1
December 13th, 2008, 08:13 PM
Getting the right of way will be the real headache.
Wait a year until the economy is totally shattered and folks are desperate and hungry. Then the Feds can declare Eminent Domain where ever needed along the route and grab up those properties at the devalued real estate rate.

And the folks getting bought out can be put to work on the new rail line -- and given tents to live in nearby until its done :cool: . Fair trade. Good for the Nation.

Obama said we're gonna have to sacrifice ...

stache
December 13th, 2008, 09:21 PM
and then I got laid off lol. :p

brianac
December 17th, 2008, 06:57 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PR- 489-08
December 15, 2008

MAYOR BLOOMBERG, US TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY PETERS AND REPRESENTATIVES MALONEY, MICA, AND CASTLE ANNOUNCE NEXT STEP IN HIGH-SPEED RAIL

US DOT Seeks Two-Hour Door-To-Door Service Between Washington and New York


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Mary E. Peters and Representative John L. Mica of Florida, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Republican Leader, today announced that the DOT has for the first time requested private sector participation in the design, finance, construction, operation and maintenance of high-speed rail service between New York and Washington, DC and ten other corridors around the country. At the announcement, held at New York Penn Station, the Mayor, Secretary and Representative were joined by New York Representative Carolyn Maloney and Delaware Representative Mike Castle, the Passenger Rail Caucus Co-Chairman and former Delaware Governor.

"If the U.S. is to remain economically competitive, we must develop high-speed transportation service for our great cities, just as other countries are doing for theirs," said Mayor Bloomberg. "A high-speed train serving the Northeast Corridor is the kind of far-sighted project that we need, and completely consistent with New York City's own transportation goals. It would also relieve our congested roadways and airports - problems that Secretary Peters and I have long worked on together - and greatly increase our economic productivity. It would also reduce pollution and the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming - a major focus of our city's PlaNYC (http://www.nyc.gov/html/planyc2030) sustainability agenda."

"This is the most exciting development in U.S. passenger rail in years," said Representative Mica. "High-speed rail is an efficient, effective and environmentally friendly method of transportation, and a much-needed alternative to our congested highways and airspace. High-speed rail is a proven success in nations across Europe and Asia. Even countries such as Iran and Vietnam are developing high-speed rail systems for their people, yet the United States lacks a single true high-speed rail route.

It's time to move forward into the 21st century of transportation and revolutionize the way in which we move people in this nation."

"This year, Amtrak carried nearly 11 million passengers on its Northeast Corridor system," Representative Castle said. "The way I see it, this is 11 million travelers who are off our roadways and not clogging intersections, backing up tolls, and polluting the air in Delaware. For this reason, I have worked hard to set forth the policies and funding necessary to make a real investment in high-speed rail along the Northeast Corridor. This is exactly the type of forward-looking proposal that we should be talking about to improve our infrastructure, spur job creation, and generate long-term economic growth for our country."

"Americans need new ways of traveling between major cities, and a properly structured intercity passenger rail system can and must play a larger role in our nation's transportation future," said Transportation Secretary Peters.

The Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 was signed into law on October 16, 2008, and provides a framework for DOT to move the high-speed initiative forward. Representative Mica helped author the law. The public and private sector is invited to submit a proposal to develop high-speed service in 11 federally-designated corridors, including two-hour door-to-door service in the heavily congested Northeast Corridor between Washington, DC and New York City

The 11 federally-designated high-speed corridors are:

The Northeast Corridor,
The California Corridor,
The Empire Corridor,
The Pacific Northwest Corridor,
The South Central Corridor,
The Gulf Coast Corridor,
The Chicago Hub Network,
The Florida Corridor,
The Keystone Corridor,
The Northern New England Corridor, and
The Southeast Corridor.
Proposals must be submitted to US DOT by September 2009, and US DOT will then establish commissions of stakeholders - including governors, mayors, labor, Amtrak, and freight and commuter railroads - to evaluate the proposals for each corridor. By April 2010, US DOT will evaluate the Commissions' recommendations and submit its own recommendations to Congress, beginning with proposals for the Washington, DC-to-New York corridor.

http://www.nyc.gov/portal/site/nycgov/menuitem.c0935b9a57bb4ef3daf2f1c701c789a0/index.jsp?pageID=mayor_press_release&catID=1194&doc_name=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nyc.gov%2Fhtml%2Fom%2Fht ml%2F2008b%2Fpr489-08.html&cc=unused1978&rc=1194&ndi=1

Copyright 2008 The City of New York

stache
December 17th, 2008, 09:48 PM
Thank you for the update, brian. :cool: I'm not completely familiar with the locations of these items:



The California Corridor,
The Empire Corridor,
The Pacific Northwest Corridor,
The South Central Corridor,
The Gulf Coast Corridor,
The Chicago Hub Network,
The Florida Corridor,
The Keystone Corridor,
The Northern New England Corridor, and
The Southeast Corridor.

If anybody sees maps of these locations please post them. Thanks!

lofter1
December 17th, 2008, 10:04 PM
The California Corridor


THREAD: California -- High Speed Trains (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13023&highlight=california)

*

stache
December 18th, 2008, 01:59 AM
Thank you lofter! :cool:

brianac
December 18th, 2008, 05:08 AM
http://www.fra.dot.gov/ResourceImages/Oct18FRAmap.jpg (http://www.fra.dot.gov/Downloads/RRDev/Oct18FRAmap.doc)

http://www.fra.dot.gov/us/content/203

Federal Railroad Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20590

stache
December 18th, 2008, 07:31 AM
Brian gets the gold star! :) :cool: :)

ablarc
December 18th, 2008, 07:44 AM
A small number of additional connections would make this useful for long distance travel as well --especially with hotel night trains. Buffalo and Pittsburgh could connect with Cleveland, Jacksonville with Orlando, Sacramento with Eugene, and Charlotte with Columbia.

Fahzee
December 18th, 2008, 11:10 AM
a small number of these routes (beyond the Northeast Corridor) have already seen slight improvements that are increasing speeds.

The best example is the Philly to Harrisburg line, which now runs at 110mph - a far cry from European speeds, but a heck of a lot faster then most of he other routes.

lofter1
December 18th, 2008, 11:35 AM
It looks like nobody has an interest in a swift trip to Tennessee :cool:

Zephyr
December 18th, 2008, 05:00 PM
http://www.arcadis-us.com/nr/internet/images/logos/ARCADIS_logo_EN.gif



Tennessee High-Speed Rail Corridor Designation


http://www.arcadis-us.com/nr/internet/images/defaults/medium/People-talking-laptop.gif
http://www.arcadis-us.com/resources/004806.jpg

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) wants a high-speed rail (HSR) corridor for the state of Tennessee. The corridor designation will include two segments: Nashville to Chattanooga and Chattanooga to Atlanta. This corridor will be an extension of the existing Southeast High Speed Rail (SEHSR) Corridor.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) requirements for the corridor designation include the following six elements:
• Evaluation of existing rail infrastructure
• Review of operational issues
• Rider ship projections
• Expected benefits to the public
• System financing
• Cooperation of freight rail operators

The designation of an HSR corridor puts Tennessee in position to apply for federal funds for high-speed trains.

The FRA requires that the freight railroad provide a letter indicating their willingness to cooperate in hosting high-speed passenger rail. In addition, part of the designation process is to demonstrate that the corridor is capable of supporting passenger train speeds of 90 miles per hour or greater. Due to speed differentials, high-speed passenger trains and freight trains must run on separate tracks but potentially within the same right-of-way.



http://www.arcadis-us.com/resources/HSR.jpg

U.S. Department of
Transportation High-speed
Rail Corridor Destinations


ARCADIS teamed with STV (in their New York office) to designate the HSR corridor in Tennessee. ARCADIS is responsible for the overall management of the project. We are involved in the negotiations with CSX Corporation, the owner of the existing rail lines within the corridor, TDOT and FRA.

The application was successfully submitted to the FRA in November 2003.

Due to restrictive administration parameters, FRA is currently still evaluating ARCADIS’ application to extend the SEHSR corridor.


Web Source (http://www.arcadis-us.com/service+types/infrastructure/public+transportation/high-speed+rail/projects/tennessee+high-speed+rail+corridor+designation++.htm)

philvia
December 18th, 2008, 10:59 PM
i'm from tennessee and am there now... nashville to chattanooga is lame. memphis to knoxville would be much smarter. would cover the entire state and its 3 largest cites.... practically a straight line. stops in jackson/murphreesboro and maybe a few other places. but as it is, nashville to chatt is like 100 miles.

ablarc
December 21st, 2008, 01:28 PM
^ Interesting, I was going to speculate the same thing ... but I figured I must be missing something.

Ninjahedge
December 23rd, 2008, 09:06 AM
Political BS solution probably.

I notice there is no trans-continental line. Nothing for NY to San Fran or anything else. I know that this might prove a problem in dense areas, or over the rockies, but when you have a train that can get 200+mph and can get cross country in less than a day, you might have some takers (express).

We really need to study how Japan has done it and what their biggest successes and failures have been and what has fostered both.

stache
December 23rd, 2008, 09:13 AM
I think for the time being, the bullet trains are going to be best for shorter trips, 500 miles or less. This would save a great deal of airport congestion.

Ninjahedge
December 23rd, 2008, 01:54 PM
I agree, but still... :(

Seeing the countryside at 200 miles an hour would be a great trip. I loved it when I did it in Japan. It was surreal!

But again, you are right, eliminate the need for "shuttle" service.

stache
December 23rd, 2008, 02:19 PM
Plus if you compare the size of Japan to the U.S....

ZippyTheChimp
December 23rd, 2008, 03:00 PM
Japan is a little less in area and a little longer in length than California.

Less than 800 miles, high speed rail's accessibility to a city center offer a good alternative to air travel.

Ninjahedge
December 23rd, 2008, 04:50 PM
I know.

Geez! I forgot how many nits there were to pick!!! What I was saying, unrelated to the size of Japan, was that I liked travelling using the train because it gave me an opportunity (fleeting as it was) to see a lot of the countryside we went through. See the houses and towns and hills and puppy dogs......

OK, maybe no puppy dogs, but I think you understand what I am saying.


As for learning, the scale of Japan was easier to impliment the system on. But that does not remove the possibility of being able to connect some of these little root-like clusters of high speed rail to network the nation a bit more, even if it involved changing lines at a stopover point.

People still drive down to florida (especially college aged) when they want to road trip (sister did it in, I think, 15 hours) so how is it that unbelievable that a high speed to Miami (estimate maybe 1/3 of the time?) would not be feasable?

The key would be the relative comfort of travel (would you have agame room, a bar, etc etc on the train?) the novelty of riding THROUGH the country, and, most importantly, the price.

Hell, if there were less lines at check-in, some people might prefer getting on a train to arriving at the airport 2-3 hours ahead of departure only to be told that their plane is delayed 30 minutes while sitting in their cramped little seat breathing canned air.






Maybe..... ;)

stache
December 23rd, 2008, 06:11 PM
People used to take the train to Florida all the time. Some still do. So yes, that would make a good bullet trip, especially since it's all flat. But you started this tangent talking about a bullet train from NY to Calif, which would be more difficult.

philvia
December 23rd, 2008, 08:25 PM
i dont think high speed trains should be national.. only regional. for the price of a train ticket from nyc to miami... and for a 10 hour travel time, its just as convenient to take a plane.

philvia
December 23rd, 2008, 08:28 PM
as it is now, amtrak costs $117 one way from nyc to orlando and is a 24 hour trip. and a one way plane from nyc to my house in TN is $110 and 2.5 hours.

Ninjahedge
December 24th, 2008, 09:29 AM
phil, read what I said man!

I was saying, a faster train, more direct, less hassle might be good so long as the price is right.

And if Gas prices do another flip, trains could become less expensive.

I think the only reason they are so expensive now is because of the lack of ridership. (And the lack it, like you said, is partly because of it taking 12 hours to get there!!!!)

stache
December 24th, 2008, 10:20 AM
Like any other business, trains will charge as much as they can get.

Ninjahedge
December 24th, 2008, 10:56 AM
Well, what they can get for what they can provide.

I think there is a hump that can't be passed over with just a price drop. They would not make more money by having more riders simply by making the ride less expensive, there has to be some other motivation (speed, novelty, comfort).

They still might not rank high on buisness related travel, but I think a train would be more fun to ride on for vacation than a plane, unless of course you are going overseas! ;)

If these train trips did not take longer, cost just as much, and drop you in places taht were not the most convenient to get to and from, maybe people would be more likely to ride and they would not have to charge as much to make up the difference....

Is there anything else they could do to encourage ridership?

ZippyTheChimp
December 24th, 2008, 11:39 AM
A very small percentage of railroad revenue is derived from passenger service. That's one reason why it's expensive.

The US is #1 in cargo tonnage shipped by rail, but in passenger-miles, is behind most European countries. And adjusted for population and geography, it's way down the list.

Percentage of freight transport by mode:
Rail - 38.2%
Truck - 28.5
Pipeline - 20
Internal waterway - 13
Air - 0.35

Percentage of passenger-miles by mode:
Highway (all vehicles) - 88.8%
Air - 10.6
Rail - 0.6*

*Over one-half of rail passenger-miles is intracity transit. Intercity is one one-tenth of one percent of total passenger-miles in the US.

Japan is #1 in the world in passengers carried by rail. The population of Japan is about 50% higher than that of Germany, but has ten times the number of rail passengers (22 billion per year vs 2 billion).

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8e/USCommutePatterns2006.png

stache
December 24th, 2008, 11:56 AM
IMO Amtrak needs to start being more punctual.

Ninjahedge
December 24th, 2008, 12:57 PM
IMO Amtrak needs to start being more punctual.

Again, Japan.

They kik butt when it comes to their system.

philvia
December 24th, 2008, 01:52 PM
you keep saying "if these trains didn't take longer" but the thing is, they will always take longer than a flight. the important thing is the cheaper fare offsets the longer ride. however that, IMO, will never happen with longer distance rail in the US. regional is how it should be... anything less than ~500 miles. anything over its just more efficient and convenient to take a plane.
A one way ticket to DC from NYC shouldn't cost $150 for express.... it should be about $30 or $40. until then, i highly doubt train ridership in the USA will pick up.

stache
December 24th, 2008, 03:26 PM
One way to Philly on NJ Transit/SEPTA (the milk run) is currently $20.00.

Alonzo-ny
December 24th, 2008, 03:54 PM
I think trains lose appeal after a certain journey time. Id say anything over an overnight 12 hour shot perhaps loses alot of appeal.

Ninjahedge
December 29th, 2008, 08:54 AM
you keep saying "if these trains didn't take longer" but the thing is, they will always take longer than a flight.

Not on the shorter flights. When your flight is a 1 hour shuttle, and it takes you 45-90 minutes to check in (depending on delays) and an additional 15-20 to taxi at the end, a train could take the same amount of time


the important thing is the cheaper fare offsets the longer ride. however that, IMO, will never happen with longer distance rail in the US.

That is where luxury comes in. Why are cruises so popular if they take so much longer than a flight? You give people a full bar or other amenities, they may prefer the space and comfort they can get for less (per SF) on a rail than at 30,000 feet.


regional is how it should be... anything less than ~500 miles. anything over its just more efficient and convenient to take a plane.

It is not 100% about efficiency or convenience. I know what you are saying, but not everything is about getting there faster.

There is a critical time element though, and if you can get someone cross-country overnight, in a bed, for less than first class on a plane, you might find a market...


A one way ticket to DC from NYC shouldn't cost $150 for express.... it should be about $30 or $40. until then, i highly doubt train ridership in the USA will pick up.


$30 to $40 is being a little rediculous. Point made, but you can't get a cab from the airport for that much, what makes you think that an express would be that cheap?

Hell, a shuttle to boston in 1990 cost $50 on a student discount, you think that DC (just as far, if not farther) should be less expensive than a discounted no-frills flight? (Hell, the flight was 30 minutes, but it still took me over 2 hours to get there!).

But I know what you are saying. The current prices being MORE than some flights is not reasonable unless you GET something more than just being on the ground for the entire trip.....