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Thread: Hudson Rail Tunnel - Access to the Regionís Core (ARC)

  1. #76

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    This really NEEDS to be built. Anyone who says it is a waste of money doesn't use NJtransit during rush hour. The fact of the matter is that trains are almost always delayed 5 - 10 minutes at Seacaucus because there is just not enough room left to squeeze anymore trains into the two tunnels. Also, all the trains are approaching over-crowding to rival the Lex in Manhattan. This tunnel needs to be built yesterday. As for rendering the new transfer station useless, that is completely untrue. First of all, the tunnels won't be built for another 10 years and without that transfer station, the situation would be even WORSE with Hoboken being overcrowded and PATH trains even worse than they are now. Seacaucus station was needed and welcome. Even after the tunnels are finished, the station will most likely become a heavily used commuter station instead of just a transfer station like it is now. Not to mention, people will STILL need to transfer even with the new tunnels because some trains will head into Hoboken and some into Manhattan. Also, the transfer is needed for those to the north on the Main and Bergan lines to access Newark Airport. This project MUST be built. It's just as, if not more important than the Second Avenue Subway in Manhattan.

  2. #77

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    You obviously haven't paid attention to a single word I said. I said that I agree a tunnel IS NEEDED. I said I feel the money would be BETTER SPENT on a tunnel to downtown, but that this project is still EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.

    The part that I said was useless is the LOOP. Perhaps you're confused. The LOOP will be running trains from the Port Jervis, Main, Bergen, and Pascack Valley Lines through Secaucus Transfer, around a HUGE circle, and through Secaucus Transfer a second time. The main purpose of this station is to allow people from the lines mentioned above the ability to reach Penn Station by New Jersey Transit. The ability to use it to reach Newark, the airport, and other areas south is just an added benefit.

    I'd rather see those lines mentioned above sent to downtown. AT THE SAME TIME, I'd like to see another Hudson River tunnel to Penn Station built, that way NJT isn't delayed anymore and, maybe, JUST maybe, Amtrak can run a few more trains or Metro North can come in from the Hudson line.

    So, in the end, I say build the new lower level and tunnel to Penn Station. DON'T build the loop. In the future, build a line for the Bergen/Main/PVL/Port Jervis lines, as well as any other line, to send trains downtown

  3. #78

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    I believe the Bergen Arches could be used to send Main Line trains to Jersey City? And from there, a new tunnel? But the JC mayor wants light rail through the Bergen Arches.....

  4. #79

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    He wants light rail, road lobbyists want a highway, and some of us want commuter rail. I think we're all at equal opportunity for what we want to be accomplished b/c really, there aren't any plans for the light rail(atleast nothing that has been made public). I've seen just as many news articles about light rail as I have about a highway.

    I think that light rail is the 2nd best option, with commuter rail being the best.

  5. #80
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Cool PANYNJ becomes main component

    PORT AUTHORITY APPROVES AGREEMENT TO BECOME FULL PARTNER AGENCY WITH NJ TRANSIT IN TRANS-HUDSON EXPRESS TUNNEL

    Date: March 29, 2007
    Press Release Number: 26-2007

    The Port Authorityís Board of Commissioners today approved a memorandum of understanding with NJ Transit that makes the Port Authority a partner agency in the Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel and gives the agency the primary responsibility for real estate acquisition and construction management in New York.

    The Boardís actions will advance the planning and development of the project, also known as Access to the Regionís Core. The initiative will create a second passenger rail tunnel connecting Manhattan to New Jersey, and includes expanding track and platform capacity adjacent to Penn Station New York beneath 34th Street in Manhattan.

    The document establishes a framework for the Port Authority and NJ Transit to enter into a formal agreement to advance the projectís planning, development, design, engineering, real estate acquisition, construction and related activities.

    Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, ďThis is exactly the type of major construction project that the Port Authority was created to do. It will allow this agency to use its extensive engineering expertise to provide much-needed capacity enhancement for interstate travel, and will help ensure that the regional economy remains strong.Ē

    Port Authority Executive Director Anthony E. Shorris said, ďWe must commit to ARC now to ensure our regionís economic health for years to come. Millions of commuters now use the regionís roads, rails, bridges and tunnels each day, and projections call for extensive growth across the metropolitan area in the next 10 to 20 years. If we donít act to relieve future burdens on the regionís transportation network, we wonít be ready to deal with these new commuters when they arrive, and the regionís economic vitality will suffer. By starting early, weíre ensuring that our region is primed for growth.Ē

    Under the memorandum of understanding, a steering committee consisting of an equal number of staff from the Port Authority and NJ Transit will be formed to provide oversight and leadership for the project. NJ Transit will be primarily responsible for real estate acquisition and construction management in New Jersey.

    The Port Authorityís Board has previously committed up to $2 billion towards the project, inclusive of up to $75 million for the identification and acquisition of property in New York City needed for the tunnel project, as well as $10 million for preliminary planning and engineering activities associated with the project. The project includes improvements to the Northeast Corridor rail line, the purchase of coaches and locomotives, and the acquisition of property or property rights.

    NJ Transit recently released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the project and public hearings ended this week. The comment period ends on April 10.

  6. #81

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    And no mention of the Secaucus loop

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by NIMBYkiller View Post
    And no mention of the Secaucus loop
    Page 12

    http://www.accesstotheregionscore.co...%206-29-05.pdf

  8. #83

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    Dont even bother. Those are the same guys who once had linking Penn Station and Grand Central on their site, complete with fancy diagrams and everything. Where's that project now? Dead. Read: CONCEPTUAL alignment plan. Nothing is written in stone yet.

    And like I said before, it's looking like it'll be faster to just transfer trains at Secaucus than ride through that loop. Trains will have to crawl at a painfully slow pace

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by NIMBYkiller View Post
    Dont even bother. Those are the same guys who once had linking Penn Station and Grand Central on their site, complete with fancy diagrams and everything. Where's that project now? Dead. Read: CONCEPTUAL alignment plan. Nothing is written in stone yet.

    And like I said before, it's looking like it'll be faster to just transfer trains at Secaucus than ride through that loop. Trains will have to crawl at a painfully slow pace
    Those guys are NJ Transit, the Port Authority of NY and NJ and the Federal Transportation Administration. The alternative G (Grand Central) link was part of the preliminary scoping process, that alternative was eliminated in favor of alternative P (34th Street station), there was also an alternative S (Sunny Side Yard).

    The ARC website is a portal from which the public can view the status and documents of the ARC study, what with the Alternative G proposal was exactly that a proposal that was later rejected. As was the no build alternative which is required by Federal Law be included in all scoping process.

    You think ARC is some guys in their parents basement?..

    It's a Multi-million dollar multi year effort funded through various State, Regional and Federal Agencies. It's a Government study connected to the Tunnel project, it's not some railfan with time on their hands

  10. #85

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    I know the ARC is a collection of NJT and the others, but like I said, I'll wait til I see it or hear it from NJT themselves.

    Regardless of what they do, I still think the loop is a rediculous waste of money. It makes the transfer station almost useless, with the exception of the people commuting to places like Metropark. Just send the former Erie lines(PVL, Main, Bergen, PJ) to a new downtown terminal. It can definately be done, and with so much focus on bringing downtown back to life, I don't see why they shouldn't do it.

    Squeezing 5 terminals into 2 is not working and never will.

  11. #86

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    I feel like I should say this. I have been a bit too stubborn. You have shown me sufficient evidence to believe atleast in the possibility of such service. All my contacts continually deny it, but what is said on the sites is compelling.

    Still, my position remains that the loop is a rediculously horrible waste of money. Those 4 lines should be split between Hoboken and downtown.

  12. #87
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    ARC is one step from Federal funding approval, there will be shovels in the ground by 2009. Any project that needs Federal funding needs to go through a lengthy study process.

    The first study was the Major Investment Study (MIS) which was completed in 2003, that's where they eliminated the alternative G and alternative S proposals in favor of the Alternative P which is what they are going to build.

    About the DEIS

    The Access to the Regionís Core Draft Environmental Impact Statement builds on findings of a Major Investment Study (MIS) conducted by NJ TRANSIT, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Completed in April 2003, the MIS identified and evaluated alternatives to provide additional trans-Hudson passenger access.
    What was just completed in 2006 was the Draft Enviromental Impact study (DEIS), once the public comment period is over the last step to Federal approval is the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). Once that is approved Federal funding can be approved and construction can begin, approval is expected in 2008 and Construction is set to begin in 2009.

    MIS (2003) -DEIS (2006) -FEIS (2008) - Construction starts (2009).
    Here's a couple releases from NJ Transit.

    http://www.njtransit.com/tm/tm_servl...ELEASE_ID=2293

    http://www.njtransit.com/tm/tm_servl...ELEASE_ID=2303

    Like it or not two key aspects of the project are the "Loop" and the dual mode locomotives, without the loop the Pascack Valley, Main, Bergen and Future West Shore and or Northern Branch would not be able to access the NEC.

    The project will allow for the introduction of ďone-seatĒ rail service to New York on the Main, Bergen County, Pascack Valley and Raritan Valley lines, the Montclair-Boonton Line west of Montclair, North Jersey Coast Line south to Bay Head, as well as the Morristown Line west of Dover. It will also create the capacity for future rail extensions.
    .

    Yes it's redundant to run trains through the station twice, but that's what they put into the plan which cannot be altered at this point without starting the whole multi year process all over again. The Tunnel, the 34th street station and the Loop are all part of the same project, all will be built at the same time.

    The dual mode locomotives and the replacement of the Portal bridge on the NEC are separate NJ Transit project.

    Keep in mind the new tunnels will allow NJ Transit to increase their hourly trains to Manhattan from 22-48, even with 48 trains an hour capacity to Manhattan they will not have enough slots for all NJ Transit trains, thus the continued need for Secaucus Transfer and Hoboken Terminal.

    Yes direct NJ Transit service to Lower Manhattan is a great idea, but that's for a future project.This project is also needed as the current two tunnels Amtrak and NJ Transit share to Manhattan now are insuffiecient and at nearly 100 years old un safe. Opening up these two new tunnels will allow NJ Transit and Amtrak to perform much needed total overhaul and rebuilding of the existing tunnels that could not be performed and keep current schedules.

    Look at what the Port Authority was able to do with the former H&M tunnels to the World Trade Center, they totaly rebuilt the entire line from Exchange place to the World Trade Center. They totaly rebuilt the tunnels including new beds tracks, signaling, saftey features etc. The ride from Exchange Place to the World Trade Center is as smooth as silk compared to other segments of PATH tracks, being able to shut down one of the Amtrak Hudson tunnels for a similar tear down and rebuild is much needed to reduce the constant service interruptions due to increpid equipment and also provide better security againts Madrid like attacks or accidents.

    This project is happening now, it's one step from starting construction. To change the scope to send trains to Lower Manhattan would add a decade or more to the project as you would need to start from scratch.

    The ARC project is needed now, Lower Manhattan service could be for future Generations.

  13. #88

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    You seem to be consitently confusing my argument. I don't care about the tunnels. I know how much an improvement they are. I'm for them. The thing I'm against is the loop. I've continuously said that these tunnels, as well as the NYP lower level, are needed for the capacity. With these tunnels, NJT and Amtrak will no longer be delayed because of holding at the tunnels. Please don't treat me like I'm a moron

  14. #89
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Talking More good news

    N.Y. to fund part of a new tunnel under Hudson
    Auto congestion fee drives rail deal


    Monday, April 23, 2007
    BY RON MARSICO
    Star-Ledger Staff

    New York City has agreed to fund nearly half the projected $7.2 billion cost of a second trans-Hudson River rail tunnel under Mayor Michael Bloomberg's new 25-year transportation improvement plan, according to a high-ranking transportation official familiar with the arrangement.

    Proceeds from the Bloomberg administration's proposal to charge as much as an $8 congestion fee for cars entering much of Manhattan would help fund the city's $3.5 billion commitment to the long-awaited tunnel, the official said.

    But there is a major catch: The city will follow through on the commitment only if the congestion pricing plan becomes reality -- and that will require the New York Legislature's approval, according to the official.

    Congestion pricing, which has gained momentum worldwide in recent years, would generate upward of $500 million per year for the city, while, hopefully, reducing traffic. It would be in effect during workday hours from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and apply to vehicles entering the city below 86th Street.

    Cars and trucks coming from New Jersey via the Holland and Lincoln tunnels and George Washington Bridge would get a credit for their toll against the congestion fee. For example, if the congestion fee is $8, then cars paying the typical current maximum toll of $6 would only pay an additional $2.

    Bloomberg said "there's no magic number" for setting the fee, but it has to be high enough to get people to switch to mass transit and low enough to remain affordable.

    If the congestion pricing plan is approved, the $3.5 billion from the city would go a long way toward closing the existing funding gap for the massive project.

    Congestion pricing has been talked about in New York City before, particularly after London adopted its program four years ago. The proposal was met by instant criticism and appeared to be dead until Bloomberg, himself once a skeptic, revived it this weekend.

    "As the city continues to grow, the costs of congestion -- to our health, to our environment, and to our economy -- are only going to get worse," according to the text of a speech Bloomberg delivered yesterday at the American Museum of Natural History. "The question is not whether we want to pay but how do we want to pay. With an increased asthma rate? With more greenhouse gases? Wasted time? Lost business? And higher prices? Or, do we charge a modest fee to encourage more people to take mass transit?"

    Thus far, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has committed $2 billion, while New Jersey has agreed to kick in $500 million. Federal funding also is expected, but no specific amount has been designated.

    The new link -- which would run adjacent to the existing century-old, two-track tunnel -- is expected to double rail capacity between New Jersey and Midtown. Construction is slated to begin in 2009, with completion at the earliest by 2016.

    "It's a way to get people into New York City without cars," the transportation official said. "The project fits everything they (Bloomberg and other city representatives) want -- so why not support it financially?"

    The individual added, "They don't want cars in Manhattan. They still want people in Manhattan."

    A new tunnel is deemed critical to meeting the region's burgeoning transportation needs. The existing tunnel often is overwhelmed at rush hours by the crunch of Amtrak trains -- which have priority -- and NJ Transit rail commuters. NJ Transit ridership, which currently totals more than 40,000 weekday morning commuters, is expected to reach 100,000 rush-hour passengers by 2015.

    The transportation official said Anthony Coscia, chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, backed Bloomberg's plans and worked to gain the city's commitment to donate $3.5 billion to the tunnel.

    The agency endorsed Bloomberg's speech.

    "The mayor deserves enormous credit for tackling some of the biggest issues facing our region and the Port Authority looks forward to working with the city and both states to help meet these challenges," Port Authority spokesman Steve Sigmund said yesterday. "We are gratified that the plan puts so much focus on many of the critical mass transit projects that the agency is investing in."

    Port Authority support is important because it operates the Hudson River crossings and is taking a major role on the second rail tunnel project because of its pledge to kick in $2 billion for that initiative.

    "Coscia agreed to support the plan because he was able to convince City Hall to give back to the most important project for cross- Hudson commuters," the transportation official said.

    Stalled for decades despite long-standing support from transportation groups like the Regional Plan Association, proposals for a new trans-Hudson rail tunnel have gained speed in recent years. Gov. Jon Corzine has made it a top priority, and New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer has offered support -- provided the Port Authority makes a significant contribution to another major transportation project east of the Hudson River.

    Last year, the Federal Transit Administration allowed preliminary engineering work to begin on the tunnel -- a harbinger of future financial support from the federal government. The city's major financial commitment is expected to add to the momentum; typically, the federal government prefers to support initiatives in which local governments also pledge to contribute significant amounts of money.



    Ron Marsico may be reached at rmarsico@starledger.com or (973) 392-7860.

  15. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCMAN320 View Post
    But there is a major catch: The city will follow through on the commitment only if the congestion pricing plan becomes reality -- and that will require the New York Legislature's approval, according to the official.
    Smart move.

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