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How long does it take to get to New Jersey by subway? The answer might be “about 22 years.” That’s if the round of attention focused on extending the New York City subway system across the Hudson makes it a reality. According to AM New York, Transit officials have said they’ll be exploring the extension of the 7 line into New Jersey as part of a study involving a cross-Hudson rail link. The link is one of several solutions being studied in an effort to alleviate a commuter crunch between the two metro areas that’s expected to grow continuously over the next 20 years.
Port Authority executive director Rick Cotton explained at a Crain’s breakfast forum that strategies for getting more commuters to and from New Jersey could involve the extension of the 7 line or “other alternatives in terms of how do you continue looking at a 2040-type time frame that, by then, you’ve significantly increased the ability to move passengers across the Hudson. The bigger picture here is the need to expand trans-Hudson capacity in the long term.”
The 7 line extension had been suggested by Mayor Michael Bloomberg during his administration. The MTA and New Jersey Transit will be involved in the 18-month study.
The number of daily New Jersey commuters traveling into New York City has increased by 28 percent–about 70,000 people—over the past 25 years according to the Regional Plan Association (RPA), a planning non-profit organization. The RPA expects that number will get even larger over the next 20 years: By 2040, about 524,000 commuters will be making a daily trip over the Hudson to work in NYC, a 38 percent increase from the 2015 tally.
The growth has put a strain on current transit infrastructure. MTA spokesman Jon Weinstein said in a statement that the authority is looking forward to “working with federal, state and local public sector partners and private parties to explore long-term options for trans-Hudson transportation.”
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