On Thursday Governor Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled the final design for the new main entrance to Penn Station. The new 33rd Street and 7th Avenue entrance will provide much-needed direct access to the Long Island Rail Road main concourse and the subway, eliminate congestion by doubling capacity for riders entering and leaving the LIRR level and enhance safety and security. Construction begins next month and will wrap up in December of 2020. The new design is the first we’ve seen of the $600 million Penn Station revamp since last September when Gov. Cuomo revealed a new LIRR entrance and public plaza.
Cuomo also announced that the overall Penn Station redevelopment master plan, including the transformation of the James A. Farley Building into the state-of-the-art, 225,000-square-foot Moynihan Train Hall continues on its way to turning Penn Station into a world-class 21st-century transportation hub: “Penn Station was one of the great railroad stations of the world, but now it’s not fit for the greatest city in the nation. That’s why we are creating a world class train hall at Moynihan and today we are announcing a new East End Gateway to bring more access, safety and light. Passengers will be able to come in that entrance and avoid the front of Penn Station, there will be less traffic and you’ll have access to the subway and the LIRR. It will be a gateway to a world class facility.” The governor emphasized that, “This is not a proposal–we are getting to work now.”
Passenger traffic has more than tripled since the current Penn Station was built; 650,000 passengers surge through its corridors each each day including 250,000 daily LIRR riders and 235,000 daily customers who use New Jersey Transit and 115,000 people riding the A/C/E and 1/2/3 subways or visiting the station’s on-site retail stores. The 34th Street entrance is currently the only direct way to enter the LIRR level, making for a frustrating level of congestion. By creating the new entrance at 33rd Street and 7th Avenue, the project will alleviate some of this congestion and attendant safety concerns which, in turn, will prepare the transit system for the implementation of Central Business District tolling, which is expected to increase ridership as it reduces congestion in Manhattan and provide funding for further improvements.
The project will widen the LIRR 33rd Street concourse from its current 30 feet to 57 feet to allow easier access to trains and increase the ceiling height to 18 feet across the entire concourse, eliminating the low ceilings that make the station feel cramped and less spacious. Lighting will be improved and better directions will be provided to passengers; LIRR customers will have new direct sight lines to track level, and there will be more retail and dining options in the concourse.
Of the project’s $600 million cost,$170 million is being allocated from the current 2015-19 MTA capital program. The remaining funds are being allocated by the State of New York.
- Cuomo reveals new LIRR entrance and public plaza at Penn Station
- PHOTOS: Get an up-close look at Moynihan Train Hall’s massive new skylights
- Governor Cuomo will invest $5.6B to transform the LIRR
All renderings courtesy of Office of the Governor
Neighborhoods : Midtown West