LIRR

Policy, Transportation

Workers at East Side Access project in 2016 via MTA’s Flickr

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority approved on Wednesday an amendment to its capital plan that allows for more than $400 million to be invested in the East Side Access, a project that began more than a decade ago. In addition to exceptional construction delays, the project’s price tag has jumped dramatically, from early estimates of roughly $2.2 billion to now over $11 billion (h/t NY Times). As a way to reduce crowds at Penn Station, East Side Access will connect the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Terminal.

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Connecticut, New Jersey, Policy, Transportation, Upstate

A map showing T-REX’s new crosstown connections, via RPA

When NYC’s three commuter railroads–the Long Island Railroad, New Jersey Transit, and Metro-North–were built more than a century ago when the metropolitan area was less than half its current size. Today, the systems are crumbling, both in their physical infrastructure and politics. The latest suggestion for how to fix the issues comes from a new Regional Plan Association report that wants to take advantage of the fact that these railroads “share an amalgamation of rail lines” and thereby create one integrated regional rail network. Dubbed T-REX, short for Trans-Regional Express, the 30-year, $71.4 billion proposal would add 60 new train stations and more than 200 miles of new tracks.

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Policy, Transportation

Photo via Kev Harb via Flickr

The emergency Penn Station repairs that began in July will be completed on time with regular operating service resuming on Sept. 5, Amtrak announced Thursday. After delays and a few train derailments, Amtrak closed 21 tracks at Penn earlier this summer. Nearly seven weeks of the eight scheduled weeks of repair work for this “summer of hell” have been completed thus far.

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Jamaica, Policy, Transportation

LIRR, andrew cuomo

With the renovations at Penn Station just getting underway, the state released a plan on Wednesday to invest $5.6 billion in renovating 39 Long Island Rail Road stations. This includes the reconstruction of the system’s tracks, switches and signals. According to Governor Cuomo, the project, part of his encompassing $100 billion infrastructure plan, would increase rider capacity by more than 80 percent.

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Policy, Transportation

Penn Station, Cuomo, MTA

Eight weeks of infrastructure repairs at Penn Station officially began Monday, affecting commuters using the Long Island Rail Road, Amtrak and New Jersey Transit. Amtrak will close some of the station’s 21 tracks for renovations, which will force the MTA to cancel or divert 15-weekday trains between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. Overall, there will be a 20 percent reduction in the number of trains to Manhattan from NJ and Long Island. To minimize the impact on riders, the MTA has offered discounted fares and transit alternatives like ferry and bus service (h/t NY Times).

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Policy, Transportation

LIRR, andrew cuomo

This week, Governor Cuomo called on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to provide Long Island Rail Road riders a discounted fare for “enduring the inconvenience of a disrupted commute.” In response, the MTA said on Tuesday that the LIRR will offer fare discounts to commuters during Penn Station’s major repairs set to begin this July. The discount will average roughly 25 percent for those traveling to Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn and Hunters Point Avenue in Queens. Plus, according to Crain’s, commuters will receive free morning rush hour subway transfers from those two stations. Starting this week, discounted monthly tickets can be purchased at station vending machines.

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Policy, Transportation

Penn Station, Cuomo, MTA

Image by Kev Harb via flickrWith six weeks of infrastructure repairs at Penn Station beginning in July, the “summer of hell” for commuters is quickly approaching. In response, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has finally announced its plan to deal with Amtrak’s plan to close some of the station’s 21 tracks for renovations. As Crain’s reported, the MTA will shift three nighttime trains to rush hour and add about 36 cars, while also offering transit alternatives like ferry and bus services. The shutdown will force the MTA to cancel or divert 15-weekday trains between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., affecting nearly 9,600 LIRR morning commuters,  set to begin July 10.

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