NJ Commuters Like 7 Train Extension Plan

NEW YORK (CBS 2/1010 WINS/WCBS 880/AP) — Mayor Bloomberg isn’t giving up on a way to boost rail capacity between New York City and the Garden State.

1010 WINS’ John Montone reports

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb with comments from Mayor Bloomberg

Following New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s cost-driven decision to put the brakes on a controversial Hudson River rail tunnel, administration officials told CBS 2 HD they’re considering extending the No. 7 subway train from a station currently being built on West 34th Street and running it across the Hudson River to Secaucus to connect with NJ Transit trains.

“Anything would help,” said commuter Don Rowlowski.

“People don’t want to sit on a train for two hours,” said Susan Schneider of Ridgewood.

On the $5.3-billion proposal, which would run the subway system outside the City for the first time, deputy mayor for economic development Robert Steel has been quoted as saying, “extending the 7-line to New Jersey could address many of the region’s transportation capacity issues at a fraction of the original tunnel’s cost, but the idea is still in its earliest stages.”

The plan would be about half the cost of the proposed Hudson River rail tunnel because the city is already digging a tunnel to run the subway from Times Square to West 34th Street and 11th Avenue, said Andrew Brent, a spokesman for Steel.

CBS 2HD’s Jay Dow couldn’t find one commuter who thought extending the 7 train and easing the burden on NJ Transit would be a bad idea, but also couldn’t find any commuters who thought the process would go smoothly.

“Knowing Christie, of course he’s going to come out swinging back,” said commuter Larry Meltzer.

“I think it probably will not happen. New York and New Jersey don’t seem to work very well together, but I think it’s a great idea,” said commuter Cheryll Talbot.

Mike Drewniak, a spokesman for Governor Christie, said “since the decision ending the ARC tunnel project, the governor has said he is open to new ideas to solve the trans-Hudson River transportation dilemma. But any plausible plan would have to be fair to New Jersey, and split all costs equitably between benefitting jurisdictions.”

There are possible environmental hurdles to the idea. It’s a long review process, but officials were hoping to use work done for the canceled tunnel.

Before it goes anywhere, the plan would have to be supported by Christie, Bloomberg, an independent, and New York Gov.-elect Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat.

New York’s U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, a Democrat, offered his support in obtaining federal funds to make the idea work.

“This is a bold idea that must be given serious and immediate consideration,” he said in a statement.

None of the stake holders has been briefed about the idea, Brent said. It emerged out of discussions among policymakers in Steel’s office, the city’s Department of Planning and the city’s Hudson Yards Development Corp. after Christie killed the plan for the so-called Access to the Region’s Core project.

The $8.7 billion project to construct a second rail tunnel between New Jersey and New York was 15 years in the making when Christie killed it on Oct. 27. New Jersey was expected to shoulder
$2.7 billion of the costs, plus overruns.

The federal government and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had each committed $3 billion to the project.

(TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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  • Elvis Martinez

    I cant beleve MTA is puting the 7 train to NJ so cool 7 tain I LOVE THE MTA.!

  • H.E. Gregory von Richter

    If this is such a good idea and a simple solution why wasn’t it thought of before all that money was spent on the tunnel project?

  • Jimmy

    I agree with the guy that says it should be extended in Queens.

  • John Cowan

    Express in both directions would require rebuilding the 3-track elevated portions with 4 tracks, essentially “tear down and do over”.

    Jerry Leigh: The reason the railroads you mention are FRA is not that they are interstate, but that they are connected to the interstate railway system. (In the case of the LIRR, it’s via the freight-only Bay Ridge branch, which links to the NY Connecting Railroad and the Hell Gate bridge.) The subways aren’t directly connected, and if the transfer at Secaucus was across-the-platform, that wouldn’t affect the subways’ FRA status at all. Even if the FRA wanted to take jurisdiction, the subways would surely operate under a waiver, as do SIRT and the Hudson-Bergen and Newark light rail systems).

  • Michael LaRocco, PE

    I am quite pleased that Deputy Mayor Steel and the other public officials named above feel this is an idea worthy of further study. Please see my letter-to-the-editor, published in the (Bergen) Record, Sunday, October 24, 2010, wherein this proposal was first offered.

  • JD

    This is really stupid – why don’t they extend the 7 further into Queens where there’s no service? Its desperately needed there. The MTA can just as easily extend the Shuttle (S) to NJ if they needed to.

    • J Lee, Sunnyside

      Agreed. Putting 300,000+ Jersey commuters on the 7 train would be a complete nightmare. It’s already overpacked during rush hours and weekends. And then it would be full of all the drunken idiots that frequent NJ Transit on Fri and Sat nights.

      Bloomburg- give NYC some love instead of sleeping with the NJ enemies!

  • Gigi

    HORRIBLE NEWS. They should extend to Long Island! The 7 train is the worst line in my opinion-way overcrowded-WHY GO TO ANOTHER STATE?? STUPID!

  • Saint Albans_ Yanna

    i agree with Bayside Bob_ i’m frm Saint Albans and deal with the congestion problems espeacially during mon-fri in the am… i feel that NJ is the least of nyc concerns… we need to fix problems in qns and every other boro b4 we suggest concerns about another state.

  • harriet in ny

    Ok, let’s see this from the propective of someone who actually rides the 7, service had been getting worse by the year and the longer the run the more likely it will exprience service delays, and it costs more to operate, and for whom? New Jersey, the very people who moved to Jersey to avoid being near the very types of people who ride the 7, and who is going to pay for this? the fares are high, but they don’t cover most of the expense of the subway, that’s state and local taxes, how is this fair, plus the outter boroughs need more service, it’s start with expanding in the City first.

  • Ki-Fly

    I love the idea!! This will also add another 24hr subway line into and out of the city along with the path!!

  • Bayside Bob

    Extend the No. 7 line? Great idea, wrong direction! The No. 7 should be extended through eastern Queens to the Nassau County line before anyone gives serious consideration to a New Jersey connection.

    Why are the legitimate transportation needs of the residents of Bayside, Fresh Meadows, Little Neck, Douglaston, Bellerose, Floral Park, Queens Village, Hollis, St.. Albans, Springfield Gardens, Laurelton and Rosedale consistently ignored by transit planners? Why are there no subway lines east of Main Street, Flushing or beyond Hillside Avenue and 179th Street in Jamaica? We pay taxes and vote here in New York City, yet the only attention we get when it comes to transit planning is in the form of bridge and tunnel toll increases, bus route cancellations and blame for the city’s legendary traffic congestion.

    Memo to City Transportation Planners: stop blaming the transit-starved communities of eastern Queens for contributing to traffic congestion and give us practical access to the subway system!

    • Shawn Ryu

      Long Island Rail Road. Enough said.

    • harriet in ny

      Yes Yes Yes, I live in bayside and have to drive to Shea to get the 7, why should non-tax paying people in NJ get an extenstion, let’s ease the traffic in Queens first.

  • Danny

    jojo, These are commuter trains like your PATH, not the subway. It needs to go deeper into the outer boroughs first. Like Eastern Queens for example. If NJ doesn’t pay any $ for it, they should not get it. Also, The sales tax of clothing and the cost of the tunnel are 2 VERY different things. When a NY’er goes to NJ for clothing, they also drop $ on other things like the toll and food and gas.

    • J Lee, Sunnyside

      There hasn’t been a tax on clothing under $100 for a few years now. No need to go to NJ for anything.

  • Jerry_Leigh

    This is GREAT! By making the subway interstate, it will be subject to the Federal Railway Act and the MTA will have to upgrade the entire system (do a search to read articles about Roger Toussant’s campaign to get subway tunnel lights up to Federal standards, after an employee death). And, like the LIRR, Metro North, and, even, the Staten Island Railway, the workers will finally be free from the Taylor Law and Bloomberg will be up there with Mike Quill. They’ll also have to give up Social Security and get Railroad Retirement, but the benefits appear to be greater. This idea is as good as that Bloomberg advisor’s–the one who wants pensions to be negotiable (they were, until the early ’70’s when everyone was screaming to remove them from negotiations). I love political short-sightedness.

    • chuck

      Gee Jerry, are you in a public sector union???

  • Scott Bennett

    For what reason aren’t they adding stations between 42nd street and the Javits Center to enhance public transportation on the Westside? Didn’t this idea get killed because of the expense?

    • Josh

      Yes. $800 million for one station is a tad expensive.

  • jojo

    @Pat, what is so riduclous. There already are trains in NY that go to Westchester and Long Island. People who work in NY and live in NJ do pay taxes to NY on their income. Also, what about all the people from NY who come to NJ not to pay sales tax on clothes.

    • harriet in ny

      there’s no commuter tax, people who live in nj and work in ny pay State taxes only (and get a credit for NY taxes off their NJ taxes), the train is intended to carry commuters who already don’t pay into city services i.e. police, fire

  • Aceof Spades

    Well all i can say is more fare hikes. Someone is going to have to pay for this. And yes they said federal funds but who’s going to pay for track maintenance and the extra workers they have to hire to run it. Along with hire taxes we will have to pay hire fares in the future. Thanks a lot.

  • Pat

    This is ridiculous if you were gonna extend the subways why would you do it into New Jersey? Why not Westchester or Long Island first? They don’t even pay the taxes that fund the MTA.

  • jc

    if the 7 train is gonna be used for this project, they should overhaul the entire 7 line.. at least they could add an express 7 line in both directions at all times.. its so crazy that 7 train only goes express in either direction during rush hours (manhattan bound in the AM and flushing bound in the PM) and gets disrupted if there is a Mets game because the supposed PM express going to flushing becomes local.. and lastly make the 74th street-broadway station both local and express stop because there are a lot of train connections in the lower level especially the connection for the E train going to sutphin blvd for the air train to JFK

    • harriet in ny

      express in both directions? come on, the 7 would lose its ugly step child status, and why in the world would 74th be express, it only serves like 35k people a day. The really sucky thing will be when the train becomes delayed due to weather in jersey, it can barely handle a light rain was it is.

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