NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg is pushing the throttle on the No. 7 train hoping to have it extending to New Jersey before he leaves office at the end of his third term.
Even New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is on board, with a spokesman saying Wednesday he is “intrigued” by the notion, which puts a new option for trans-Hudson travel back on track.
1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports
After a string of transit failures, including congestion pricing and tolling the East River bridges, Mayor Bloomberg is hoping that “7” is his lucky number.
The mayor wants to extend the line to the Garden State and he’s so hot on the idea that the city is shelling out a quarter of a million bucks to do a feasibility study, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.
“The idea of having good transportation and mass transportation is something that’s very appealing to this city. I’ve always argued that if you’re going to depend on cars to come into the city we’re always going to have delays,” Bloomberg said Wednesday.
He conceded the project is just in the talking stage and would ultimately involve digging a new tunnel under the Hudson River.
The estimated cost of the project is $10 billion.
“This is something where the economics seem to make some sense,” Bloomberg said. “The subway extension is on budget, on time pretty much coming down the West Side and you could probably continue it over. There are some economic arguments that it would be justified.”
There has been talk of the No. 7 subway train running into Secaucus for nearly a year — ever since Gov. Christie put the brakes on a controversial Trans-Hudson rail tunnel last October.
Christie killed the plans to build the tunnel because of the$9 billion to $14 billion price tag.
But he’s apparently on board with the Bloomberg proposal.
“We have been intrigued all along by this as a potential alternative to the ARC tunnel project, which was an albatross for New Jersey and its taxpayers with its billions in cost overruns to be absorbed entirely by New Jersey,” said Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak.
The mayor’s plan – the price tag still to be worked out — would be a multi-state, multi-agency venture.
“We want better transportation from here to all the markets all the places that people live that want to come into the city to work and to shop,” Bloomberg said.
WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports
Commuters seem split on the idea.
“For what it is going to cost I’m not sure the ridership would justify it,” said Wyckoff, N.J. resident Virginia Fairweather said.
“I think it’s a good idea because a lot of people commute from New Jersey,” added Kevin Smith of Woodside, Queens.
“It will reduce vehicle traffic in Manhattan, that will help also,” said Bertram Merling of the Upper West Side.
The goal is to allow commuters to take the train all the way from Flushing to Secaucus or vice versa. Still to be worked out is whether you’ll pay an additional fare for the New Jersey leg.
If it gets the green light the project could take a decade or more to complete.
Do you support the plan? Let us know below…