NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Top officials are trying to find solutions to improve the aging and strained transportation system that connects New York and New Jersey.

From improving the Port Authority Bus Terminal to the financial woes of the Path system to the Sandy-damaged Hudson River tunnels to Penn Station, the needs are obvious, WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reported.

Experts warn that shutting down the Hudson River tunnels one at a time for rehabilitation could curtail train traffic by 75 percent.

“The impact that it would have on the traveling public and the economy and mobility of the region is stark,” AMTRAK’s Craig Schulz told WCBS 880.

The role of travel across the Hudson and its impact on the economy was the subject of a trans-Hudson summit at the World Trade Center on Thursday.

The number of cars crossing the river has declined 11 percent over the past 8 years, which means more people are taking transit. There are only two train tunnels and sooner or later one of them will be out of service.

“When that happens under the Hudson river the railroad goes from the capability of twenty-four trains an hour down to six,” AMTRAK’s Drew Galloway said, “That would be a catastrophic effect, not only to the city of New York, but the entire region.”

A bevy of experts said a new rail tunnel has to be a top priority.

There are problems for the MTA as well – a $14 billion gap in its capital plan, which could threaten the Second Avenue subway line, Murnane reported.




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