LIRRCC Statement – January 6, 2020 – Governor’s Penn Station Projects Could Transform the Ride for Millions


Today Governor Cuomo announced an exciting transportation and infrastructure agenda for 2020 that could transform the way millions of riders travel through and around Penn Station.
The projects included in the Governor’s proposal could increase Penn Station’s regional capacity by 40% and according to the Governor, “will help maximize public transportation” to support congestion pricing,” while easing congestion for millions of riders on the LIRR and Metro-North, with the arrival of Penn Access. Extra capacity must also bring with it extra service for LIRR and MRN riders. Adding capacity + adding service = reduced crowds and faster, better commutes.

Mark Epstein, chair of the Long Island Rail Road Commuter Council said, “The Governor’s announcement is exciting, but also short on details. We’re always receptive to anything that improves the rider’s experience and we look forward to getting more information about these projects. There are a lot of balls in the air right now: Penn Access, East Side Access and reconstruction of the East River Tunnels, and we would like to see new capacity studies undertaken that consider this new configuration. We also don’t know how much this plan will cost and how riders will be accommodated during construction.”

The added capacity will also provide a great opportunity to expand service in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx – reducing the time and cost of commutes for riders living in subway deserts.
New tracks and new entrances won’t be cheap and we’re pleased that ESDC will further a General Project Plan to capture the value of the transit access and pay for this expansion.
These projects could bring substantial regional benefits, including those from congestion pricing, with riders being the biggest winners.

Full statement: 1.6.2020 Governor Penn Station Proposal