The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York struck an agreement with Empire State Development Corp. and Amtrak that will lead to four new Metro-North Railroad stations being built along an underutilized rail line in the east Bronx with access to Penn Station.
The parties signed a memorandum of understanding allowing the transformative project to move forward, providing a much needed transit option and dramatically reducing commute times for many Bronx residents, according to Gov. Cuomo's office. Empire State Development Corp. is going to work with the MTA to do the planning and expedition of the project. The goal is to help unleash a new generation of economic development for the Bronx. As part of the agreement, Amtrak and MTA will jointly study the feasibility of Amtrak running several trains daily from Long Island to Penn Station, and continuing either north to Boston or south to Washington, D.C.
During a meeting of the MTA Board's Metro-North Committee, a $35 million contract was approved with HNTB New York Engineering and Architecture for preliminary engineering and design of the project, known as Metro-North's Penn Station Access project. The full MTA Board will consider the contract on Thursday. The MTA Board's action is contingent on a similar approval by the Amtrak Board.
The new service will bring Metro-North trains over the Hell Gate Bridge into Queens, where they will merge with the Long Island Rail Road's route, proceeding through the East River Tunnels into Manhattan and west to Penn Station. In addition to the new stations, the project includes new tracks and switches, as well as power, signal, communication and infrastructure upgrades. The stations include Hunts Point; Parkchester/Van Nest; Morris Park; and Co-op City.
The MTA's 2015-2019 Capital Program contains the initial investment of $695 million towards the project, including $250 million in state resources will be provided through ESD. The MTA is seeking additional funding for the project in the 2020-2024 Capital Program to complete the project.
Source: Gov. Cuomo's office