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Cait Sith

MTA Briefs Residents on Proposed Metro-North Expansion in Bronx

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MORRIS PARK — If all goes according to plan, transportation in the Bronx could see a major overhaul over the next decade, as the MTA moves forward with a proposal to expand its Metro-North rail service to four neighborhoods in the East Bronx.

 

MTA officials began a series of public hearings in the borough this week to introduce their plan and solicit feedback in the neighborhoods where the new train stations are being considered: Hunts Point, Parkchester, Morris Park and Co-op City.

 

At the first informational session held Monday night at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Morris Park, local leaders and residents said they would welcome the expansion, and are eager to see the plan come to fruition.

 

“I think that this is going to open up a whole new gateway for business here in the Bronx,” said Robert Ruggiero, chairman of the Morris Park Alliance.

 

The idea is to expand Metro-North service into Penn Station, with one line along the west side of Manhattan connecting to the existing Hudson line, and another that would run through the Bronx and connect to the existing New Haven line in Westchester. This would mean the building of six new train stations — two on Manhattan's west side, and four in the Bronx — and that Bronx residents would have easy access into Midtown, or to communities outside the city in Westchester and Connecticut.

 

If it came to pass, Morris Park residents would be a 25-minute ride from Penn Station in Midtown and another half-hour to Westchester and Connecticut, according to Metro-North officials.

 

The proposal is contingent on another plan that’s currently underway, to expand Long Island Rail Road access to Grand Central Terminal, which would free up some space in Penn Station for other uses. Officials estimated that the LIRR plan won’t be finished until at least 2019, meaning the Bronx expansion is still a long way off.

But Bronx leaders say it’s still important to look forward.

 

“So many more people are looking to invest in our borough,” Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., said at Monday’s meeting. “We need to make sure that our roadways, our bridges, and certainly our rail system, is one that’s going to be able to handle the influx of people who are either working from our borough, or who want to come and experience our borough.”

 

Roughly 5,000 Bronx residents currently use the Metro-North lines to commute to jobs outside the city, according to

Robert MacLagger, Metro-North vice president of planning, making the Bronx the largest rail reverse commute market in the country.

 

“The Bronx is a very important market for the Metro-North,” he said.

 

The proposed new stations would run on existing Amtrak rails, MacLagger said, and so would cost little compared to other expansion projects, like the Second Avenue Subway or the extension of the No. 7 train line.

 

The station proposed for Morris Park would be located on Bassett Avenue near Loomis Street — placed at the crux of major hubs like the Hutchinson Metro Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Calvary Hospital.

 

Some community groups on Monday expressed concerns over lack of parking at the new stations, worrying that commuters from other neighborhoods might drive in and leave their cars on residential streets while they took the train into Manhattan.

 

“We have, everyday, a heavy influx of commuters that come down out of lower Westchester to take the subway,” said Ruggiero, of the Morris Park Merchants Alliance. “They feel like this is only going to compound that problem.”

 

But Metro-North officials said they expect riders who would use the proposed lines to be primarily of city residents who use public transportation, and would get to the new stations by subway, bus or bike.

 

Steven Sandhoff, 30, who moved to Morris Park from Manhattan two years ago after his wife started work at Albert Einstein, said he would be thrilled if the plan takes off. An attorney who works near Wall Street, his daily commute takes more than an hour.

 

But more importantly, he said, a new rail line might introduce other Manhattanites to the wonders of the neighborhood he now calls home.

 

“People are hesitant about this borough,” he said. “The Bronx is already great. One of the reasons people don’t see it is because there’s no way to get out here—or no easy way.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source --- http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20120913/morris-park/mta-briefs-residents-on-proposed-metro-north-expansion-bronx#ixzz26blC76Tj

Edited by Cait Sith

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Yep, read this a few days ago. Of course this won't happen until the ESA is done. I'm still a bit curious if the Amtrak Empire Corridor would become electrified or if the line itself would just use some diesel Metro-North trains. On the other hand, the (MTA) may just need to buy additional trains for the West Side access. IDK if what we have now is enough.. Still to early to tell.

 

For the NEC/Hell Gate portion, some very light folks have suggested adding a stop at Astoria, but that I don't think is needed. Anyone needing Manhattan service or outbound can just ride the (N)(Q) for about 20-25min to 34th for Service. (Via (S) for GCT).

Edited by mark1447

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An Astoria stop wouldn't be bad. You would be surprised of the number of people who rather hop on the LIRR in Woodside to go into the city rather then the 7 train or Penn to Jamaica and vice versa. Some people rather pay for comfort even if its a quick ride.

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A Astoria stop wouldn't be bad. You would be surprised of the number of people who rather hop on the LIRR in Woodside to go into the city rather then the 7 train or Penn to Jamaica and vice versa. Some people rather pay for comfort even if its a quick ride.

 

You're not the only one thinking about this....

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You're not the only one thinking about this....

 

 

VG8 a question say in 10 years from now (2022)if there a new Parkchester MNRR station do you support canning the BXM6? Since riders would then have a direct faster trip to Midtown?

 

As i stated earlier the only proposed MNRR station i have doubts about is Hunts Point. Especially since you already have the (6) to East Side and BX19 to Central Harlem.

 

And as a Hudson Line semi regular customer the proposed service to Penn Station should be for weekday only service for Poughkeepsie/Upper Hudson station riders. That unless Amtrak runs non-stop between Poughkeepsie and NYC.

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VG8 a question say in 10 years from now (2022)if there a new Parkchester MNRR station do you support canning the BXM6? Since riders would then have a direct faster trip to Midtown?

 

As i stated earlier the only proposed MNRR station i have doubts about is Hunts Point. Especially since you already have the (6) to East Side and BX19 to Central Harlem.

 

And as a Hudson Line semi regular customer the proposed service to Penn Station should be for weekday only service for Poughkeepsie/Upper Hudson station riders. That unless Amtrak runs non-stop between Poughkeepsie and NYC.

 

 

Let me pose a question to you... If you have various alternatives in your community would you want one of them axed? MNRR will only be good for Parkchester residents who are actually near the MNRR Parkchester station. Same thing goes for residents in Morris Park, Co-op City and Hunts Point. Axing the BxM6 would leave that community with just one quick alternative to the city, which would be more expensive and would force them to take 2 or 3 different connections to get to work if they don't commute to where MetroNorth stops and if the MNRR for whatever reason screws up, then what?? These are the exact same arguments that those residents would raise.

 

If you propose cutting the BxM6, then that means you would propose cutting the BxM10 and BxM7 too, which would force those residents to also have to pay higher fares and perhaps make more connections. Notice that representatives said that it would open the communities in question to other options because folks want to be in communities with alternatives. You take away peoples' alternatives and you get what is happening in Sheepshead Bay... A mass exodus of people moving or avoiding coming to the area because of a lack of transportation.

 

Here's an even better example... Look at Yorkville... Yorkville has generally always been less expensive as opposed to the Upper East Side because of the perceived lack of transportation there because the (4)(5)(6) is a schlepp to get to, even though it has numerous bus lines on York Avenue.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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Let me pose a question to you... If you have various alternatives in your community would you want one of them axed? MNRR will only be good for Parkchester residents who are actually near the MNRR Parkchester station. Same thing goes for residents in Morris Park, Co-op City and Hunts Point. Axing the BxM6 would leave that community with just one quick alternative to the city, which would be more expensive and would force them to take 2 or 3 different connections to get to work if they don't commute to where MetroNorth stops and if the MNRR for whatever reason screws up, then what?? These are the exact same arguments that those residents would raise.

 

If you propose cutting the BxM6, then that means you would propose cutting the BxM10 and BxM7 too, which would force those residents to also have to pay higher fares and perhaps make more connections. Notice that representatives said that it would open the communities in question to other options because folks want to be in communities with alternatives. You take away peoples' alternatives and you get what is happening in Sheepshead Bay... A mass exodus of people moving or avoiding coming to the area because of a lack of transportation.

 

Here's an even better example... Look at Yorkville... Yorkville has generally always been less expensive as opposed to the Upper East Side because of the perceived lack of transportation there because the (4)(5)(6) is a schlepp to get to, even though it has numerous bus lines on York Avenue.

 

 

VG8 just playing devil adovcate! I admit i still think the BXM6 should not run on Sundays here in 2012 due to low ridership (replaced by the BXm10) which is a separte debate. However in 2022, when this new New Haven line stop at Parkchester should be open, none of us will be sure what will be the ridership patterns for that part of Central Bronx a decade or so from now. Thus why i brought it up and lets see what will be the Parkchester patterns be then.

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VG8 just playing devil adovcate! I admit i still think the BXM6 should not run on Sundays here in 2012 due to low ridership (replaced by the BXm10) which is a separte debate. However in 2022, when this new New Haven line stop at Parkchester should be open, none of us will be sure what will be the ridership patterns for that part of Central Bronx a decade or so from now. Thus why i brought it up and lets see what will be the Parkchester patterns be then.

 

 

Well of course but we should not be proposing cutting service to any community if it can be avoided and you'd better believe that residents in Morris Park and Parkchester would throw a fit. You still never answered my question about whether or not you would favor having a transportation option in your community cut because you had various alternatives. The alternatives exist for a reason because everyone's needs are different.

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Well of course but we should not be proposing cutting service to any community if it can be avoided and you'd better believe that residents in Morris Park and Parkchester would throw a fit. You still never answered my question about whether or not you would favor having a transportation option in your community cut because you had various alternatives. The alternatives exist for a reason because everyone's needs are different.

 

 

Only as a last resort of course IMO if it meant saving 24/7 service on a main subway/bus line if get to another fiscal crisis as we had in 2010. That should answer your question.

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Only as a last resort of course IMO if it meant saving 24/7 service on a main subway/bus line if get to another fiscal crisis as we had in 2010. That should answer your question.

 

 

Let's hope not. FYI ridership in general on Sundays is lighter...

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As i stated earlier the only proposed MNRR station i have doubts about is Hunts Point. Especially since you already have the (6) to East Side and BX19 to Central Harlem.

 

 

The station isn't for Manhattan-bound riders. It's for riders going to/from Westchester & Connecticut.

 

Only as a last resort of course IMO if it meant saving 24/7 service on a main subway/bus line if get to another fiscal crisis as we had in 2010. That should answer your question.

 

 

Well, you have to consider that very few people want any type of service to be cut in their neighborhood. But it's just a question of whether the new route is a good enough alternative for the displaced riders.

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An Astoria stop wouldn't be bad. You would be surprised of the number of people who rather hop on the LIRR in Woodside to go into the city rather then the 7 train or Penn to Jamaica and vice versa. Some people rather pay for comfort even if its a quick ride.

 

Wow never thought of that but that station would be HIGH. but it aint a bad idea.

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An Astoria stop wouldn't be bad. You would be surprised of the number of people who rather hop on the LIRR in Woodside to go into the city rather then the 7 train or Penn to Jamaica and vice versa. Some people rather pay for comfort even if its a quick ride.

 

 

I guess its possible. Might just give riders access to CT without NY Penn. But Surely, I don't know how a station would even look on top of BMT Astoria Terminal.

 

 

 

VG8 a question say in 10 years from now (2022)if there a new Parkchester MNRR station do you support canning the BXM6? Since riders would then have a direct faster trip to Midtown?

 

As i stated earlier the only proposed MNRR station i have doubts about is Hunts Point. Especially since you already have the (6) to East Side and BX19 to Central Harlem.

 

And as a Hudson Line semi regular customer the proposed service to Penn Station should be for weekday only service for Poughkeepsie/Upper Hudson station riders. That unless Amtrak runs non-stop between Poughkeepsie and NYC.

 

 

To early to tell yes. But remember that the Corridor is right north of East Tremont Avenue, which would require about 5-8min of a walk on Unionport Road (Depending on where in Parkchester you are at). The BxM6 loops [begins/ends] the Metropolitan Loop, doesn't go up Unionport Rd. You could take the Bx22 to the new station if built, but adds time. Plus there are some riders who do get on/off along the Cross Bronx Expwy SR, which some folks could lose express service if the BxM6 is nixed. Of course things can change within 10 years.

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I wonder if Penn Station has the added capacity. From the LIRR plans floating around it seems like the Grand Central access will only serve two of the lines in the off peak (Hempstead and Far Rockaway), leaving most of the service still going into Penn.

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Biggest problem would be with the Hudson line, since the Empire Connection can only access tracks 1-8 at NYP, and 1-4 are pretty extensively used by NJT. LIRR might have to give up tracks 16/17 completely, so that NJT could use them if MNRR started using 1-4, and New Haven trains using 5-17 along with NJT & Amtrak. As NYP stands right now, there is really NO additional capacity there. During rush hours when LIRR is using all of 13-21, there are times when all 21 tracks have a train on them!

 

I honestly can't see this plan happening unless LIRR gives up A LOT of slots. NJT sure as hell isn't going to give any up, not when they wished they had EXTRA slots to start running Raritan trains in there, and we all know that Amtrak isn't going to cut any slots for their own trains. Those Acelas sometimes sit around for HOURS at NYP for some reason though, so maybe there is a way to expedite their yard moves?

 

There's also the power issue. MNRR would need dedicated fleets for both lines - Hudson trains would need an engine with a retractable over-running third rail shoe (only Amtrak's P32s are retractable, not MNRR's), and New Haven trains would either need to share that diesel fleet with the Hudson trains, or have MU's with over-running shoes dedicated to NYP service. This means that neither of these fleets would be able to run into GCT, as that would require under-running shoes.

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Where is that?

 

 

That would be the former NYW&B Westchester Avenue Station. But I doubt this would be used for the Hunts Point station.

 

Biggest problem would be with the Hudson line, since the Empire Connection can only access tracks 1-8 at NYP, and 1-4 are pretty extensively used by NJT. LIRR might have to give up tracks 16/17 completely, so that NJT could use them if MNRR started using 1-4, and New Haven trains using 5-17 along with NJT & Amtrak. As NYP stands right now, there is really NO additional capacity there. During rush hours when LIRR is using all of 13-21, there are times when all 21 tracks have a train on them!

 

I honestly can't see this plan happening unless LIRR gives up A LOT of slots. NJT sure as hell isn't going to give any up, not when they wished they had EXTRA slots to start running Raritan trains in there, and we all know that Amtrak isn't going to cut any slots for their own trains. Those Acelas sometimes sit around for HOURS at NYP for some reason though, so maybe there is a way to expedite their yard moves?

 

There's also the power issue. MNRR would need dedicated fleets for both lines - Hudson trains would need an engine with a retractable over-running third rail shoe (only Amtrak's P32s are retractable, not MNRR's), and New Haven trains would either need to share that diesel fleet with the Hudson trains, or have MU's with over-running shoes dedicated to NYP service. This means that neither of these fleets would be able to run into GCT, as that would require under-running shoes.

 

 

I'm curious if MNCR would ever want to electrify the Empire Line... Don't think Amtrak would let them... To much work.

 

Also, the Spuyten Duyvil / Inwood Swing Bridge has only 1 track, so I don't know if this will work, if there is a lot of trains (not as much as heading to GCT) going down.

Edited by mark1447

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I don't think LIRR can give up any more slots unless if half of Grand Central's lower level is gave up to the LIRR. I honestly have seen times where quite a few LIRR trains basically come on the same track few minutes apart from each other. Plus, this LIRR to GCT is basically freeing up traffic from the tunnels rather than the platforms, honestly T 16-21 will still be LIRR.

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I grew up blocks from the old westchester Ave station. Is that pic recent? I haven't been there in years.

As far as equipment for the proposed new Haven-Penn service, it isn't really an issue. The M8s were designed for 3 voltages-including amtrak voltage thru the Bronx and Queens. It's one of the reasons why they came out so heavy. It's in anticipation for such an option. As for the West Side, looks like one of 3 things will happen-1) MNR orders new locos 2) they retrofit retractable shoes or 3) lease engines from amtrak.

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Here's the latest... According to Good Day NY, MetroNorth will not make a decision on proceeding with this for at least another year. One major issue is that there is NO space for any more trains at Penn Station (again according to FOX 5) and so they're hoping that East Side access will be done and that can perhaps open up some space to allow for this project to move forward.

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Here's the latest... According to Good Day NY, MetroNorth will not make a decision on proceeding with this for at least another year. One major issue is that there is NO space for any more trains at Penn Station (again according to FOX 5) and so they're hoping that East Side access will be done and that can perhaps open up some space to allow for this project to move forward.

 

 

Thus why the need for this proposal right now anyhow. Lets wait until LIRR Grand Central project is done and open before we talk this. And I stand by my earlier comment that Astoria and Hunts Point don't need those MNRR stops anyhow,

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I grew up blocks from the old westchester Ave station. Is that pic recent? I haven't been there in years.

As far as equipment for the proposed new Haven-Penn service, it isn't really an issue. The M8s were designed for 3 voltages-including amtrak voltage thru the Bronx and Queens. It's one of the reasons why they came out so heavy. It's in anticipation for such an option. As for the West Side, looks like one of 3 things will happen-1) MNR orders new locos 2) they retrofit retractable shoes or 3) lease engines from amtrak.

 

 

I live around there, its still there. and how awesome it would be M8s in blue would look like

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Edited by MTARegional Bus

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