The Mayor Bloomberg-inspired plan to extend the 7 train underneath the Hudson River to Secaucus has captured transit dreamers’ imaginations over the past few years, but the odds have long been stacked against it. The subway expansion would require interstate cooperation and billions of dollars that aren’t readily available. Useful? Yes. Practical amidst the current political and economic climates? Probably not.
Today, while speaking at a meeting of the New York Building Congress, MTA Chairman Joe Lhota threw an ice cold bucket of water on those dreaming of such a subway plan, as Transportation Nation reported this morning. The extension, he said, not going to happen in our lifetime. It’s not going to happen in anybody’s lifetime…The expense is beyond anything we’re doing.”
From the cost of construction to the need to build railyards and shops in New Jersey to the more pressing needs within the city, Lhota was unequivocal in his stance. “I’ve told the mayor this, I can’t see that happening in our lifetime,” he said. The Mayor, in his response, seemed to accept the MTA head’s assessment. Calling Lhota a “realist,” Bloomberg said later that he hopes it “happens within someone’s lifetime. Those people may not have been born yet whose lifetime it would be.” Ain’t that aiming for the stars?