Jan
20

Great Moments in Press Releases: PATH’s $3.9 billion subway stop to open in March

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The PATH's $4 billion World Trade Center subway stop looms over Lower Manhattan. (Photo by Benjamin Kabak)

The PATH’s $4 billion World Trade Center subway stop looms over Lower Manhattan. (Photo by Benjamin Kabak)

A few weeks ago, word leaked that March would see the debut of New York City’s newest new subway headhouse. This one is unique as it cost $3.9 billion, features a future mall and will leave a massive mark on the Lower Manhattan streetscape and internal skyline. I am, of course, referring to the Port Authority’s Santiago Calatrava-designed World Trade Center PATH so-called “transportation hub,” a brilliant bit of branding I’ll discuss shortly.

When I wrote about the opening last month, I trod familiar ground bemoaning the lost opportunity to do something better with the $4 billion. The PATH Hub looks spectacular, cost far too much and did nothing to improve mobility. There’s no connection to, say, Brooklyn or JFK Airport, an old post-9/11 idea for Lower Manhattan, and the money didn’t go to expansion of trans-Hudson rail capacity. It’s a mall on top of a subway station designed by a starchitect.

Anyway, let’s take a look at their press release touting the opening in the first week in March. The highlighting is mine:

The Port Authority announced today that the World Trade Center Transportation Hub Oculus – the iconic centerpiece of the sprawling transit facility – will open in the first week of March. The opening will provide a greatly enhanced commute for the 100,000 weekday PATH riders who travel through the station, with quicker, climate-controlled access to the Wall Street area and other destinations to the north and south of the site…

The Oculus – with its soaring wings designed by Santiago Calatrava – will enable travelers to have a seamless connection with 11 New York City subway lines and the East River ferries in addition to access to PATH trains. When the Oculus opens, PATH commuters will take new underground passageways to One World Trade Center, 4 World Trade Center, the corner of Liberty and Church streets a few blocks from Wall Street and to Vesey Street on the northern edge of the site. The new facility contains state-of-the-art escalators and elevators for convenient vertical circulation between the trains and street level

“More than a decade ago, planners envisioned a rebuilt transportation complex on the World Trade Center site that would provide critical links between various modes of transit for the first time. By later this year, this vision will become reality,” said Port Authority Chairman John Degnan. “When the Oculus opens, commuters, visitors and residents of Lower Manhattan will have a greatly enhanced commute to and from the site for the first time.”

“The Port Authority has a rich tradition in pushing the envelope and being the premier master builder in the region. The rebirth of the World Trade Center and the construction of the Transportation Hub touched not only Lower Manhattan, but the rest of the country and the world as well. We can all stand in awe with what has been accomplished here,” said Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler.

“The Hub will be a vibrant transit center and tourist destination with an extensive transportation network in the revitalized Lower Manhattan,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “This year, tenants, commuters and visitors will enjoy easy access to the World Trade Center Transportation Hub’s first-class shopping, dining, and amenities, and also provide them with a first-class, convenient transit trip to and from the site.”

Where to begin? Where to begin? First, the Port Authority claims 100,000 weekday PATH riders travel the station, but PATH’s own ridership numbers betray this claim. In October of 2015, the region’s busiest transit month in sixty years, the Port Authority’s own ridership numbers [pdf] show only 52,595 riders on an average weekday. Ridership isn’t going to double when the “hub” opens, and in fact, it can’t because the PA spent $4 billion on a station headhouse than on capacity increases!

Meanwhile, just look at these turns of phrases. The hub is going to offer underground walkways which connect to Fulton St. and nearby subway lines. There are no free transfers, but this is a “seamless connection.” The $3.9 billion also bought “state-of-the-art escalators and elevators.” Fancy! Degnan, Rechler and Foye also issued some gems. The PA is now the “premier master builder,” and the subway station will be a “vibrant transit center and tourist destination,” the latter which may have been the point all along.

So what is the WTC PATH Transportation Hub then? To call it a hub is misleading as it is simply a station headhouse for the 18th busiest subway station in New York City. It’s not an intermodal connection by any means, and it certainly isn’t a terminal point for a commuter rail line or long-haul rail road. The building looks impressive; the branding is on point; but it’s all smoke and mirrors. We spent $4 billion and got a mall down the block from $1.5 billion mall. Hopefully, someone in Albany is listening, and we won’t repeat the same mistake with a $3 billion mall at Penn Station. After all, for $8 billion, we could’ve covered those ARC cost overruns years ago.



Categories : PANYNJ

80 Responses to “Great Moments in Press Releases: PATH’s $3.9 billion subway stop to open in March”

  1. Brian says:

    “…seamless connection with 11 New York City subway lines and the East River ferries…” East River Ferries? Did they build a canal to the station too?

  2. Avi says:

    I’ve always wondered what it would have cost to bring LIRR from Atlantic to a new terminal at Broadway and Dey. Create a Penn Station south with Path connected on the western edge and Fulton connected to the east. It would have brought LIRR commuters to wall street quicker and offered a better connection to JFK. That would have done more for Lower Manhattan than both of these stations combined.

    • Brooklynite says:

      Cynically, that seems like it would be East Side Access all over again.

      Thinking creatively, building a tunnel from Hoboken to Atlantic, with a Lower Manhattan station with exits to WTC and Fulton, would do wonders for regional mobility. All LIRR and NJT lines would have one-seat Manhattan service for starters, the North River tunnels would finally have alternatives, etc etc etc. Unfortunately the idea didn’t get 9/11 funding, so it’s probably dead.

      • Avi says:

        You might not even need new Hudson tunnels. I think the PATH tunnels are FRA compliant so could be re-purposed for heavy rail use. Run NJT trains through that tunnel and then through the new east river tunnel to a terminal/yard in Brooklyn. Run LIRR the other way all the way to Newark.

        • adirondacker12800 says:

          The tunnels are too small and unless you want to tear up the nice new buildings over it, the PATH tracks point in the wrong direction. the platforms are more or less north/south on a wide loop.

    • AG says:

      While I agree about connecting LIRR – Fulton St. was necessary…
      Also – it’s not really “Wall St.” anymore. The economy down there is much much more diversified than it used to be.

      • DHA says:

        I can’t help think about this every time I pass through Atlantic-Barclays as well. What a tremendous waste. Imagine through-running trains from Jamaica through downtown Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan, and out to Hoboken, then Newark or Secaucus Junction. Could have had a transformative impact on the region, allowing 1-seat rides for LIRR and NJT customers to the three largest CBDs in the region, Midtown, Lower Manhattan, and Downtown Brooklyn. Not to mention rapid connections to the two largest airports in the region. Oh well. Maybe in 30 years and for 50 Billion.

        • AG says:

          Yes – and that was the original plan for the 9/11 money that Schumer won… I forget which governor changed it now.. Gives me a headache so I try not to remember.

        • Michael549 says:

          From a previous message:

          “I can’t help think about this every time I pass through Atlantic-Barclays as well. What a tremendous waste. Imagine through-running trains from Jamaica through downtown Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan, and out to Hoboken, then Newark or Secaucus Junction.”

          You may have visited the Atlantic Avenue/Barclay Center complex and think it is in your words, “tremendous waste”, but I wonder if you really looked at what you saw. The LIRR tracks and platforms butt up right against the tracks for the #2, #3, #4 and #5 trains to/from Manhattan and Brooklyn. There is simply NO SPACE for LIRR trains to stop at those platforms and then “duck under” the #2, #3, #4 and #5 trains to/from Manhattan and Brooklyn.

          You have no idea how many transit fans and others have looked and tried with their various maps, plans and proposals to extend the LIRR tracks to Manhattan. There were some pretty damn lively debates over how to get LIRR tracks, tunnels and a terminal built especially in the Financial District, and then how to route those tunnels to New Jersey. Billions of dollars of proposed this and that. On top of all of that – various ideas of extending train service to/from JFK Airport direct to the Financial District or to the World Trade Center. There was plenty of debate, arguments, ideas, and proposals on the subject.

          Would you believe that Gov. Pataki proposed turning over the A & C train’s Cranberry Tunnel over to the LIRR for trains to get to Manhattan, and then at another time proposed taking over the R-train’s Montague Street Tunnel for use by the LIRR. The MTA had to finally tell Gov. Pataki a flat out “NO” – NOT HAPPENING!! All the while transit sycophants were saying, “Yes it would be a good idea to turn subway tunnels that daily carry several 100,000’s of riders over and above what the LIRR carries over to the LIRR!” As if A & C trains at all times forever by-passing the Financial District or all N, R & Q trains using only the Manhattan Bridge – completely at all times forever by-passing the Financial District is somehow a good idea. IT IS NOT!!

          You may have “seen the station” but did you actually take a look at how the various subway lines, the D, N & R train station at Pacific Street actually fit in the space – and what butts up against what? Or the actual location of the Atlantic Avenue B & Q station and how it was fitted into the complex? Or the nearby G-train? It is pretty damn crowded underground in ways that are not immediately apparent from above ground.

          And on top of that what you called, “tremendous waste” turned a what was not a quite desolate area into a vibrant commercial center of shops, eating places and entertainment.

          Please – I’ve lived in Brooklyn and that station was 8-blocks from my home in the 1980’s and that was before the MTA started sending all of the B, D, N & Q trains over the Manhattan Bridge. I’ve seen and used what was the remains of the old LIRR station and entrances and often walked the streets of my Brooklyn neighborhood.

          In my old Brooklyn brownstone neighborhood in the 1980’s: a) there was NO WAY to get the New York Times delivered; b) not a single Bank ATM machine existing in a eight block radius – one had to go to Fulton Street/Brooklyn Heights or Prospect Park; c) forget Starbucks – Chuck-E-Cheese for the kids, and d) for shopping it was downtown Fulton Street for A&S, Mays, Albee Square Mall or Brooklyn Heights Montague Street.

          The Williamsburg Bank Building – passed by it repeatedly while living in the neighborhood – WAS VACANT! What became the Shirley Chisholm State Office Building was just another vacant building that I passed by walking both to/from the Atlantic Avenue station.

          So yes, you can take your “tremendous waste” and . . .

          • Brooklynite says:

            Unless the intent was to merge with the Brooklyn IRT line at grade, AIUI it’s always been a given that the existing LIRR platforms would be abandoned. Below the D/N/R level there are no subway or railroad lines that I know of, so a relatively short grade would suffice to bring the LIRR under the existing maze of infrastructure. Reusing existing subway tunnels to Manhattan is unlikely because of things like loading gauge and FRA regulations, but there’s nothing really preventing a new set of tunnels except funding. When the politicians decide that it’s a necessary project, the engineering will not be far behind. Until then, obviously, nothing is happening.

            And you could have lived in Brooklyn since George Washington fled across the East River under cover of darkness, what do I care? The New York Times and Chuck E Cheese’s that you mentioned are not obstacles to extending the LIRR to Manhattan.

            • Michael549 says:

              Yes, I plainly disagree with the charaterization that the Atlantic-Barclays complex is “a tremendous waste.”

              When the ideas of extending the LIRR into the Financial District were the major topic of discussion there were several proposals, plans, debates and arguments over the costs of building tunnels and stations. As well as the fate of that section of Brooklyn. Some of the plans included the idea of building an LIRR station under the existing station, and other plans considered building an LIRR nearby the existing Atlantic Avenue terminal. One of the plans considered abandoning the current LIRR station, while other plans considered using the current terminal for some trains with other trains traveling to Manhattan to a new station. There were several plans and debates about the costs of building a new tunnel to Manhattan, and a new station in Manhattan. In addition there were some proposals about connecting to commuter rail lines in New Jersey. Also discussed were issues of commuter train sizes, tunnels, terminals and the political and economic backing behind the proposals. Yes – cost was a big factor in those discussions and debates, and those debates were lively. In addition, there were several discussions and debates about using the existing A & C, or the R-train tunnels as an aid in reducing the costs of these ventures. All of this was well discussed and debated in several forums and places.

              One part of the Atlantic-Barclays complex are the changes that have occurred above the ground, the shopping centers and other changes in the immediate neighborhood. As well as changes and improvements to the railroad terminal itself, and its related rail yard facilities. Generally I believe that those changes were for the good of the neighborhood. I can say that because I lived in the neighborhood before and when the initial changes started to take place. If you wish to discount that experience – like anyone – you have free will to speak your mind.

              Does the shopping centers and other changes stop the LIRR from being extended to Manhattan? No – their being mentioned concerns the beneficial changes in the neighborhood that one might not notice if one just looks at this as purely a transportation issue.

              So yes, I plainly disagree with the notion that those neighborhood changes as well as the Atlantic/Barclays complex were “a tremendous waste.”

              • Brooklynite says:

                I think you misread. Nobody said the current complex is a waste. Nobody said the neighborhood is a waste. What was characterized as a waste was the underused infrastructure, which could instead be used to connect to a LIRR tunnel to Manhattan instead of dead-ending in Downtown Brooklyn. Yes, the current platforms would probably be abandoned, with the space probably becoming a mall of some sort.

              • AG says:

                Transit wise I agree… I also agree from a “quality of life” issue. I had friends in Ft. Green. Back then it was robbery central. Albee Square Mall – Myrtle Ave. The whole area..

  3. Bgriff says:

    Also, wasn’t the word “oculus” the provence of the Fulton Street Transit Center? Did the Port Authority steal that one from the MTA?

  4. Larry Greenfield says:

    Those 52,595 riders represent about half as many individuals taking daily round trips. That’s $4B to serve about 26.300 people. I wonder how that compares to other transportation facilities in the NY metro area.

  5. Tokkemon says:

    Another Oculus?!

  6. LLQBTT says:

    Ironically, by providing all this “seamless” access, it just got easier to get to the better mall for most people, Newport Center, a short ride away on the HOB-WTC line.

    Moreover, and is cursing permitted here? But really, that press release is an out and out lie issued by our government. And that’s indicative of why transit is essentially frozen in time in NYC. We have the same transit we had since the MTA was created half a century ago.

  7. JJJJ says:

    State-of-the-art escalators?

    Gee whiz I just can’t wait! Will I need a token to ride them?

    • Mike says:

      “State-of-the-art” means that they’ll be out of service only half as often as usual. So, like, 40% of the time.

    • DHA says:

      Clearly they’re referring to the escalator in the West Concourse that connects the main passageway with the 1 WTC Mezzanine. The one adjacent to the formally dressed janitors cleaning scuffs off the marble floor 24/7.

      You know, the one that constantly admonishes riders to “Mind children” and “Always hold onto the handrail” on loop.

      And yet they didn’t consider platform screen doors?

      Who knows.

      • AMH says:

        Those aren’t state-of-the art, the subway has them. Maybe they’ll just run at a reasonable speed and work for a reasonable amount of time.

  8. Thomas says:

    Please, let’s see if we can get people to call it Calatrava’s Folly.

  9. Larry Littlefield says:

    Too much money but — how much really for the station, and how much for elements such as the underpass to Battery Park City?

    And will that underpass, and the retail, be open?

    • The underpass is already open, though the retail is not. It cost a quarter of a billion dollars. It’s a hallway — a very expensive hallway.

      • John-2 says:

        If they had just been able to cut the cost of the building by 25 percent and gotten a location/fund usage waiver from the feds, the Port Authority would have had $1 billion to spend on lengthening the platforms on the New Jersey side of the Hudson to handle 10-car trains and buy the additional rail cars needed to run 10-car trains from Newark to WTC. At the very least, that would have given PATH a chance to add a few more daily passengers to the total using the new hub, even if it didn’t double the total to the press release’s imaginary 100,000 number.

  10. DHA says:

    This is a real estate project, first and foremost. I can’t help but think that the potential for commercial profits is the number 1 reason why the PATH remains a distinct system from the NYC subway. If, let’s say, the PATH was retrofitted as an extension of the 6 or 1 trains, I’m sure the foot traffic in the complex would be significantly reduced as riders take advantage of this new opportunity to ride right on through. As it is now, the “Hub” stays a “hub”, albeit with transit connections that offer only a vestige of the utility of those at Penn or Grand Central.

    • AG says:

      Yeah – it’s pretty ridiculous that PATH operates under it’s own flag.

      • Brooklynite says:

        In the early 2000s there was a proposal to merge the PATH WTC line with the 6. It was determined to be feasible from an engineering standpoint, but the two bureaucracies didn’t want to do it so it wasn’t done.

        • AG says:

          Indeed… and it is pure folly.

        • John-2 says:

          The engineers would have had to thread the needle under the A/C and N/R tunnels at Church and Vescey streets, and then past the 2/3 tunnel going across City Hall Park to connect to the 6 train’s City Hall loop, which likely would have also required demolition of the front end of the old City Hall station to make the New Jersey-bound connection.

          That would have been the downtown equivalent of what it took to run the Sixth Avenue IND subway through Herald Square 75 years ago, going below the BMT and PATH trains and above the LIRR tracks from Penn Station. It would have been a pretty spectacular feat of engineering, but it would have been engineering underground, and if the pols are going to spend $4 billion on something, they want it to be something everyone can see, like a metal above-ground stegosaurus with an upscale mall inside.

          • Brooklynite says:

            It would have branched off of the Lex just north of Fulton, so it would not have impacted Old City Hall.
            (Link: http://www.rrwg.org/path-lexa.pdf )

            Yes, unfortunately, “infrastructure is not sexy” so it didn’t catch the politicians’ eye. Perhaps a zeotrope advertisement could have been built in the new tunnels, a la Masstransiscope, to raise revenue?

            • Duke says:

              This presentation is informative and intriguing and yet one thing jumps out at me: a section of the proposed route has a 4.5% grade, and it appears that a shallower slope is not possible without moving existing tunnels. The original IRT has a maximum grade of 3.0%, are the trains capable of handing a 4.5% grade? For heavy rail that seems rather on the steep side.

              • adirondacker12800 says:

                Lots of talk about capacity but nothing at all about how running PATH trains on the Lex would cut capacity by 20% because PATH trains are shorter.

                • Brooklynite says:

                  Above, in reply to a question about 10-car PATH trains you said that only Grove Street needs to be lengthened. The cost of that is relatively minimal.

                  • adirondacker12800 says:

                    In the “early 2000s”, pity the “report” you cited doesn’t seem to have a date on it, Exchange Place and Harrison needed to be lengthened. Not a peep in it about train lengths. Some thing any self respecting subway trainspotter would know about.

                    • Brooklynite says:

                      Are you still arguing that the presentation I linked is not credible because its authors are “two foamers with a website” because you can’t find any concrete fact that they got wrong? Or are you making some other point that eludes me?

                    • adirondacker12800 says:

                      Yes, just because someone knows how to use Microsoft Office doesn’t make them credible. You were the one who said there were

                      Brooklynite says:
                      January 21, 2016 at 10:39 pm

                      There are more results, from multiple sources, readily available with a quick google search.

                      No matter what I put into Google or DuckDuckgo comes up with the same foamers. Who miss that shortening trains on the 6 would be a very very bad thing. Especially since they wouldn’t be able to climb the grades they propose.

                    • Brooklynite says:

                      JFK Airtrain has grades of well over 5%. The Steinway tubes have grades of 4.5%. A brief climb in Lower Manhattan is far from the end of the world.

                      And perhaps they did not want to clog up their presentation with every single detail about what specifically would need to be changed to allow through-running. Signalling, operating rules, and a few other things would need some modification too, but I’m sure you know that as a self respecting subway trainspotter, right?

                    • adirondacker12800 says:

                      No one is going to convert the local tracks of the Lexington Avenue IRT to linear induction motors.

                      That PATH trains running on Lexington Avenue would reduce capacity significantly isn’t a minor detail. Or that every station in New Jersey except Newark and Journal Square would have to be rebuilt. Take your pick of which of those major impediments you want to gloss over.

                    • AG says:

                      You do have a point… But there are very few PATH stations in New Jersey. It’s not like there as many stations as the Lexington Ave line. Doing over the Jersey stations would be the obvious choice. I don’t see that as any big deal in the grand scheme of things… After they do that extension to Newark Airport – that would be the perfect time to take on the next big task (integrating).
                      Hopefully sense will prevail by then and PATH will be turned over to the MTA. Not holding my breath but that would make the most sense.
                      In any event doing those things with a modest station at the WTC would have been a much better use of the money for transit than this shiny “thing”. Not sure why New Jersey would object either because their real estate values would go up. Residential and office/commercial…

          • AG says:

            From what I read elsewhere – the original Hudson and Manhattan railroad was supposed to run a spur from Ninth Street (PATH) station to Astor Place on the IRT. Apparently some of the construction equipment is still down there. Still not sure what prevented it from happening… Will have to read up some more.

        • adirondacker12800 says:

          You have a cite for that?

          • Brooklynite says:

            Indeed I do. Nothing a quick google search doesn’t reveal:

            http://www.rrwg.org/path-lexa.pdf

            • AG says:

              Yeah – I always find it strange when people do that. If you are on the internet already – Google – Yahoo – Bing all offer search requests. Now if it’s a book that’s offline – I can understand the question.

              • adirondacker12800 says:

                I didn’t think it was necessary to add “two foamers with a website and a copy of Microsoft Office doesn’t count”

                • Brooklynite says:

                  There are more results, from multiple sources, readily available with a quick google search. I’m not going to post them though if you can’t be bothered to open a search engine and if you dismiss everything that you disagree with as a ridiculous foamer fantasy. Do you see something concrete (a ha ha) in the linked pdf that you specifically find untrue or unrealistic?

                  • adirondacker12800 says:

                    I tried Google and the only thing that came up was IRUM and people pointing at IRUM. If there are other more respectable studies why did you pick the one from two guys and a website? Is it because there aren’t any other than people pointing at the two guys with a website?

        • Douglas John Bowen says:

          Essentially correct. Among others, NJ-ARP advanced this proposal and spent time, including on the Hill with New Jersey’s Senate delegation, to try to make this happen. For various reasons — including the obvious; we don’t/didn’t have much leverage in New York, where the need was — we did not succeed.

          We’re proud to say we tried, however, and, as already noted, the obstacles were more political than physical.

  11. Beebo says:

    Yeah, right. I need another mall downtown. Because… the one in the Financial Center is doing so damned well?!?

    Or the one in the Fulton Street station?

    Not that it matters now, but seriously, that temporary station would have been fine. Its a subway stop!!! It is NOT the grand archway to the NYC experience.

    (And if there *were* such a place, and said place *isn’t* the toll booth at Geo Washington bridge or the two tunnels… it’d be LaGuardia/JFK)

    Not that I’m trying to troll, but geez! That PATH station is ugly and unnecessarily expensive — and who care about another empty “retail experience”?

  12. Jerrold says:

    Like I’ve said many times, down there we used to have the Twin Towers.
    Now we have the twin boondoggles.

    Did the shopping mall at the Fulton Center ever materialize?

    And Ben, I cannot even agree that that building is beautiful.
    I think it’s ugly.

    • Jerrold says:

      P.S. After posting my comment, I realized that my sentence about the Fulton Center might look like a literal question, rather than the rhetorical question that was intended.

    • Rich B says:

      Yes. The coffee shop and popcorn store are open. The sushi joint and wine store look like they should open soon. And there’s the Shake Shack opening eventually, that will actually draw people in.

      • Jeff says:

        The biggest point is the MTA already is getting income for it. The renting out of retail spaces is not their responsibility.

  13. Spendmor Wastemor says:

    “Hopefully, someone in Albany is listening,”

    They are listening, and they’re trying to figure out how to pull off another one, while furiously trying to figure their expected take. “Hm, my unemployable cousin has one no-show consulting job, I think she can handle a couple more.”

  14. Eric says:

    OK, now that this is over, the city should take bids to destroy the headhouse and replace it with an office/residential tower. This is valuable real estate, and no use keeping an ugly sculpture there just to avoid hurting some starchitect’s feelings.

  15. Rich B says:

    Whatever happened the opening of the additional entrances by “late summer 2015”? Is that all that’s being promoted here, because that’s a hell of a last-minute delay, and not very impressive.

    • Jeff says:

      A decision was made to open the entire station at once instead of feeding people through temporary areas fenced off from the construction.

      • JR_in_NYC says:

        They did open that entrance-exit/staircase that connects to the expensive hallway. That was only one entrance/exit they opened.

        • Douglas John Bowen says:

          Can’t win for losing anywhere, I guess. That admittedly expensive hallway is also an expansive hallway, offering capacity other transit locales sorely lack. It is safer, more comfortable, and more ADA-compliant than the maze/mess of escalators, stairs, and bridges that preceded it.

  16. N Broadway Local says:

    The complex had more to do with the subway than the Path. If anyone remembers it was a real headache connecting to the various subway lines in the area. Forget about the Broadway BMT/IRT that did not exist. Now you can make an easy inside far control connection between the various lines. That is a big improvement!

    Bringing LIRR to lower Manhattan is just a waste as riders can easily uses the various subway options as they do now.

    New Yorkers just need to learn to be satisfied with what you get. How many other governments is willing to spend $4 billion on their citizens?

    • AG says:

      I agree that the better subway transfers are a good thing – however disagree wholeheartedly on the other two points. Connecting LIRR downtown opens up a wide array of opportunities for transit users! It also would decrease crowding on certain subway lines for the people who travel downtown from Long Island. Also the government doesn’t have $4 billion. It gets it from the people.

    • New Yorkers just need to learn to be satisfied with what you get. How many other governments is willing to spend $4 billion on their citizens?

      No. Just….no. Where do you think they get the $4 billion they’ve wasted on this glorified mall from? Thin air?

    • adirondacker12800 says:

      In 2035 there won’t be any room in the tunnels to Midtown to carry them all. We can build more tunnels to Midtown or we can build tunnels to Downtown so the people who want to go Downtown don’t have to go to Midtown. Instead of changing trains in Penn Station they can change trains in Newark or Jamaica. Or Valley Stream or Rahway.
      The process that will open East Side Access someday, started in 1992. We should be starting on it now.

    • Rich B says:

      I think you’re confusing a lot of things. What new free transfers have been added? None, that I know of.

      First, the WTC Transit Hub is distinct from Fulton Center. Yes, they’re only a block away, but they are different projects with different owners and different budgets. Connecting the two is the new Dey St connector, but that’s OUTSIDE fare control. It offers no new transfer.

      Fulton Center cost $1.4 billion of its own, but did not add any new transfers. Before it was built, you could already transfer between the 2/3/4/5/A/C/J at Fulton.

      Will the new $4 billion WTC Transit Hub actually connect 1, E, and R inside fare control? I’m not sure that it will. Does anyone know? I’d hope that it will at least connect the E and R both inside and outside fare control. I doubt it will connect to the eventual new 1 station inside MTA fare control.

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