17 November 2010

"Next stop Secaucus - Watch the closing doors"

Now that Governor Christie has sunk the ARC rail tunnel, plans are being floated by the Bloomberg administration to turn New Jersey commuters into straphangers by bringing New York's Number 7 subway line under the Hudson.

New York City's 7 train with the Newark skyline in the background

The line, which runs from Flushing, Queens to Times Square, is already undergoing an extension project which will bring the tracks right up to the Hudson River waterfront at 11th Avenue and 34th Street.

The main advantage this plan has over the ARC tunnel is the cost to New Jersey taxpayers. The overall price tag is estimated to be less than half the amount of the NJ Transit ARC tunnel, plus, other jurisdictions - New York City, Port Authority - would be expected to chip in this time.

The disadvantage is that the ARC tunnel promised a "one seat ride" into the city for many commuters, whereas the new plan would have commuters switch to the 7 train at Secaucus.

The proposal appears to be sound. In fact, it really is not very different than the PATH trains that already run under the Hudson in two separate tunnels - and require jumping on and off at Newark or Hoboken.

Hillsborough Township commuters know that potential reactivation of NJ Transit's West Trenton Line is wholly dependent on increasing Hudson River tunnel capacity. This proposal does the trick, and would potentially allow West Trenton Line trains to deliver passengers to Secaucus for transfer to the subway.

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