Subway Extension to Secaucus (Flushing #7 or L Canarsie)

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Re: #7 Subway to NJ/Secaucus

Postby Tommy Meehan » Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:59 pm

FP10 wrote:Anyone have rough numbers on how many NJ commuters ultimate destination is the subway vs midtown? That would clarify things a bit.

In the Parson Brinckerhoff report issued last April (2013) they don't address mode choice at PSNY -- though I am sure I have seen it somewhere -- but they do discuss the extension's attractiveness to current NJ Transit rail riders (page 58):
Travelers in trans-Hudson market areas with current direct commuter rail service to PSNY (NEC, North Jersey Coast Line, and Midtown Direct Lines) would generally favor using commuter rail, but there would be diversions from commuter rail to the No. 7 Secaucus Extension from those commuter rail lines that do not have a one-seat ride to New York (Main-Bergen/Pascack Valley Lines).

On page 59 they break down the anticipated ridership this way:

TOTAL NO. 7 Secaucus Extension Daily Ridership 127,900
  • Inbound Rail to No. 7 Secaucus Extension Transfers
    1. Upper Level FRL Station 14,800
    2. Main/Bergen/Port Jervis/Pascack Valley 46,700
  • Total Rail to No. 7 Secaucus Extension Transfers 61,500
  • Express Bus Transfers to Inbound No. 7 Secaucus Extension at FRL Station 46,700
  • Local Bus Transfers to Inbound No. 7 Secaucus Extension at FRL Station 8,700
  • Automobile Park and Drop-Off 5,200
  • Reverse-Peak Flows (Attraction End at FRL Station) 5,800
Source: NJ TRANSIT, 2011


Again, I think the window for getting this project started is past. I think a lot of people agreed, if Mayor Bloomberg couldn't get this started before he left office it would be many many years before it was seriously looked at again. (As the late Robert Moses used to say, "Once you start a project it's very hard for anyone to stop it." Of course Moses never met Governor Christie! :-) ) I think that's where we are today.

Bloomberg was not able to get the work started and I think the current city administration has almost zero interest in this.
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Re: #7 Subway to NJ/Secaucus

Postby Thomas » Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:26 am

MattW wrote:What is your reasoning for this? I'm not saying it's not a valid conclusion (I do not have the data nor experience to state such) but I would like to know how you arrived at this conclusion.


Gateway provides BACK-UP REDUDANCY for Amtrak/Acela Trains!

I wonder, though, if former mayor Bloomberg was serving NYC for a fourth term, if Seven to Secaucus could have began construction. I also question that PB report--as I anticipate more people taking NJ Transit to Penn Station even if Seven to Secaucus was built.
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Re: #7 Subway to NJ/Secaucus

Postby FP10 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:29 am

Tommy Meehan wrote:Again, I think the window for getting this project started is past. I think a lot of people agreed, if Mayor Bloomberg couldn't get this started before he left office it would be many many years before it was seriously looked at again. (As the late Robert Moses used to say, "Once you start a project it's very hard for anyone to stop it." Of course Moses never met Governor Christie! :-) ) I think that's where we are today.

Bloomberg was not able to get the work started and I think the current city administration has almost zero interest in this.


Oh yeah, I agree. It's just an interesting concept to think about. The most attractive thing about the 7 is it would likely be cheaper to build, give secaucus further utility, get the MTA across the Hudson, and enable a possible future extension to the meadowlands.

Of course, in a perfect world, they would lay four new tracks across the Hudson, 2 for real trains and 2 for the (7).


Thomas, why are you obsessed with which one is "better"? They both serve very different demographics and travel patterns, and therefore would compliment each other. The better question is "which one has a more pressing need", which is, of course, Gateway.
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Re: #7 Subway to NJ/Secaucus

Postby jlr3266 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:39 am

I can see someone driving to Secaucus, which is on the rise, or changing in Secaucus to prefer a direct subway connection...if that subway line went where they wanted to go. If one had to snake along the 7 before changing to another line, changing at PSNY may be much quicker.

Of course, people are cheap and will jump at the reduced fare of a subway extension versus NJT.
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Re: #7 Subway to NJ/Secaucus

Postby Tommy Meehan » Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:56 pm

FP10 wrote:Oh yeah, I agree. It's just an interesting concept to think about. The most attractive thing about the 7 is it would likely be cheaper to build, give secaucus further utility, get the MTA across the Hudson, and enable a possible future extension to the meadowlands.


I would love to see (and ride) the 7 to Secaucus but even if I find the Fountain of Youth I'm probably not going to. :(

It is frustrating. Here in the Tri-State Region we have spent billions upon billions of dollars building all kinds of highways, parkways, vehicle bridges and tunnels. At the same time there has been SO LITTLE spent adding commuter rail or rail transit facilities. Literally millions of people commute by subway or commuter rail everyday in the NY Metro Region and it's only in the past decade our leaders have begun to build some serious new infrastructure.
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Re: #7 Subway to NJ/Secaucus

Postby MattW » Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:26 pm

Thomas wrote:
MattW wrote:What is your reasoning for this? I'm not saying it's not a valid conclusion (I do not have the data nor experience to state such) but I would like to know how you arrived at this conclusion.


Gateway provides BACK-UP REDUDANCY for Amtrak/Acela Trains!

I wonder, though, if former mayor Bloomberg was serving NYC for a fourth term, if Seven to Secaucus could have began construction. I also question that PB report--as I anticipate more people taking NJ Transit to Penn Station even if Seven to Secaucus was built.

I was referring to your comment here:
I still doubt that SO MANY people will be willing to get of a NJ Transit train in Secaucus to transfer to the Seven Train to Midtown.

What is your reasoning behind this? I do not dispute that Gateway would provide needed redundancy for Amtrak and NJT, but I would like to know what your reasoning is that more people would use Gateway than 7 to Secaucus. To everyone else, I'm not just egging Thomas on or anything, I seriously want to understand all viewpoints, you might consider studying transit systems/planning as one of my hobbies.
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Re: #7 Subway to NJ/Secaucus

Postby Tommy Meehan » Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:07 pm

Just my two cents, but as someone who has ridden NJ Transit to NYP many times and then ridden the 1/2/3 and S to get to GCT, I'd be inclined to take the 7 at Secaucus to get to GCT. :-)
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Re: #7 Subway to NJ/Secaucus

Postby Thomas » Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:49 pm

MattW wrote:What is your reasoning behind this? I do not dispute that Gateway would provide needed redundancy for Amtrak and NJT, but I would like to know what your reasoning is that more people would use Gateway than 7 to Secaucus. To everyone else, I'm not just egging Thomas on or anything, I seriously want to understand all viewpoints, you might consider studying transit systems/planning as one of my hobbies.


My issue is: HOW does Seven to Secaucus increase capacity between Trenton and Secaucus, NJ? (It does not--and would only make these trains more crowded)!

Also, many of the current commuters who travel to/from Penn Station to East Midtown, Manhattan, use the E Train already--and they will stop doing this once East Side Access opens. Thus, this will free up capacity for additional NJ Commuters to use the E train to East Midtown.
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Re: #7 Subway to NJ/Secaucus

Postby F40 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:59 pm

East Side Access will not alleviate the crowds taking the E from Penn Station to East Midtown. ESA will benefit Queens and LI riders coming from the east to the eastern Midtown area.
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DANGER - DO NOT GET OFF MOVING TRAIN
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Re: #7 Subway to NJ/Secaucus

Postby Arlington » Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:45 pm

F40 wrote:East Side Access will not alleviate the crowds taking the E from Penn Station to East Midtown.
ESA will benefit Queens and LI riders coming from the east to the eastern Midtown area.

Don't these two sentences contradict each other? The MTA would say so, saying that ESA will result in "Reduced passenger crowding on trains, subways and in Penn Station"/ It is exactly these diverted Outer Queens & Long Island people who will "un-crowd" the E thanks to ESA.

Today, if you've arrived on the LIRR at Penn, but need to get to 53rd Street (at 5th Ave or at Lexington) you take the E from Penn Station to East Midtown. A two-seat commute.

ESA will be most preferred by exactly these riders because they'll adopt a 1-seat ride and be able to pop to the surface at 48th Street. They will stop using Penn & E Train, and just take the LIRR to 48th street directly. While they'll "take their LIRR trains with them" when they go (meaning LIRR trains will be fewer at Penn but just as crowded) their absence will clearly be felt (and enjoyed) by NJ commuters who take the E "up/east" every morning.
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Re: #7 Subway to NJ/Secaucus

Postby F40 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:31 am

You're right. I was referring to the perspective from NJ riders. Didn't catch that last sentence there from who I quoted. Maybe it is time for a good night's rest.
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Re: #7 Subway to NJ/Secaucus

Postby Tommy Meehan » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:36 am

Arlington wrote:ESA will be most preferred by exactly these riders because they'll adopt a 1-seat ride and be able to pop to the surface at 48th Street.


Just out of curiosity, is there going to be an exit from the LIRR terminal at Grand Central to E. 48th Street? As I recall the plans I saw showed the northernmost entrances/exits would be at E. 45th Street.
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Re: #7 Subway to NJ/Secaucus

Postby Arlington » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:09 pm

Tommy Meehan wrote:Just out of curiosity, is there going to be an exit from the LIRR terminal at Grand Central to E. 48th Street? As I recall the plans I saw showed the northernmost entrances/exits would be at E. 45th Street.

The section drawings usually showed the slice along E 45th, (and it is hard to find E47th sections) but as far as I know the 47/48th street stuff is being built according to plan.
This MTA East Midtown (Bloomberg Rezoning) Presentation from 2012 has a clear map on page 5 (PDF page 6)[/url]
Three "north-of-GCT" entrances:
- E 47th @ Madison
- E 48th @ Madison
- E 47th Midblock between Park and Lexington (called "245 Park Ave)
Here's a map they're using during construction. The 47/48 st stuff is in red at the upper right, under the "ARE" in "You are here"
Image
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Re: #7 Subway to NJ/Secaucus

Postby Arlington » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:39 pm

Just to get this thread back on track after my big beautiful pictures of ESA derailed it, Let me answer a bunch of "who would use the 7?" questions by sharing Parsons-Brinkerhoff's estimates from page 44/45 (Tables 8 and 9) from their study:

WHAT "MANHATTAN LEG" THE 7 WOULD REPLACE:

18,000 Existing (NJT) Rail Trips diverting from Penn Station
14,700 Trips diverting from Uptown PATH
16,400 Trips diverting from Downtown PATH
41,300 Trips diverting from Lincoln Tunnel Buses
_1,700 Trips diverting from Other Buses
12,250 Trips diverting from Ferry
24,400 Trips diverting from Auto
128,750 Total Trips (Eastbound and Westbound)

SOME KEY SOURCES OF FEED INTO FRL (where FRL = Frank R Lautenberg Station)
TOTAL NO. 7 Secaucus Extension Daily Ridership 127,900
Inbound Rail to No. 7 Secaucus Extension Transfers
- Upper Level FRL Station 14,800
- Main/Bergen/Port Jervis/Pascack Valley 46,700
Total Rail to No. 7 Secaucus Extension Transfers 61,500

Express Bus Transfers to Inbound No. 7 Secaucus Extension at FRL Station 46,700
Local Bus Transfers to Inbound No. 7 Secaucus Extension at FRL Station 8,700

Automobile Park and Drop-Off 5,200
Reverse-Peak Flows (Attraction End at FRL Station) 5,800


So they say that about half of users 61,500 would be riders who arrive at FRL via NJT and switch trains there. Only 18,000 of these are people who take NJT *today* while the other 33.5k will be drawn to NJT (off PATH, mostly) but who will only ride as far as FRL (and not go to Penn) and switch at FRL to the 7.
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Re: #7 Subway to NJ/Secaucus

Postby Tommy Meehan » Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:36 pm

Arlington wrote:The section drawings usually showed the slice along E 45th, (and it is hard to find E47th sections) but as far as I know the 47/48th street stuff is being built according to plan.


Okay thanks.

To get back to the 7 extension, I believe currently the plan is, if not exactly dead, definitely on life support.

Last September the Meadowlands Chamber of Commerce had a Transportation Summit at which extending the 7 to Secaucus was addressed. The trouble is, no one from the MTA or the De Blasio Administration attended. Without their participation the plan can't happen. The De Blasio Administration has not indicated any support. They seem more focused on subway projects within the city, especially in the outer boroughs. At the summit in September it was asked, "Where does the project stand now?" The answer was-

Again, awaiting further study. Supporters hope it can piggyback on Amtrak's Gateway project. Link


That doesn't seem to me like a very realistic plan, to piggyback the 7 extension on Amtrak's Gateway project. Capital funding dollars for the foreseeable future are very scarce. Political people have said it will be difficult for Amtrak to secure the billions needed to build Gateway. Trying to add more billions to fund a 7 extension might be virtually impossible.
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