A radical idea for Cuomo's transit panel
Anyone want to opine on this, um, fantasy? I'll cross-post from LIRR, to MNRR, to NJT, to Amtrak, and probably park it in NYS Railfan. I see a few inaccuracies.
https://www.crainsnewyork.com/op-ed/rad ... nsit-panel
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has asked for a review of the East Side Access transit megaproject to learn why it costs so much. The same question could be asked of Amtrak's Gateway. In fact, the mistakes made in the design of East Side Access could be avoided in Amtrak's project if our railroads work together.
This is no small task. It would require a tunnel between Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal and an agreement for New Jersey Transit, Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road to seamlessly share it. It sounds ambitious, but it would ultimately save money while enhancing riders' access to the region.
Lack of cooperation between our various rail agencies delays projects and inflates costs. Consider East Side Access, which will connect the LIRR to Grand Central: Conceived in the 1950s, it was started and stopped in the 1970s and restarted in 2007. It has seen the opening date pushed back nearly a decade, to 2022, and costs triple, to $11 billion. One reason for this outrageous sum is that the LIRR had to build an eight-track facility 100 feet beneath Grand Central because Metro-North did not want to share the terminal—despite both railroads being divisions of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The same issue is bubbling up on Gateway. When NJ Transit was working on Access to the Region's Core, a project Gov. Chris Christie canceled in 2010, it found that 35% of its riders wanted access to Grand Central. But it could not get permission to share Metro-North's Grand Central or LIRR's East Side Access. Gateway has that problem too. As a result, NJ Transit plans to build six tracks south of Penn Station, costing billions of dollars.