WITH BINGHAMTON AREA IN NEED OF SPEEDY, RELIABLE TRANSPORTATION TO NEW YORK CITY, SCHUMER URGES AMTRAK TO STUDY BINGHAMTON-SCRANTON TRAIN LINE TO CONNECT SOUTHERN TIER TO NEW YORK CITY
Binghamton Area Currently Lacks Air and Train Routes to New York City Metropolitan Region
With Scranton-Hoboken Line Moving Forward, Expanding Rail Service from Scranton to Binghamton Would Provide Vital Link to New York City and Profoundly Impact Economic Development in the Region
Today, Schumer Calls on NYSDOT and Amtrak to Conduct Feasibility Study for Passenger Rail Service Along the Interstate 81 Rail Corridor
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer urged the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) to get Amtrak to conduct a feasibility study for a passenger rail service to connect Binghamton, New York, and Scranton, Pennsylvania along the Interstate 81 rail corridor. The project would provide a direct link to New York City for Binghamton area residents, affording them an important new transportation option, as well as boosting economic development. The Binghamton area currently lacks direct air and train service to New York City.
“Establishing a rail link between Binghamton and New York City is a win-win that holds tremendous potential to boost economic development in the Southern Tier,” said Schumer. “Besides giving Binghamton residents vital new transportation option, it would also allow New York City businesses to more effectively tap into the regions first-class labor pool for new development opportunities. A feasibility study is the essential first step to make this idea a reality.”
In a letter to NYSDOT Commissioner Astrid Glynn and Amtrak CEO Alexander Kummant, Schumer today urged the company to conduct a feasibility study that analyzes the costs and benefits of passenger service and documents commuter patterns. The scope of the study is intended to compliment the Binghamton Based Intercity Rail Passenger Study submitted to New York State Department of Transportation in 2002. Once the state requests this study, Amtrak can move forward with the project using existing funds already budgeted for this purpose.
Schumer stressed that an existing joint Pennsylvania-New Jersey effort to return commuter based service between Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Hoboken, New Jersey, known as the New Jersey-Pennsylvania Lackawanna Cutoff Rail Restoration, holds the potential to create a rail link from Binghamton to New York City, via Scranton and Hoboken. The Lackawanna Cutoff Project will connect with existing New Jersey Transit Lines leading into New York City. The Binghamton-Scranton line would hook up to the Lackawanna Cutoff Project once it is completed for access to New York City, complementing this project by providing even more access for riders.
This passenger rail expansion would provide countless benefits to Binghamton residents who would take advantage of this new service to ultimately gain access to New York City by way of Scranton and Hoboken. Additionally, with this new service, more business and leisure travelers from New York City would be able to access the many assets—from academic facilities to businesses and cultural opportunities—that Binghamton has to offer, and tap into the local economy for new economic development opportunities.
“We all firmly believe that rail service connecting the Greater Binghamton area to the New York City area would have a positive impact on our community,” said Broome County Executive Barbara J. Fiala. “At this stage of the game, however, it is important that we get data to back up our beliefs and therefore I want to thank Senator Schumer for encouraging Amtrak and New York State Department of Transportation to conduct this feasibility study. It will provide an important benchmark in our efforts to develop passenger train service to New York City.”
A rail line connecting Binghamton and New York City is especially crucial in the wake of the Delta Airlines decision in July of this year to terminate its air service at the Greater Binghamton Airport, despite ridership spiking 43% over the past year. This decision axed the direct Binghamton-JFK flight and has left potential New York City commuters with no way to easily access the Southern Tier.
News Release from Senator Schumer's office dated November 28, 2007