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Reminder: MTA to Hold Virtual Public Meeting on Penn Access Project Today

MTA
Updated June 15, 2021 12:30 p.m.

Project Will Bring Metro-North Service to Penn Station and Four New Stations to the Bronx 

MTA Unveiled Project Materials May 19 

Register to Speak at Virtual Public Meeting 

 

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today reminded the public of a virtual meeting being held today, Tuesday, June 15, to discuss the advancement of its Metro-North Penn Station Access Project. The virtual meeting will be held via Zoom from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; anyone interested in speaking at the virtual meeting can register at the project’s dedicated webpage until 6:30 p.m. tonight. Comment delivered at the public meeting will be incorporated into official public comment for the project’s Environmental Assessment. 

The project will bring Metro-North service to Penn Station and add four new  ADA-accessible stations in the eastern Bronx at Hunts Point, Parkchester/Van Nest, Morris Park and Co-op City. The Authority released the Environmental Assessment for the project on May 19, which began a 45-day period for public comment which will conclude on July 3. In addition to today’s virtual meeting, project materials were made available online and at in-person sites including Morris Park Community Association and the Bronx Jewish Community Council. 

“One key to New York City’s recovery is strengthening and expanding our mass transit infrastructure,” said Janno Lieber, President of MTA Construction & Development. “This project will revitalize the eastern Bronx by rebuilding and reconfiguring an existing railroad and installing four new stations to give Bronx residents access to  jobs, education and opportunities anywhere in the region.” 

“Metro-North expanding its footprint in the Bronx is a win for commuters and a win for the railroad,” said Catherine Rinaldi, President of Metro-North Railroad. “Penn Station Access will provide our customers that need to get to the west side of Manhattan an easier commute, will give reverse commuters a much faster trip to their jobs in Westchester County and Connecticut, and will give new customers a reason to use Metro-North to get where they need to go.” 

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the resumption of the Penn Station Access Project on May 13. The project had been paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic which put the Authority’s historic 2020-2024 Capital Plan mostly on hold. The reopened process will result in the selection of a firm to design and build the four new Metro-North Railroad stations and make track upgrades in the Bronx, and bring Metro-North to the East Bronx. The MTA had identified three consortia qualified to bid for the project in February 2020, three weeks before COVID-19 arrived in New York. 

The project is one of numerous efforts to make Metro-North service more attractive and useful in the Bronx. Metro-North doubled off-peak and weekend service at Melrose and Tremont in 2017 and doubled service between Manhattan and Fordham in 2019. The last Metro-North station to be newly built was also in the Bronx, at Yankees-E. 153rd Street in 2009. 

The construction of the four new Bronx Metro-North stations comes at the same time the MTA is working to transform Penn Station into a world-class, 21st-century transportation hub by doubling the width and increasing the height of the 33rd Street corridor at Penn Station. The transformation of Penn Station will unite the passenger spaces of the MTA, NJ Transit and Amtrak into one larger, simplified space, bring in natural light from outside the station, and further improve passenger flow to and from trains within the station. 

Read the Penn Station Access Environmental Assessment, comment on the project and see meeting details at https://pennstationaccess.info.