Gov. Hochul unveils commuter-first vision for Penn Station – Transportation Today

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New York Gov. Kathy Hochul unveiled her vision for a new Penn Station that would focus on commuters first Wednesday.
The plan would focus on public transit and public realm improvements and aims to revitalize the surrounding neighborhood. The plan prioritizes the current station expansion, and the Gateway Project initiative continue under their federally-established timelines while reconstruction of the existing station moves forward, expediting the reconstruction of the existing Penn Station.
“I’m reimagining the New York City commuter experience. New Yorkers do not deserve what they have been subjected to for decades at Penn Station,” Hochul said. “The era of neglecting our Penn Station commuters and the neighboring community is over. New York leaders are expected to offer visionary ideas and take bold actions, and that’s exactly what my proposed transformation of Penn Station accomplishes. This plan puts New Yorkers first, delivering the rider-focused transit experience and great neighborhood they deserve. Investing in Penn Station means investing in New York’s future as we recover from COVID and build a more sustainable, livable city.”
The plan follows months of collaboration and meetings with community stakeholders, government agencies, and elected officials to improve on past plans and establish a new path forward. Hochul said today’s plan would also be subject to public review.
Currently, Penn Station handles more passengers than LaGuardia International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, and Newark International Airport, the governor’s office said. Relocating Amtrak’s operations to the new Moynihan Train Hall provides the city with the opportunity to overhaul Penn Station, the governor’s office said, eliminating the bulk of the first subterranean level, opening up the main concourse to natural light, improving retail and other user amenities, increasing safety and security, expanding passenger circulation areas, entrances and exits and making navigation within the station easier. Expected to cost between six and seven billion dollars, the reconstruction will take between four and five years to complete once construction begins.
Key features of the new proposal include a new, world-class train facility with a single-level, double-height train hall that doubles passenger circulation space from 123,000 square feet to approximately 250,000 square feet, and adding more than 188 escalators or stains, and 11 more elevators to the platforms. The project shaves about 1.4 million square feet of development off of the previous plan, adds about 8 acres of public space, including a 30,000-square-foot plaza, and mandates public space set-asides on each building site while creating underground loading/unloading for MSG to get trucks off the street.
The new proposal will also expand new underground corridors to the Sixth Avenue IND line giving users of the 34th Street Herald Square Station with seamless access to Penn Station while increasing the entrances to Penn Station from 12 to 20 and requiring developers to add additional subway entrances and exits to and from buildings to reduce density and congestion at entrances.
“Penn Station is the busiest transportation facility in the City, with six subway lines, countless bus routes, and soon four railroads, and we’ve been waiting generations for Penn Station to be upgraded,” Janno Lieber, Metropolitan Transit Authority Acting Chair and CEO, said. I am thrilled the Governor had decided to put an end to decades of delay and is insisting that we fix Penn Station now.”
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