GOVERNOR PATAKI ANNOUNCES RESULTS OF JOINT STUDY ON LOWER MANHATTAN TO LONG ISLAND AND JFK RAIL LINK
Recommended Option of a New Tunnel Cuts 15 Minutes off LI Commute and Offers
One-Seat Ride to JFK
Governor George E. Pataki, speaking at an Association for a Better New York
luncheon at the Ritz Carlton in Battery Park City, today announced the results
of a coordinated study on a new rail line between Lower Manhattan and both Long
Island and JFK Airport. The feasibility study concluded that the recommended
approach would be to build a new tunnel under the East River between Brooklyn
and Lower Manhattan, creating direct service from the World Trade Center to the
Long Island Rail Road's Jamaica Station.
The new tunnel would allow for a 40% faster commute from Jamaica for Long
Island commuters and will provide a one-seat ride to JFK Airport. The study was
conducted by the LMDC, MTA, Port Authority and New York City Economic
Development Corporation (EDC).
"Long Islanders - as well as Queens and Brooklyn commuters - will experience a
more direct and more comfortable trip to Lower Manhattan," Governor Pataki
said. "And by offering this attractive approach instead of the circuitous route
many Long Island riders currently take via Penn Station, our new service will
help reduce congestion on Midtown to Downtown subway lines such as the 2/3 -
benefiting passengers throughout Manhattan. This improved air-rail service will
strengthen the competitiveness of JFK, our region's premier international
airport and an important economic engine for our area."
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, "Direct one-seat airport access, and commuter
access to and from Long Island, will help maintain Lower Manhattan's position
as a global hub of commerce and culture, and as an international destination.
This investment, linking Lower Manhattan to JFK, will anchor Lower Manhattan as
a regional center and create thousands of jobs, helping to integrate the entire
metropolitan area, including Queens and Brooklyn. We look forward to kicking
off the environmental process of this exciting project in coordination with the
LMDC, MTA and the Port Authority of NY & NJ."
LMDC Chairman John C. Whitehead said, "This transportation link is critically
important to Lower Manhattan's future. The Governor's leadership, along with
the support of Mayor Bloomberg and many major New York organizations, is making
it a reality. With an expected substantial impact on citywide economic output,
this is a win-win situation for New Yorkers."
The Agencies' recommended approach of constructing a new tunnel will make the
commute time from Long Island to Lower Manhattan fifteen minutes faster (a 40%
time savings from Jamaica); allow for predictable, scheduled service; and offer
a one-seat ride from JFK airport. The construction of this option makes
extensive use of existing infrastructure from the Jamaica Station to downtown
Brooklyn and would provide service to the Port Authority's World Trade Center
Transportation Center with a pedestrian connection to the MTA's Fulton Street
The direct connection from Jamaica to Lower Manhattan will eliminate the need
for Downtown's Long Island commuters to travel to Penn Station and transfer to
the 2/3 subway. As a result, congestion on this subway line will be relieved.
The rail link will also provide improved service between Downtown Brooklyn and
the LIRR hub at Jamaica, Queens. The new tunnel will add much needed capacity
to the region's transit system and has the potential to provide a future East
River connection for the Second Avenue Subway or the E Train.
The two finalist approaches are:
New Tunnel Recommended Option - Service between Jamaica & Lower Manhattan and
JFK & Lower Manhattan using: the AirTrain /JFK route, the converted Atlantic
Branch, new tunneling in Brooklyn, a new East River tunnel, and new tunneling
Montague Tunnel (Currently serves the M& R subway lines) - Service between
Jamaica & Lower Manhattan and JFK & Lower Manhattan using: the AirTrain/JFK
route, the converted Atlantic Branch, new tunneling in Brooklyn, the existing
Montague Street Tunnel, and MTA-NYCT Broadway and/or Nassau Line. Using
existing infrastructure in Manhattan, this service would allow stops at Broad
Street, Fulton Street Transit Center and Chambers Street and would likely be a
more affordable alternative.
LMDC President Kevin M. Rampe said, "Direct access to Long Island and JFK is an
important investment in the future of Lower Manhattan and a key element in the
creation of the 21st century transportation network planned for Downtown.
Improved regional access and a direct connection to JFK International Airport
are crucial to maintaining Lower Manhattan's status as the country's third
largest central business district and the financial capital of the world. This
new rail link will facilitate direct access to both Long Island and JFK
Airport, enhancing the quality of travel for commuters and airport travelers."
Charles A. Gargano, Empire State Development Chairman and Port Authority of New
York and New Jersey Vice Chairman said, "Connecting Lower Manhattan to Long
Island and JFK is vital to the Governor's plan to create an extensive
transportation hub in Lower Manhattan. This feasibility study shows that this
type of progress is achievable within a decade. The time is right to focus and
plan all of our transportation needs for Lower Manhattan. Not only will this
expansion assist commuters, but it will aid travelers making their way to
important destinations throughout our wonderful city. I applaud Governor Pataki
for taking the lead in advancing the transportation infrastructure and helping
make Lower Manhattan a 24 hour destination."
MTA Chairman Peter S. Kalikow said, "The new rail link will enhance the entire
transit system and provide a substantial economic benefit to the entire region.
The Governor's vision will ensure the implementation of a magnificent Lower
Manhattan transportation network that will make downtown even more accessible."
The new tunnel will carry a ridership of up to 100,000 passengers a day and
will cost approximately $6 billion. It is projected that the rail link will
result in an increased economic output of $6 to 8 billion annually, generated
in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, and as much as $9 to 12 billion in the region
as a whole. The service can be operational by 2013 with construction starting
in 2006. A full assessment of all the issues that need to be addressed prior to
the implementation of a new service will be evaluated in the formal
environmental review process that will commence this summer.
Governor Pataki identified a number of potential sources for funding and
pledged to secure all the financing necessary to begin construction by the
conclusion of the environmental review process. The Governor also recruited
business leaders Ken Chenault, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of American
Express; Stanley O'Neal, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of
Merrill Lynch; Tom Renyi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Bank of
New York; and Bill Rudin, President of Rudin Management and Chairman of ABNY,
to join the effort to raise the funds from local and federal sources.
An economic impact analysis report is available on LMDC's website at