Governor George E. Pataki today announced the results of a coordinated study on a new rail line between Lower Manhattan and both Long Island and JFK Airport. A year ago, Governor Pataki charged a multi-agency team with identifying a feasible option for the rail link. Earlier this year, LMDC President Kevin M. Rampe joined NYC Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding Daniel Doctoroff, Empire State Development Corporation Chairman and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Vice-Chairman Charles A. Gargano, and Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairman Peter S. Kalikow in proposing a short-list of four alternatives which were the basis of today's announcement.

"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", said LMDC President Kevin M. Rampe. "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 access to both the fast-growing counties of Long Island and JFK Airport, enhancing the quality of travel for commuters and airport travelers."

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 LIRR's Jamaica Station. The new tunnel would allow for a 40% faster commute from Long Island and a one-seat ride to JFK Airport. 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. More » View »



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