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Overview of the Hudson Terminal Plan
The Hudson Terminal Plan seeks to address a number of transit-based challenges currently facing the New York metropolitan region, including the lack of adequate cross-Hudson rail capacity, a limited number of tracks and platforms within Penn Station, and a gap in mass transit service to Manhattan’s West Side. Over the past several decades, a number of proposals have come to the forefront of the debate regarding how to best address these problems. Many of these proposals have called for the demolition of Madison Square Garden and reconstruction of Penn Station in its place. However, due to existing infrastructural limitations as well as legal, financial, and political obstacles, these proposals come with great costs for only limited solutions. Of course, this is not to say that the ongoing efforts to rebuild Penn Station should be abandoned. To the contrary, the abundance of existing infrastructure within the Penn Station site makes the question of rebuilding less about if and more about when and how. But during the decades it may take to reach a solution at Penn Station, there are significant opportunities to improve the status quo in the interim.
The bold solution to the complex transit-based challenges facing the region is to build a third rail hub in Manhattan—the new Hudson Terminal. Some leading proposals suggest doubling cross-Hudson rail capacity by building two new tracks over ten miles from Newark Penn Station to New York Penn Station. The Hudson Terminal Plan achieves a three-fold increase in cross-Hudson rail capacity at a fraction of cost by extending underutilized NJ Transit lines that already travel to the banks of the Hudson River through a new four-track tunnel from Hoboken to New York. This new tunnel will also link to Hudson-Bergen Light Rail lines currently terminating in Hoboken to create a one-seat, light rail ride from New Jersey to New York. In conjunction with the construction of a new transit hub, mass transit lines in Manhattan will be extended to provide vital connections for commuters and rail travelers to Hudson Terminal, which will be located on the Hudson River at the intersection of 14th Street and 11th Avenue. Provisions will be made to allow for the future integration of high-speed rail, transit-oriented real estate developments, and the addition of another level of trackage to one day link to Penn Station, Grand Central Terminal, and points north and east of New York City.
Great cities have always been judged by their great infrastructure, as without unified rail networks and mass transit systems, a city is just a loose collection of disconnected neighborhoods. To ensure that the New York metropolitan region is able to maintain its greatness for generations to come, it is crucial that the public continues to make sensible investments in robust infrastructure projects such as the Hudson Terminal Plan.