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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 years, a number of proposals have come to the forefront of the debate regarding how to best address these problems, many of which have called for the expansion or replacement of Penn Station. However, due to existing infrastructural limitations as well as legal and political obstacles, these proposals come with great costs for only partial solutions. Of course, this is not to say that the ongoing efforts to rebuild Penn Station should be abandoned at all. To the contrary, the abundance of existing infrastructure makes the question of rebuilding Penn Station less about if and more about when and how. But during the decades it may take to reach an ultimate solution at Penn Station, there are still significant opportunities to improve the status quo in the interim.
Real Transit believes that the bold solution to the complex transit problems facing the region is to build a third transit hub in Manhattan—the new Hudson Terminal. Where some proposals suggest doubling inbound capacity by building two new tracks over ten miles from Newark Penn Station to New York Penn Station, Hudson Terminal will be able to triple inbound capacity by utilizing existing trackage that already travels to the banks of the Hudson River. Not only would this proposal contain costs significantly, but it would also take advantage of the robust, yet underused NJ Transit lines traveling to Hoboken, NJ. In addition, a rail link will be made at Hoboken to allow riders on Hudson-Bergen Light Rail to terminate in New York at Hudson Terminal. 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 integration of high-speed rail, transit-oriented 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 commuter rail networks or mass transit systems, a city is just a loose collection of 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.