Politics / Transportation

Diaz pushes for commuter rail service for Hunts Point

Bronx residents and elected officials remain hopeful that a proposal first floated in 2012 to extend commuter rail service through Hunts Point and three other East Bronx neighborhoods will soon become a reality.

Earlier this week Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. urged the state Assembly to finance Metro North expansion to the area as part of the state’s 2015 capital plan.

On August 7, Diaz testified to the Assembly’s Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, that the plan was “the most cost effective, and perhaps the most important capital project that the MTA has yet to embark upon.”

Transit officials told Hunts Point residents at a public meeting in October 2012 that constructing the new line would cost $500 million for new stations and electric trains. New platforms, an elevator and a pedestrian overpass would be constructed at the Hunts Point station, they said, but there would be no parking lot.

In all, about 160,000 Bronx residents live within one mile of the proposed stations. In addition to providing quick access to midtown, Diaz pointed out, a new line would mean “Bronxites could reach suburban employment centers without reliance on a car,” by providing rail links to Westchester County and Connecticut.

“This fact will not only mean fewer vehicles on our roads, but for those unable to drive, an entirely new employment market is made accessible,” he said.

In addition, Diaz noted that Governor Andrew Cuomo, in his 2014 State of the State address, called for “alternative routes in and out of our central business district,” as a way of making the city’s transportation system less vulnerable to catastrophic weather events.

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply