Gateway Project/NYP Capacity Improvement

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Thirdrail7

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Then, there is the whole cost allocation aspect. That's hardly efficient.
While I agree with your point that run through trains can cause even larger cascading issues, I have to argue against this being any sort of "inefficiency" of such that would make something not worth doing. Cost allocations are political problems, not technical, and often it's better for the end user to have cost allocations dealt with on the agency end than for the end user to have to pay numerous disjointed fares to get from point A to point B. NYC, while maybe not the epitome of numerous non-coordinated (at least farewise) transit agencies, definitely has quite a bit of it (what reason is there, other than political, that PATH is completely separate from the NYC subway, at that neither of those have free transfers with LIRR, Metro North, or NJ Transit (nor are any of those cross-compatible, despite the NYC subway, LIRR, and Metro North all being part of the MTA.)
My point about efficiency is based upon the totality of the issue, including cost allocation, equipment issues and service issues. But if you wish to address them separately, we can do that as well.

While it is political, the main reason for the politics is the financial investments required by the interested parties. This is not uncommon. Who will pay for this? What will "we" get for "our" money? Are "our" interests properly served? PATH is propped up by some of the busiest river crossings and airports in the country. MTA is propped up by taxes, fees and funding from various counties and the state. NJ is funded by fees and state contributions. A common refrain is "what am I getting for our input? and "why we should we pay" When one entity controlled all of this (multiple times), the results ended up bringing us the commuter agencies that we have today. That way, they could be responsible for their costs and operations, which brings us to your second point:

For the end customer, simplicity should be key, even if more accounting work has to be done on the back end. While there's a lot I can gripe about with our local transit system here in MSP, one thing that's amazing about it is that literally every transit agency that charges a fare is completely standardized not only on fare medium but passes, transfers, etc. I can go from commuter rail to light rail to city bus to suburban bus all on the same fare, with seamless transfers despite them being different modes and (at least for the suburban buses) different agencies. In my opinion, it should be like that everywhere.
I've never been to MSP so I'm not familiar with their operation. One thing I that jumps out is it seems be largely a regional operation, with one commuter rail line, that stretches 40 miles. With the exception of the NYC subway system and LIRR, the commuter services around the tri-state (and SEPTA) region all operate across state lines. Indeed, Septa has stations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

It is much easier from a financial point of view to chart a path if your hand is the only one involved. Your regional operation can make that claim. The New York mega region can not and since funding is based upon the formula instituted by the state, it will always be an "us and them" mentality that your region can only have on a county level.

To tie this to Amtrak, I've said it for years. Amtrak doesn't really need Gateway, could "survive" without Portal or any upgrades to the East River Tunnels. It is NJT and LIRR that really need and will benefit from these improvements. NJ transit added roughly 150 trains in the last 16 years. LIRR added another 100 trains. Amtrak has actually LOST a few trains in the same time period. So, who should ante up? Who benefits the most? How should the costs be allocated and how will the interests of those who contribute be served? Does LIRR and their high taxed counties really care about someone in New Jersey? They don't even care about financing the NYC subway system, which a lot of them use.

Until there is a consistent form of funding and delivery of services (which is difficult when you have multiple hands in the pot), you will continue to have these issues.
 

MARC Rider

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For the end customer, simplicity should be key, even if more accounting work has to be done on the back end. While there's a lot I can gripe about with our local transit system here in MSP, one thing that's amazing about it is that literally every transit agency that charges a fare is completely standardized not only on fare medium but passes, transfers, etc. I can go from commuter rail to light rail to city bus to suburban bus all on the same fare, with seamless transfers despite them being different modes and (at least for the suburban buses) different agencies. In my opinion, it should be like that everywhere.
When I visited London in the mid 1980s, I was able to by, at the Heathrow Tube station, something called a CapitalCard. This pass allowed me to ride all of the underground/tube lines, the buses, British rail trains within a specified suburban zone, and even some water taxis on the Thames. It was very handy and a good bargain, too. I'm not sure if any American city has anything comparable. In fact, I'm not sure that it's still available in London.
 

jis

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For the end customer, simplicity should be key, even if more accounting work has to be done on the back end. While there's a lot I can gripe about with our local transit system here in MSP, one thing that's amazing about it is that literally every transit agency that charges a fare is completely standardized not only on fare medium but passes, transfers, etc. I can go from commuter rail to light rail to city bus to suburban bus all on the same fare, with seamless transfers despite them being different modes and (at least for the suburban buses) different agencies. In my opinion, it should be like that everywhere.
When I visited London in the mid 1980s, I was able to by, at the Heathrow Tube station, something called a CapitalCard. This pass allowed me to ride all of the underground/tube lines, the buses, British rail trains within a specified suburban zone, and even some water taxis on the Thames. It was very handy and a good bargain, too. I'm not sure if any American city has anything comparable. In fact, I'm not sure that it's still available in London.
The current Oyster Card in London is even better.

New York MTA has just hired the folks that manage the Oyster Card system in London to put together the next gen fare collection system in New York, absed on the Oyster technology with similar features.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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For the end customer, simplicity should be key, even if more accounting work has to be done on the back end. While there's a lot I can gripe about with our local transit system here in MSP, one thing that's amazing about it is that literally every transit agency that charges a fare is completely standardized not only on fare medium but passes, transfers, etc. I can go from commuter rail to light rail to city bus to suburban bus all on the same fare, with seamless transfers despite them being different modes and (at least for the suburban buses) different agencies. In my opinion, it should be like that everywhere.
When I visited London in the mid 1980s, I was able to by, at the Heathrow Tube station, something called a CapitalCard. This pass allowed me to ride all of the underground/tube lines, the buses, British rail trains within a specified suburban zone, and even some water taxis on the Thames. It was very handy and a good bargain, too. I'm not sure if any American city has anything comparable. In fact, I'm not sure that it's still available in London.
I just had a similar pass a few weeks ago in Dublin. It worked for the rapid transit style trains, light rail, city bus, and commuter rail.
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Thirdrail7

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Those areas probably cooperate. You can;t even get an EZ-Pass discount on certain state's crossing unless you purchase it from that state or agency!!!
 

jis

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Transport for London is basically in charge of almost all public transport that runs in the London Region, There are many outfits that fall within that umbrella through contracts and such. But all public transport in and around London, in a relatively large area, including what in the US would be called Commuter Trains, accept the Oyster Card and accept fares paid by smartphone wallets too, though in the latter case you may not be able to take full advantage of all discounts.
 
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railiner

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Those areas probably cooperate. You can;t even get an EZ-Pass discount on certain state's crossing unless you purchase it from that state or agency!!!
True....if you want the best discount on each agencies toll facility, you have to obtain (and use) that agencies E Z Pass....a real inconvenience, as you have to carry a multitude of passes, and be sure to put the ones you don't want charged in the RF shielded envelopes, or you will be charged for each one 'read'.....
 

PVD

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NYS Thruway honors any NYS CSC issued EZ Pass regardless of agency, I get the 5% off with an MTA B&T pass. They also honor PANYNJ
 

RPC

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SEPTA Independence Pass works on anything labelled "SEPTA" (commuter rail, heavy rail transit, light rail/streetcar, bus) except for commuter rail downtown before 09:30 on weekdays. (But even here you have to pay a surcharge to get to/from NJ (but not DE).)
 

CraigDK

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Andrew

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If they used the TTF they would not be able to justify the next round of draconian service cuts.
Are you saying charging a trans-hudson ticket surcharge is the right thing for NJ Transit to do?
 
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railiner

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If they used the TTF they would not be able to justify the next round of draconian service cuts.
Are you saying charging a trans-hudson ticket surcharge is the right thing for NJ Transit to do?
A ticket surcharge to New York City on NJT might drive a certain percentage of their passengers to switch over to PATH trains at Newark....unless PATH is hit with a similar surcharge....
 

JohannFarley

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If they used the TTF they would not be able to justify the next round of draconian service cuts.
Are you saying charging a trans-hudson ticket surcharge is the right thing for NJ Transit to do?
A ticket surcharge to New York City on NJT might drive a certain percentage of their passengers to switch over to PATH trains at Newark....unless PATH is hit with a similar surcharge....
For one person to get from Edison to NYP and back it is $26.50. I dont know if a surcharge added on that would stop me from going into the city altogether, but it would make me want to go less. But also, i can afford a surcharge if im only going into nyc a few times a year.
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Andrew

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If they used the TTF they would not be able to justify the next round of draconian service cuts.
Are you saying charging a trans-hudson ticket surcharge is the right thing for NJ Transit to do?
A ticket surcharge to New York City on NJT might drive a certain percentage of their passengers to switch over to PATH trains at Newark....unless PATH is hit with a similar surcharge....
For one person to get from Edison to NYP and back it is $26.50. I dont know if a surcharge added on that would stop me from going into the city altogether, but it would make me want to go less. But also, i can afford a surcharge if im only going into nyc a few times a year.
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The NJ Gas Tax went up last year. People are still driving.

I am just surprised that a ticket surcharge is the way that NJ is going to pay for the Hudson Tunnel Project.

I remember Christie supporting a gas tax hike because he wanted some of the TTF to go to Gateway.
 

Andrew

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At least the Portal Bridge is expected to be paid with 25% of the funding coming from the NJ TTF.
 

Andrew

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What happens if Block 780 can't get acquired? Could tunnels around 100 feet deep be bored under 30th street, and then connect with the hudson tunnel near 12th Avenue?

(I just don't realistically see an entire Midtown city block be demolished)
 

Thirdrail7

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Anyway, they've started construction for Portal North (looks like the eastern approach).

http://www.theobserver.com/2017/10/portal-north-bridge-project-underway-in-south-kearny/
Some early action on Portal North:

NJ Transit, Amtrak wrap up early construction of Portal North Bridge replacement

https://www.progressiverailroading.com/passenger_rail/news/NJ-Transit-Amtrak-wrap-up-early-construction-of-Portal-North-Bridge-replacement--56849

New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit), in partnership with Amtrak, completed early construction work for the Portal North Bridge replacement program on time and on budget, the transit agency announced late last week in a press release.

The early construction project was funded through a $16 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant and a $4 million contribution from New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund.

The completed work included:

  • installation of new fiber optic poles to carry fiber optic cable lines that help provide data communications and transmission services to New York City and the surrounding metropolitan area;
  • construction of a utility protection structure to protect a century-old cast iron water main that supplies water to Jersey City;
  • construction of a finger pier to support future construction activities;
  • installation of two high voltage transmission poles that carry power lines that power trains along this section of the Northeast Corridor; and
  • construction of a retaining wall west of Secaucus Junction to support the new bridge alignment.
 

Thirdrail7

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The battle wages on for Portal Bridge, Gateway...and Toy Soldiers! :D

https://www.nj.com/traffic/2019/03/feds-deal-portal-bridge-replacement-gateway-tunnel-another-blow.html

Feds deal Portal bridge replacement, Gateway Tunnel another blow

Overall the FTA gave the Portal project a medium-high justification rating, but the financing ranking dragged overall rating to medium-low. The tunnels received an overall medium low, according to the FTA report.

Applications have been made for federal grants to help offset the cost of both the Portal Bridge replacement and a companion project to build two new Hudson River rail tunnels as part of the Gateway Project.

At this point in time, after several years, both the Hudson Tunnels and Portal North Bridge projects are ineligible to receive Capital Investment Grants funds, because each project has received a medium-low rating from the FTA, said an FTA spokesman.
The one thing I kind of see is what I have highlighted below:

The FTA rankings came several days after U.S. Deputy Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Rosen said that there was no Gateway funding in the proposed federal budget because “those transit projects are local responsibilities,” even though the tunnels and Portal Bridge are owned by Amtrak, the federal passenger railroad company.

Rosen said New Jersey and New York have not come up with funding for the project, even though the states have publicly committed more than $5 billion.
Realistically, Amtrak could survive with one tube out of service. NJ Transit would take the hit as they have more than doubled the amount of trains over the bridge in the last 30 years.

I suppose this why it can be considered a "local"' project.
 
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