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Options for 7 Train to NJ

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Andrew

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NYC Area transit agencies are once again studying the possibility of extending the 7 Train from Hudson Yards in Midtown, Manhattan to New Jersey. I would like to get your thoughts on where this train should go.

Maybe the 7 train:

should be extended to the Journal Square Train Station in Jersey City, NJ? (This could help reduce crowding on the PATH trains to 33rd street)?

be extended to Secaucus Junction, with a few stops in both Hoboken and North Jersey City? (And perhaps the Gateway Tunnels will be built to Penn Station, and NJ Transit will add 2 island platforms for a total of four additional tracks)?

I believe that extending the 7 Train to NJ should be built because of more residential development that will soon happen in NJ, and also because Amazon will build a massive HQ2 near the 7 Train in Long Island City, Queens.
 

Dutchrailnut

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the study is done by rail advocates, there is no way in hell NYCTA a state agency is going to extend into NJ. and untill you prove otherwise I am not aware of any MTA study.

running interstate open to many can's of worms. 
 
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cpotisch

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I’m sorry, but a subway extension to NJ is just not going to happen. There already is plenty of NJT service from that area, so I really don’t see why the MTA should invest the time and resources it would take to extend service into another state, especially when you consider the issues we’re currently having with the the subway system and preexisting infrastructure. The point of the subway is cheap and easy transport within NYC. This totally missed that purpose.
 
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Anderson

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At least in theory, this concept might fit for a Port Authority project (with a required transfer/separate paid fare involved) since that's an interstate agency, but I don't think we want to go down that rabbit hole given the mess that the PA is.
 
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jis

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Let's at least get Gateway funded and then dream about the 7 train going to NJ. [emoji6] Gateway is much needed right now. 
While Gateway does need to be funded, it actually solves very little of the trans Hudson commuter problem. 7 to Secaucus addresses that problem more effectively than Gateway by reducing congestion at Penn Station. Gateway only increases it and makes Penn Station an even bigger single point of failure.
 

jebr

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I also think the fare payment issue could be fairly easily solved if the respective parties were interested in doing so. By the time such extension would happen, the new NYCT fare instrument should be out, and it could be set up to support tap-out on the New Jersey side to pay the applicable Trans-Hudson/PATH fare if that's needed to make the financial arrangements work. On the inbound side, the full fare could be charged for "both" agencies if need be upon entrance into the system, with the tap-out within x minutes without any additional tap-ins allowing an automatic refund of the NYCT side of the fare. It would be ridiculous to force a transfer from one subway to another subway just for fare payment purposes.

Of course, perhaps at some point the political will could be found to have some sort of universal fare instrument that actually allows for a full-region pass without needing every agency's different fare medium, fare pass, etc., but I'd imagine that day is even further off than an extension of the 7.
 
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Andrew

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While Gateway does need to be funded, it actually solves very little of the trans Hudson commuter problem. 7 to Secaucus addresses that problem more effectively than Gateway by reducing congestion at Penn Station. Gateway only increases it and makes Penn Station an even bigger single point of failure.

So what is the best way to deal with future trans-hudson demand?

1. 7 Train to Secaucus (instead of Journal Square) and Secaucus Junction could be expanded with a small bus terminal and a massive parking garage

2. Gateway Project (with Bergen Loop) and somehow expanding Penn Station in Manhattan one block south

3. Gateway Project (without Bergen Loop)

4. a combination of 7 Train to Secaucus and either option 2 or 3 

I am curious to get your thoughts on how necessary the future Bergen Loop really is?
 

AutoTrDvr

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I’m sorry, but a subway extension to NJ is just not going to happen. There already is plenty of NJT service from that area, so I really don’t see why the MTA should invest the time and resources it would take to extend service into another state, especially when you consider the issues we’re currently having with the the subway system and preexisting infrastructure. The point of the subway is cheap and easy transport within NYC. This totally missed that purpose.
Yeah, both PATH and NJT have the market on cross Hudson Train travel.  And NY Wateway has the ferries from Hoboken and near Weehauwken as well.I don't see the need for the MTA to get involved. If anything, they should direct those $$ towards the NYPenn tunnel expansion so NJ Transit and Amtrak can get more trains across.. 
 

jis

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I’m sorry, but a subway extension to NJ is just not going to happen. There already is plenty of NJT service from that area, so I really don’t see why the MTA should invest the time and resources it would take to extend service into another state, especially when you consider the issues we’re currently having with the the subway system and preexisting infrastructure. The point of the subway is cheap and easy transport within NYC. This totally missed that purpose.
Who said anything about MTA investing anything in NJ. If you make unfounded assumption you are inevitably likely to arrive at incorrect conclusions [emoji57]
 

PVD

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I seem to remember that the interstate compact creating the PA between NY and NJ gives them control of road bridges and tunnels between the states, and a distance up the Hudson (part of the reason for the siting of the TZ, NY could act w/o them) Does this still apply, and would it apply to a rail/commuter tunnel. Obviously it would not apply to the feds....
 

cpotisch

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Who said anything about MTA investing anything in NJ. If you make unfounded assumption you are inevitably likely to arrive at incorrect conclusions
Didn’t you say that they would have to build new tunnels to do this? Do you think that NJ would cover the cost of that?
 

jis

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Didn’t you say that they would have to build new tunnels to do this? Do you think that NJ would cover the cost of that?
Port Authority is the one that has in its charter to build and improve trans-Hudson travel. Naturally both NJ and NY States would contribute some. But it won’t be MTA’s job to fund, build or operate it necessarily. They may be contracted to do some of it with funding, like the 7 West Side extension was.

The bottom line is Gateway does not even come close to addressing a real solution to the trans-Hudson commuting problem. People are just dreaming because they find themselves powerless to work through the political mess in the Tri-State area to even come close to what actually needs to be done, instead of trying to stuff more trains into Penn Station.
 

Andrew

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While Gateway does need to be funded, it actually solves very little of the trans Hudson commuter problem. 7 to Secaucus addresses that problem more effectively than Gateway by reducing congestion at Penn Station. Gateway only increases it and makes Penn Station an even bigger single point of failure.
If 7 Train to Secaucus gets built, will the 10th Station be constructed?

And assuming Gateway gets built, how necessary is the Bergen Loop?
 

AutoTrDvr

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While Gateway does need to be funded, it actually solves very little of the trans Hudson commuter problem. 7 to Secaucus addresses that problem more effectively than Gateway by reducing congestion at Penn Station. Gateway only increases it and makes Penn Station an even bigger single point of failure.
I think the question then becomes, which would be more expensive to build, both in expense and time.  It seems more intuitive to me that a #7 extension would require more infrastructure to be built (or worked around) to support it, than the Gateway. Both would involve the infrastructural expense of digging under the Hudson River (I assume close to being a similar expense). But what will it cost to build the additional infrastructure to take the given train from the end terminus (NYP or NYP Annex) to NJ vs. the originating terminus for the #7 train (for me, that was always Times Sq. - not sure now).   I would suspect the later to be a little more expensive as it would be more complicated to dig underneath and around all those structures in Manhattan, already in place.  I would think it easier to do the gateway project  and, perhaps, get the trains to go into an above ground annex (same as NYP but nearby it and connected to it). I think they were thinking about the old Post office building as an annex???
 

jis

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Both need to be built eventually, specially if they are unable to pull off the additional platform tracks at NYP South in Block 780, and that in itself will cost way more than getting the 7 to NJ from its currents Javits Center terminus plus tail tracks close to the river. There is remarkably little “structures in Manhattan” between the 7’s current West Side terminus and the river.

Without the extension of NYP with NYPS merely building two additional tunnels will not increase the capacity of Penn Station as much as some are imagining.

And no, there are no trains going to any overground Annex.
 

Andrew

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I think the question then becomes, which would be more expensive to build, both in expense and time.  It seems more intuitive to me that a #7 extension would require more infrastructure to be built (or worked around) to support it, than the Gateway. Both would involve the infrastructural expense of digging under the Hudson River (I assume close to being a similar expense). But what will it cost to build the additional infrastructure to take the given train from the end terminus (NYP or NYP Annex) to NJ vs. the originating terminus for the #7 train (for me, that was always Times Sq. - not sure now).   I would suspect the later to be a little more expensive as it would be more complicated to dig underneath and around all those structures in Manhattan, already in place.  I would think it easier to do the gateway project  and, perhaps, get the trains to go into an above ground annex (same as NYP but nearby it and connected to it). I think they were thinking about the old Post office building as an annex???
I believe that Gateway will definitely get built.

I'm wondering which project should complement Gateway: ARC with Bergen Loop or 7 Train to NJ and why?
 

Andrew

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Both need to be built eventually, specially if they are unable to pull off the additional platform tracks at NYP South in Block 780, and that in itself will cost way more than getting the 7 to NJ from its currents Javits Center terminus plus tail tracks close to the river. There is remarkably little “structures in Manhattan” between the 7’s current West Side terminus and the river.

Without the extension of NYP with NYPS merely building two additional tunnels will not increase the capacity of Penn Station as much as some are imagining.

And no, there are no trains going to any overground Annex.
Is it possible to just add one island platform directly underneath 30th street between 8th and 7th Avenues?
 

MattW

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Would it be cheaper to tie PATH into the subway? You'd have to modify PATH's loading gauge, but would that be better than a new tunnel?
 

jis

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7 to Secaucus provides a direct access to the GCT area which is a major destination for commuters coming from NJ. PATH does not.

After 9/11 there was a move to connect PATH to the IRT (4,5) at WTC. Physically the loading gauge of PATH and IRT lines are almost the same. The changes required to address that was determined to be minimal to nonexistent. But NY area transit fiefdoms are difficult to break. Same issues will arise with any idea to extend 7 to NJ too.

Anyway connecting PATH to IRT was a good idea easily doable back the physically. Hard to do anymore.
 

cpotisch

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That does not provide any simpler access to GCT for passengers NJT service, nor does it help decongest NY Penn Station, indeed it helps further congest it. In any case that addresses a different issue
Well I’m bringing it up because I’m sure that acccess to Metro-North is why an easy connection between NJ Transit and GCT is important, so if Metro-North and NJT both served Penn, there would be a direct connection between the two. Meanwhile a 7 extension to Secaucus would require two connections for anyone going between NJT and Metro-North, so it’s definitely a less convenient option.
 
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