New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is said to be chugging ahead with an outside-the-box — and outside-the-state — proposal to further extend the No. 7 subway line to New Jersey, according to a New York Post report that said he will spend the next few months planning for it.
Already, New York State’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority is expanding the No. 7 line from its westward terminus expansion from Grand Central Terminal to a new station at 11th Avenue and West 34th Street, near the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The line runs easterly to the borough of Queens.
The Hudson Yards Infrastructure Corp. last week sold $1 billion of Series 2012 senior revenue bonds to complete funding for the project.
Contracts have been awarded covering 90% of the project budget. The extension is scheduled to open late in 2013.
MTA officials sidestepped questions about the No. 7 line at Wednesday’s board meeting in Manhattan.
“I think that’s for the future and the new chairman when he’s here,” acting chairman Andrew Saul said at a press conference.
Saul will hold the interim title until the state Senate approves Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s nomination of former New York City deputy mayor Joseph Lhota to replace Jay Walder.
“We have to wait and see what the results are,” MTA New York City Transit president Tom Prendergast added.
Lhota attended Wednesday’s meeting.
Bloomberg hopes for a real estate boom around the Hudson Yards area, which would help repay bonds sold for the project. Engineering firm Parsons Brinckerhoff has cited the feasibility of expanding the 7 line across the Hudson River to Secaucus, where it could link with NJTransit connections.
Messages seeking comment were left with Bloomberg’s office and with Parsons Brinckerhoff.
Last year, Gov. Chris Christie scuttled a tunnel project from New Jersey to New York called Access to the Region’s Core, calling it too costly for Garden State taxpayers. His press secretary, Michael Drewniak, said Wednesday that the latest proposal “intrigued” state officials as an alternative to what he called “an albatross for New Jersey and its taxpayers.”
“We will continue to explore the No. 7 subway plan, its feasibility, benefits, and costs with the city and state of New York and the appropriate government agencies in both states,” Drewniak said.
In a related transit development, Cuomo last week, while naming Patrick Foye chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, placed control of the Moynihan Station project with the Port Authority, and away from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. The project would overhaul the James Farley Post Office building and replace Pennsylvania Station across the street.
MTA board member Allen Cappelli from Staten Island implored Bloomberg to push for a rail connection across the Bayonne Bridge from his New York City borough to Bayonne, N.J., where it could connect with the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system.
“I love the mayor’s vision and drive. However, I hope he recognizes the need for rail connectivity for the 500,000 commuters on Staten Island,” he said.