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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Manhattan/Long Island/airport tunnel would cut rail passengers' commute times, transit authorities say


New York-area transportation authorities will move forward with plans to construct a rail tunnel connecting lower Manhattan, Long Island and JFK Airport after a recent feasibility study found the structure would provide a 40 percent faster commute from MTA Long Island Rail Road’s Jamaica Station to the airport.

Located under the East River between Brooklyn and lower Manhattan, the tunnel would enable New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to provide direct service from the World Trade Center to Jamaica Station, reduce commute times from Long Island to lower Manhattan by 15 minutes, and offer a one-seat ride to and from JFK Airport.

The tunnel would eliminate the need for Long Island commuters to travel to Penn Station and transfer to the 2/3 subway, and relieve congestion on the subway line. Planners might add an East River connection to the Second Avenue Subway.

The study was conducted by MTA, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and New York City Economic Development Corp.

The $6 billion tunnel would carry 100,000 daily passengers, according to the agencies, who plan to begin the environmental review process this summer. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2006 and be complete in 2013.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/12/2004