According to the New York Times, since the demise of the ARC tunnel project, New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s administration has been studying extending the No. 7 subway line under the Hudson to connect with NJ Transit at Secaucus. This would expand the regional transportation system and alleviate much of the overcrowding expected on NJT trains in coming years. It would also give NJT riders direct access to the East Side of Manhattan, Queens, and the entire New York subway system. Writing in the Times on November 16, Charles Bagli and Nicholas Confessore report that the subway extension would be much simpler than the ARC tunnel, since the No. 7 subway extension to 34th Street and 11th Avenue is already planned, and further extension would not require condemnation proceedings or extensive tunneling under Manhattan; the already-planned extension will end just one block from the waterfront. It is reported that New Jersey Gov. Christie’s office is interested to hear more about the plan. Although the plan would face formidable hurdles, it is thought that some of the preliminary work done for the ARC tunnel, including environmental impact statements, could be used to expedite planning and approvals.
The Lackawanna Coalition believes that regional planning for an integrated transportation system is essential, and welcomes proposals such as the No. 7 extension, which might well form a useful part of an integrated commuter, rapid transit, and intercity rail infrastructure.