As plans advance for Metro-North’s expansion into Hunts Point and three other Bronx neighborhoods, public officials promise to include those communities in the decision-making process.
The newly formed Bronx Metro-North Working Group convened for the first time on July 31, led by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and officials from the Department of Transportation, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the Department of City Planning. The group was provided an overview of the existing jobs and transportation situation in the four neighborhoods, along with a summary of previous planning.
The working group will convene again in the early fall in the neighborhoods where the new stations are planned: Hunts Point, Parkchester/Van Nest, Morris Park and Co-op City. The Hunts Point station is planned at the corner of Hunts Point and Garrison avenues, just east of the Bruckner Expressway.
The new stations will provide service between the new stations and Penn Station in Manhattan, as well as Westchester County and Connecticut. City planners expect economic development, job growth and housing opportunities to result from the new hubs.
The working group will open “a line of communication with the residents and businesses who will benefit most from this expansion of our rail services,” said Diaz Jr.
“The new Metro-North train stations will provide improved transportation resulting in major economic development and opportunities for the residences and the businesses in the Bronx,” said Joseph Kelleher, chairman of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce.
The stations are set to open shortly after completion of the Penn Station Access project, which will provide Metro-North riders with a one-seat ride from the Bronx stations into Penn Station to reduce commuting times and add new rail transit options.
So far, Bronx residents have said they want transportation officials to focus on safety and infrastructural improvements, such as repaired sidewalks and enhanced amenities near the new stations.
The project is expected to be completed by 2023.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Department of Small Business Services, Department of Parks and Recreation, and Department of Housing Preservation and Development will also take part in the planning initiative.
To view the presentations, learn more about the station areas, to sign up to receive updates on the planning initiative and to get involved, visit the Bronx Metro-North Study at www.nyc.gov/BMNS or email BMNS@planning.nyc.gov. Watch BronxTalk host Gary Axelbank’s interview with Carol Samol, the Bronx Borough Director of the city planning department.