Entrance at 33rd Street and 7th Avenue Will Improve Access to LIRR Corridor from Street Level, While Enhancing Safety and Security for Customers
Construction to Begin Next Month and Completed in 2020
Renderings of New Main Entrance and LIRR Concourse Improvements Available Here
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today unveiled final design renderings for the new main entrance to Penn Station. The new entrance will be located at 33rd Street and 7th Avenue, providing much needed direct access to the Long Island Rail Road Main Concourse and the New York City Subway. The project, which will begin construction in June, will eliminate congestion by doubling customer access and egressing capacity to the LIRR level when it is completed in 2020, enhancing safety and security for passengers. The Governor also announced that the overall Penn Station redevelopment master plan - which includes the creation of the Moynihan Train Hall - continues to move forward, which will fully transform Penn Station into a modern, world-class transportation hub.
"Penn Station was one of the great railroad stations of the world, but now it's not fit for the greatest city in the nation," Governor Cuomo said. "That's why we are creating a world class train hall at Moynihan and today we are announcing a new East End Gateway to bring more access, safety and light. Passengers will be able to come in that entrance and avoid the front of Penn Station, there will be less traffic and you'll have access to the subway and the LIRR. It will be a gateway to a world class facility. This is not a proposal - we are getting to work now."
The entrance will be the main entry point for passengers and is scheduled to open in December 2020. Passenger traffic has more than tripled since the current Penn Station was built, increasing from 200,000 to 650,000 passengers daily. Currently 250,000 people take the LIRR every day, along with 235,000 daily customers who use New Jersey Transit. In addition, 115,000 people use the station each day solely to enter or leave the A/C/E and 1/2/3 subways or to patronize the on-site retail.
Presently, the Penn Station entrance on 34th Street is the only direct way to enter the LIRR level, and the concourse and its existing egress facilities are highly congested, with congestion certain to increase in the future. By creating the new entrance at 33rd Street and 7th Avenue, the project will relieve this potential congestion and the serious safety concerns it creates. In doing so, the new entrance helps prepare the transit system for the implementation of Central Business District tolling, which will increase ridership as it reduces congestion in Manhattan and provides critical funding for further improvements.
The new entrance will connect passengers directly to the LIRR Main Concourse from 33rd Street and 7th Avenue, and will include three escalators, a stairway and an elevator. The project will widen the LIRR 33rd Street Concourse from its current 30 feet to 57 feet to allow easier access to trains and reduce potentially dangerous crowding. The design will also increase the ceiling height to 18 feet across the entire concourse, eliminating the 7 and 8-foot high areas that have, for decades, made the station experience feel cramped and less spacious. Lighting will be improved and more intuitive wayfinding will be provided to passengers. LIRR customers will also have new direct sight lines to track level and there will be additional retail and dining options in the concourse as well.
The project is estimated to cost approximately $600 million, with $170 million of the total being allocated from the current 2015-19 MTA capital program. The remaining funds are being allocated by the State of New York.
Today's announcement is part of Governor Cuomo's overall Penn Station redevelopment master plan, which is moving forward and includes additional work to redevelop the remaining areas of Penn Station , as well as completely transforming the old Farley Post Office building into the new Moynihan Train Hall. As part of the master plan and in collaboration with the MTA, beginning this summer, a functional and operational assessment will take place to develop additional plans to reconfigure the station. This assessment will then be complemented with extensive community engagement to refine the plans.
Five decades after the loss of the original and iconic Pennsylvania Station, the Moynihan Train Hall will once again provide New Yorkers a grand entrance in a McKim, Mead and White architectural marvel. The train hall is also set to open in December of 2020 and will bear the name of one of its great champions - the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
Passengers will be able to come in that entrance and avoid the front of Penn Station, there will be less traffic and you'll have access to the subway and the LIRR.
"These improvements at Penn Station's main entrance will improve the commute for travelers and enhance public safety," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "The project, which includes direct access to the Long Island Rail Road Corridor, will ease pedestrian traffic and improve the overall experience. We're committed to providing expanded transportation options for New Yorkers, and continuing to invest in transformational projects that support public transit and boost the economy."
"Building a new Penn Station entrance is a huge step toward giving our millions of customers the transit hub they deserve, and making the everyday experience of using the LIRR and Subways safer and easier," said MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick J. Foye. "Thanks to the commitment of Governor Cuomo, this is just one component of the work we're doing to modernize the LIRR and Subway system, with hundreds of transformative projects systemwide, including upgrading signals, expanding ADA accessibility, and expanding the LIRR with a Main Line third track. My daily commute takes me through Penn Station as I switch from the LIRR to the Subway, and I personally look forward to the benefits this new entrance will provide."
"This new iconic entrance, along with widened corridors, heightened ceilings and new retail, will dramatically improve the experience for the 600,000 plus people who use Penn Station daily," said MTA Chief Development Officer Janno Lieber. "We are excited to deliver this transformative project within budget and on an aggressive schedule and - like all the MTA's major projects - faster, smarter, and cheaper than in days past. Thanks to Governor Cuomo for his leadership and vision that has driven this historic renewal at Penn Station."
ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "New Yorkers have been subject to cramped, dark conditions at Penn Station for too long - and this new entrance, along with Moynihan Train Hall, will help provide the access commuters need and deserve."
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said, "Penn Station opens New York City up to hundreds of thousands of people each day. Those who use it deserve a station as vibrant as the city itself. We look forward to working closely with the Governor, the MTA, local officials and the community to make the vision a reality."
Senator Brad Hoylman said, "If our transit system is the circulatory system of New York City, then Penn Station is its heart - and today Governor Cuomo is announcing an angioplasty. More people enter Pennsylvania Station on a daily basis than the entire population of Portland, Oregon. While it's the nation's busiest train hall, it's crucial that we get a plan for Penn Station that takes into consideration the local neighborhoods and businesses which I represent. I'm grateful to Governor Cuomo for leading this effort, and I look forward to continuing to work with our partners to build on the progress we have already made and create the train station that New Yorkers deserve."
Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried, who represents most of Midtown Manhattan, said, "Penn Station is the beating heart of our area's entire transportation network, serving more travelers than all three metro region airports combined. Its revitalization under Governor Cuomo's leadership, including the addition of the Moynihan Station, will not only make travel easier for riders, but also help generate economic activity and grow jobs in the surrounding community."
Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer said, "Manhattan receives thousands of commuters and visitors each day, so we must ensure the intercity rail terminal is accessible, safe and welcoming for everyone. I thank Governor Cuomo's administration for continuing to move along the much-needed upgrades at Penn Station."
Vikki Barbero, Chair of Manhattan Community Board 5, said, "We are glad to see all the pieces coming together for Penn Station. Through Penn Station, our neighborhood welcomes visitors and tourists from every corner of the world. Every part of the station - especially the main entrance - should be designed to give them the unique New York experience that they expect. We thank Governor Cuomo for his commitment to making Penn Station better for this neighborhood and for those passing through."
Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO, Partnership for New York City, said, "Penn Station is in desperate need of repair, and this new entrance at 33rd Street - in conjunction with the new Moynihan Train Hall and LIRR corridor - will be an integral part of its long-overdue modernization. We applaud Governor Cuomo for his focus on modernizing our infrastructure at a time when our federal government continues to ignore our country's aging buildings and transit systems."
LIRR and Amtrak trains will be served by the nine platforms and 17 tracks that will be accessible from the Moynihan Train Hall, reached by eleven new platform escalators and seven elevators. The Train Hall will create direct access to the train station from 9th Avenue for the first time, bringing unparalleled regional transportation options within convenient reach of the booming Hudson Yards and Far West Side areas.
Governor Cuomo is investing $250 billion in infrastructure projects across New York to promote economic development, create jobs, and expand opportunity. These investments enable New York to rebuild and modernize its roads, bridges, broadband networks, public buildings, and other critical infrastructure across the state while putting thousands of New Yorkers to work. Governor Cuomo has jumpstarted long-stalled or long-overdue projects, such as the now complete Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge (formerly the Tappan Zee Bridge), the transformation of LaGuardia and JFK Airports, the Jacob K. Javits Center expansion, and building a new Penn Station.