New York City Leaders and Elected Officials Endorse Governor Cuomo's State of the State Proposal to Create a 21st Century Empire Station Complex in Manhattan
Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled the 30th proposal of his 2020 State of the State: creating the Empire Station Complex - a 21st century transit complex on Manhattan's West Side. During a speech at the Association for a Better New York, the Governor announced the plan to transform the existing Penn Station site, integrate the soon-to-be completed Moynihan Train Hall and acquire the block south of Penn Station to create an expanded, remodeled and interconnected train and subway complex. Thirty-two New York City leaders and elected officials have endorsed the Governor's proposal.
U.S. Representative Gregory W. Meeks said, “Anyone who has stepped foot in Penn Station can tell you there is an urgent need to not only expand the station, but make it easier to connect between public transit options. The Governor’s proposal for the Empire Station Complex will spring New York’s infrastructure into the 21st century, and accommodate the hundreds of thousands of passengers who use the station daily. This transformation will be good for commuters, good for our economy, and good for New York.”
U.S. Representative Carolyn B. Maloney said, “A city must invest in itself to stay strong, and the creation of the Empire Station Complex is a great example of the type of bold, innovative projects New York should pursue. This project would not only expand capacity at Penn Station by 40%, but also better commutes for more than half a million New Yorkers. As all New Yorkers know, Penn Station has needed upgrades and increased capacity for years, and I look forward to working with the State, City, and the community to fully develop this plan to better serve New Yorkers.”
Senator Brad Hoylman said, "Governor Cuomo's plan to add eight new tracks to Penn Station and increase capacity by 40 percent represents an exciting new vision for the future of mass transit in our region. While there are many details to be worked out, including involving local community boards, small businesses and other stakeholders in the land use process, the proposal to acquire an entire city block to upgrade and enlarge Penn Station has the potential to improve air quality, make our streets safer and point our city towards a new, car-free future for many New Yorkers. Along with this plan, a new Moynihan Station and congestion pricing, New York can transform our transit landscape for generations to come."
Senator Luis R. Sepúlveda said, "Governor Cuomo is again leading the way in reimagining the further rejuvenation of the area surrounding Penn Station, which is being transformed into a state-of-the-art transportation hub. I am grateful to the Governor for his forward-thinking ideas. This project will leverage new economic development in the area while at the same time improving the overall experience for passengers who will be utilizing the station."
Senator Kevin Parker said, "Governor Cuomo's plans for Penn Station demonstrate true leadership. The expansion of capacity at one of New York City's largest transit hubs will enable improved traffic flow for trains carrying millions of passengers on our rail and subway lines into, and out of, the heart of Manhattan, making travel easier for commuters and visitors alike. Connecting the station with the Farley Post Office, which mirrors the grandeur of Penn Station's original architecture, and creating a new Empire Station Complex will infuse new energy into the surrounding area and allow neighboring businesses to maximize their potential."
Senator Jim Gaughran said, "We need to address traffic flow and congestion and improve the availability of mass transit to effectively grow business opportunities and tourism in New York City and beyond. The Governor's plan to create a world class mass transit system and revitalized Penn Station is welcome news. Building the infrastructure needed to support the millions of train passengers traveling through Penn Station and creating an interconnected train and subway complex will improve service for LIRR commuters."
Senator Anna M. Kaplan said, "If you ask any Long Islander about Penn Station, they'll tell you that it's too cramped, too crowded, and doesn't work for today's needs. Governor Cuomo's proposal to increase track and train capacity in the station by 40%, and to reimagine the entire facility, is a game changer that will dramatically improve the daily commute for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. I applaud Governor Cuomo for his vision to fix the mistakes of prior generations through this transformative investment in world-class mass transit infrastructure, and I look forward to working with all the stakeholders involved to see this project through."
Senator John E. Brooks said, "Earlier today, Governor Cuomo laid out an outstanding plan for the transformation of Penn Station into the state-of-the-art transportation hub that New York deserves and desperately needs. By expanding its infrastructure in a multitude of ways, including a much needed refit of the LIRR corridor which will make virtually every Long Islander happy, the Governor is demonstrating great vision for what is required to grow and refine the logistical and transportation needs of the greatest city in the world."
Senator Todd Kaminsky said, "The current capacity has not changed since the early 1900s and riders have felt the effects of that for years. Expanding capacity -- especially at a time when mass transit is becoming more important in our society -- is critical and I will work to further this effort in Albany. I commend Governor Cuomo on his vision of transforming Penn Station into a state of the art transit hub."
Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo for taking the initiative to improve Penn Station and expand its capacity. With the addition of eight tracks, Penn Station will be able to expand its train capacity by as much as 40% while offering passengers easier access, assuring its vital role as the busiest transit hub in the Western Hemisphere long into the future."
Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright said, “Governor Cuomo understands that a modern, reliable transit system is key to economic prosperity, and I fully support his plan for a new the new Empire Station Complex in Manhattan. Under the Governor’s leadership, New York has experienced a transit renaissance that will keep our state competitive for decades to come. We look forward to seeing this station become part of our booming New York transportation system.”
Assembly Member Taylor Darling said, "Today's ABNY event was incredibly informative. Governor Cuomo continues to push New York's legacy to lead with vital development. Plans to encourage Long Islander's to utilize the LIRR include the expansion of the LIRR corridor by 100%, adding an additional 8 tracks, building a new terminal and building a new LIRR entrance on 7th Avenue. I am confident that these plans will greatly improve the commuting experience for our hard working Nassau County residents. Ever upward."
Assembly Member Inez Dickens said, "The Governor stressed that development is not always bad. I agree as development brings housing and employment both construction and permanent. My concerns about development is the increased density in already overly developed areas without including additional facilities to accommodate such, ie schools, senior centers, and transportation. His outline of the numerous statewide projects that came in on budget and on time was amazing & impressive. That is how government is supposed to work. Moving forward, I would like to see the governor mention additional funding for handicapped access, and development projects that are designed with the environment in mind."
Assembly Member David Weprin said, "The Empire State has already taken unprecedented steps to expand New York City's transportation capacity through initiatives like the Moynihan Train Hall project and East Side Access, and Empire Station will move the needle even further forward by envisioning Penn Station's expansion as a 21st Century business-transit district. I applaud Governor Cuomo's foresight and vision in proposing this expansion, which will ensure the city remains at the forefront of global commerce in the future. The Governor's administration has executed tremendous infrastructure accomplishments during my time in the legislature and I am confident this one will succeed as well."
Assembly Member Robert J. Rodriguez said, "Moving New York into the future means giving New Yorkers a new, updated, and easy to navigate mass transit hub. And the Governor's proposal to create a new empire station complex will give traveling and commuting New Yorkers exactly that. As he did with the second avenue subway phase 2, No governor has given all of New York the economic development upgrades it has so sorely needed than governor Cuomo and I am proud to support this plan and the unparalleled growth it will bring to New York City and the state"
Assembly Member Joseph Lentol said, "As New York City continues to rapidly expand, mass-transit capacity must be added to accommodate additional demand. Governor Cuomo's comprehensive plan to create a new Empire Station Complex will ease congestion for thousands of commuters and spur economic development surrounding Penn Station. I fully support the Governor's efforts to dramatically expand transit capacity in New York City."
Assembly Member Carmen De La Rosa said, "A world-class destination deserves a world-class transit hub. Penn Station serves as the beating heart for commuters traversing in and out of Manhattan, and this development plan will build capacity, benefitting millions of New Yorkers and tourists. I look forward to seeing the upgrades come to fruition."
Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer said, "New York City deserves more efficient transportation, and I thank Governor Cuomo for stepping up to the plate. I look forward to working with the countless stakeholders involved in this historic project to find an outcome that works best not only for New Yorkers and our daily commuters but also for the thousands upon thousands of visitors and tourists coming through this station from across our country."
Council Member Ben Kallos who represents the Upper East Side, said, "It is all about getting things done, shovels in the ground, opening new vital infrastructure after generations of nobody doing anything, and we have to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo. When it comes to projects that no one else could build, like the Second Avenue Subway that started a century ago that I joined Governor Cuomo to open, or East Side Access that started more than 60 years ago, I can't wait to improve public transit for more New Yorkers. East Side Access is a vital connection for Eastsiders to Long Island that will connect families and business to opportunities. As Moynihan station nears completion, Cuomo's proposal to add 8 new tracks and 40% capacity will help more than 175,000 commuters, and improve commutes for everyone else."
Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chairman of the Transportation Committee, said, “New York must continue expanding and improving our transportation system ensuring it is the most reliable and efficient transportation system in the Nation. We must also continue advocating for the Federal Government to provide funding to expand the Second ave subway station to the Bronx. I will continue working with my colleagues in the City, State and Federal level to ensure we continue improving our transportation networks”
MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick J. Foye said, "I applaud the governor's bold vision to increase capacity and transform Penn Station as we work to encourage greater use of mass transit with the nation's first-ever program for Central Business District Tolling. The 21st century, interconnected Empire Station Complex will be an important driver of development for the region, which is the lifeblood of the state economy. As a commuter who travels through Penn Station every day, I know firsthand how this project will dramatically improve the customer experience for millions of passengers. The end result will be a world class complex all New Yorkers can be proud of."
MTA Chief Development Officer Janno Lieber said, "The Empire Station Complex is a plan that will for the first time in over a century add significant track and train capacity to a modern, interconnected Penn Station. With the completion of East Side Access, the LIRR Expansion Project and the Penn Access project that will bring direct Metro-North service to west midtown Manhattan, this is exactly the type of forward-thinking leadership and investment we need. The transformation at Penn is already in progress under Governor Cuomo with the delivery of the decades-in-the-making Moynihan Station, an expanded LIRR concourse and a new Seventh Avenue entrance. Increasing Penn Station's capacity to accommodate additional trains and service is yet another game changer for New York."
Anthony Coscia, Chairman of the Amtrak Board of Directors, said, “Amtrak’s Penn Station is the nation’s busiest transportation facility, the central hub of the Northeast Corridor, and an economic driver for the entire nation. After decades of LIRR, NJ Transit, and Amtrak service growth, the station’s tracks and platforms are now full for much of the day, limiting all three railroads’ ability to add trains in the future. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York has already invested in transformative projects at Penn to improve the passenger experience at the station — including Moynihan Train Hall and an expanded LIRR Concourse — and these soon-to-be-completed projects will drastically enhance the transit hub. And today, the Governor leads the way to fundamentally increasing rail service capacity by jumpstarting the process to add more tracks and platforms to the south of the existing station and, in turn, create a station complex that will give riders the experience and mobility they deserve. This forward-thinking plan should serve as a model to the nation as we strive to build 21st century transportation and infrastructure systems. Amtrak looks forward to partnering with Governor Cuomo and New York State, along with the MTA, NJ Transit and the other stakeholders on this project.”
Mitchell Moss, Director, NYU Rudin Center for Transportation, said, "While others only talk and dream of rebuilding New York's infrastructure, Governor Cuomo is proposing a bold yet feasible plan to actually get it done. This new train and subway complex will expand capacity and ease congestion so the city can finally meet the needs of 21st century travelers. As a transportation hub and gateway to New York City, the new Empire Station Complex will serve as a catalyst for job growth and economic development for decades to come."
Steven Roth, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Vornado, said, "We applaud Governor Cuomo for his relentless focus on improving Penn Station, which is the most important transportation hub in North America. This is a great step. We look forward to working with the State, City, local officials and the community to transform Penn Station and the area around it into a transportation gateway truly worthy of the world's greatest city."
Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City, said, "Governor Cuomo's continued commitment to creative redevelopment of New York's transportation infrastructure addresses the top priority of the city's business community and private sector workforce. The expansion and modernization of Penn Station, already underway with the Moynihan Station and related improvements, is essential to improving the commute of New Yorkers and maintaining the city's economic growth."
Carlo A. Scissura, President & CEO of the New York Building Congress, said, "The Penn District is one of the most important economic, cultural and transportation hubs in New York City, and we are encouraged by Governor Cuomo's announcement to prioritize a comprehensive revitalization plan. This is a long overdue step, and we look forward to finally unlocking the area's true value by upgrading its transit infrastructure and building stock, attracting industry-leading businesses and improving the overall experience for the thousands of people who call the Penn District home."
Long Island Association President & CEO Kevin S. Law said, "The Long Island and New York City economies are inextricably linked and efforts to invest in our mass transit system and increase capacity allows more people to move in and out of the region which strengthens the overall metropolitan economy and thus I commend Governor Cuomo for recognizing that and getting important projects like this done."
Jeffrey LeFrancois, First Vice Chair of Manhattan Community Board 4, said, "The Penn Station and Moynihan Station capacity expansion plan is a welcome announcement from the Governor. Penn Station is a commuters' nightmare and is in dire need of renovation. It's an exciting time for the west side, and investment in infrastructure, especially our public transit systems, will benefit everyone. The Board looks forward to being a part of the planning process as an active participant to make the Empire Transit Complex a worthy welcome to New York City."
Regional Plan Association: "Regional Plan Association applauds Governor Cuomo's announcement today to expand the tracks and platforms at Penn Station by extending it to the south. Overhauling and unifying the Penn Station complex was a key recommendation in our Fourth Regional Plan and today's announcement is a great step for the future prosperity of the entire metropolitan region. We are pleased to see a comprehensive plan that encompasses not only the Station itself, but also the district surrounding it. Adding transit capacity and prioritizing safety is critical to the success of the region and for the hundreds of thousands of people that rely on the Station regularly. We look forward to participating in an inclusive stakeholder planning process and work towards a better Penn Station for all."
Tri-State Transportation Campaign: "Governor Cuomo's announcement today gets at the fundamental challenge of Penn Station: without added track capacity, Penn Station would always act as a bottleneck that would restrain transit and growth. Now, the Governor has laid out an ambitious plan to expand track capacity at Penn for the first time in its history, adding 40% track capacity—eight new tracks—along with expanded passenger access and terminal space. The new track space will be critical not only for Long Island Rail Road, but for New Jersey Transit as well. This is exactly the kind of growth and improvement Penn Station needs to meet both our current and future passenger volumes. In order to meet that challenge, we need the federal government to provide the funding now to build the Gateway project's two new tunnels under the Hudson River. We are glad to see Governor Cuomo taking on one of the region's biggest infrastructure challenges, and we're hopeful that a new Penn Station will be a new transit hub that fuels the region's growth."
Eric Gertler, ESD Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-Designate said, "Transportation drives economic development, and continuously modernizing our transit system is critical for New York to maintain its competitive edge. It is no secret that New York outgrew Penn Station long ago, and Governor Cuomo has already advanced visionary projects to improve Penn Station that other leaders only talked about — and today, the Governor took those efforts a step further. This bold plan will expand the number of train tracks available at Penn Station for the first time ever, while further improving the passenger experience, enhancing commuter safety, and transforming the underutilized area around Penn Station into a 21st century business-transit district. When combined with the soon-to-be-complete Moynihan Train Hall, the rehabilitated and expanded Penn Station will create the interconnected, modern station complex that New Yorkers deserve."