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NEW ENTRANCE APPROVED AT NEW YORK PENN STATION

31st Street gateway will give customers improved access to NJ TRANSIT concourse

November 8, 2006
NJT-06-132
Contact: Penny Bassett Hackett or
Dan Stessel 973 491-7078

NEWARK, NJ – NJ TRANSIT customers who use New York Penn Station will have a more direct and convenient route to their trains as a result of action today by the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors.

The Board awarded an $11.8 million construction contract for a new station entrance at 7th Avenue and 31st Street that will enable customers to bypass Penn Station’s congested main entrance and access the NJ TRANSIT concourse directly from the street. Today, the concourse is used by about 70 percent of NJ TRANSIT customers traveling through New York Penn Station.

“This project is part of an ongoing effort to expand capacity and better serve our customers at the busiest rail terminal in North America,” said NJ TRANSIT Chairman and Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri. “We are taking advantage of every opportunity to increase capacity in the near-term while we work to build the Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel to meet ridership demand in the years to come.”

The new entrance will be fully accessible with ADA-compliant elevators, escalators and stairs connecting to the NJ TRANSIT concourse, which offers customers waiting areas, restrooms, ticketing and other amenities. The entrance will feature a barrel-vaulted ceiling with exposed, open trusses reminiscent of the original Penn Station. The contract also includes lighting, signage, train display information and a public address system.

The Board awarded the contract to Yonkers Contracting Co. Inc. of Yonkers, New York. The project’s total cost, including design, project administration and permitting is estimated at $13,750,000, with completion expected in mid-2008.

“The new 31st Street entrance will enhance the functionality of our concourse, which has become even more popular with customers since we opened it in 2002,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington. “The project has been designed to complement the other projects we’re advancing in and near New York Penn Station to accommodate our growing ridership.”

Future investment plans include a new terminal under 34th Street – between 8th and 6th avenues – as a key component of the Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel project that will double rail capacity between New Jersey and New York.

In April, NJ TRANSIT awarded a contract to lengthen New York Penn Station platforms serving four tracks used by NJ TRANSIT trains, and to link NJ TRANSIT’s concourse with another concourse that serves Long Island Rail Road trains on the 8th Avenue side of the station. The project will improve circulation within the station and will offer more and faster vertical access to and from platforms and trains.

Additionally, a plan under discussion calls for creating a NJ TRANSIT terminal in the Farley Post Office Building and linking it with Penn Station on the opposite side of 8th Avenue.

About NJ TRANSIT

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing nearly 857,000 weekday trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 60 light rail stations and more than 18,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.