Big surprise – Community Board 10 wants a local Metro North train station.
The board voted unanimously to send a letter of support to the MTA, encouraging it to move forward with building a Metro North station in Section 5 at Co-op City as part of a plan to expand service by 2016. The board made the recommendation on Thursday, May 17.
As part of a plan to introduce Metro North train service to Penn Station via the Hell Gate Amtrak line, the MTA expressed interest in building four new stations – at Co-op City, Morris Park, Parkchester and Hunts Point – at a 2011 meeting with elected officials, community boards, and local leaders in Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.’s office, according to those at that meeting.
CB 10 has supported the proposal since first hearing of it. Passing the resolution was a step towards supporting that goal, said Board 10 district manager Kenneth Kearns.
“It would help get Co-op City residents to Penn Station in 20 minutes – tops,” Kearns said. “The only difficultly is that Amtrak has the right of way to the tracks and they need to be negotiated with, as does space in Penn Station, which also has Long Island Railroad and New Jersey Transit.”
Metro North already services the west and central Bronx, and now wants to service the east Bronx, which has been without regional train stations since the New York, New Haven, and Hartford line ceased operations in 1968, Kearns said. Since the track is already in place, The estimated $300 million cost is relatively minimal, and was called by MTA spokeswoman Marjorie Anders “one of the biggest bangs for the bucks project in the tri-state area.”
The MTA has long known that developing Metro North stations in the east Bronx would be helpful not only for the east Bronx but the entire region, said Anders.
“Metro North is grateful for the support of CB 10 and all of the local elected officials in the Bronx,” she said. “For the people of the Bronx, it opens up job markets in White Plains and Stamford.”
The MTA is showing a receptiveness to servicing east Bronx communities that previously that had not been there before, said Councilman Jimmy Vacca.
“The proposal for four new station is a ‘win-win’ for the MTA and the Bronx, and would be not only good not only for people commuting to and from Manhattan, but also for many people who work north of the Bronx in White Plains and Stamford,” Vacca said. “The MTA was wrong to bypass our borough for all of these years, but now we have hope.”