The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will hold its fourth and final hearing next week on a plan to set up four new Metro-North commuter stations along an eastern corridor of the Bronx.
Prior hearings at Co-op City, Morris Park and Hunts Point received positive responses, as is expected at the one being held at Parkchester on Monday, Oct. 22.
The new stations would be part of a plan to have Metro-North trains access Penn Station for the first time. That plan has yet to be approved and is currently being studied, with the MTA taking comment from stakeholders.
The final information session on the new stations will be at 7 p.m. at St. Raymond High School for Boys at E. Tremont Avenue and Purdy Street.
Hundreds of mostly supportive people attended the Sept. 24 Co-op City information session, reinforcing a Community Board 10 advisory vote in May in favor of the Co-op City train station near Section 5.
“It would be the best one of the best things that ever happened to the area,” said CB 10 district manager Kenneth Kearns. “People could be in Manhattan in 20 minutes, and in Westchester in the same 20 minutes.”
It would also mean getting Westchester shoppers to Co-op City, next to a new Macy’s and 75 retail shops being built at the Bay Plaza Mall, said Kearns.
The Hunts Point station would be near Hunts Point Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard.
“It gives people in this community a wider range of places to seek employment,” said local Community Board 2 district manager Rafael Salamanca.
He noted that people in the community without a car would no longer have to car pool to seek employment in places like Stamford, Connecticut, because the rail station would connect with Metro-North’s New Haven Line.
Assemblyman Marcos Crespo pointed out that the Hunts Point station would be near what is already of one of the busiest transportation hubs in the borough and that its impact will have to be studied. It should be something that will open doors for those in the community seeking employment, he said.
A station in Hunts Point would also open the job market in Co-op City to Hunts Point area residents, and provide transportation to jobs in the Hunts Point markets to Co-op City’s people, said Salamanca.
“We are so excited,” said Salamanca. “The only thing that is disappointing is that we have to wait for the study, and if they decide to do it, we have to wait until about 2018. But it is worth the wait.”
Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 742-3393