Long-sought overhaul at US' busiest train station restarted

AP News
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Posted: Jan 06, 2016 5:52 PM
Long-sought overhaul at US' busiest train station restarted

NEW YORK (AP) — Plans for a long-sought overhaul of the nation's busiest train station, a project that could cost up to $3 billion and include improvements like bringing natural light into the congested maze underneath Madison Square Garden, have been restarted, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday.

He said a request for proposals from developers for the Pennsylvania Station project would go out this week, with responses due in 90 days and work to get started on an expedited basis.

"Penn Station is un-New York," said Cuomo, a Democrat. "It is dark. It is constrained. It is ugly."

Penn Station, in Manhattan, handles more than 650,000 passengers daily on Amtrak, Long Island Rail Road and New Jersey Transit lines. Plans to overhaul it, including efforts to connect it via underground passages to a massive redeveloped main post office across the street to improve passenger access, have been ongoing for decades.

The post office project, turning the James A. Farley Post Office into the Moynihan Station, named for the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, has had developers Related Companies and Vornado Realty Trust attached to it for a decade. The Cuomo administration said that agreement had been severed but the developers could re-bid.

A Related spokeswoman applauded the governor's focus on the revitalization of Penn Station and Moynihan Station.

"The redevelopment will transform the nation's busiest train station into a modern commuter hub and a gateway befitting the greatest city in the world," spokeswoman Joanna Rose said. "We continue to passionately believe in the project and look forward to reviewing the materials."

A representative for Vornado declined to comment.