Bloomberg News

MTA’s Lhota Says Subway to N.J. Won’t Happen in ‘Our Lifetime’

April 03, 2012

A proposal to extend New York City’s No. 7 subway line under the Hudson River to New Jersey (STONJ1:US) probably won’t happen in “our lifetime,” Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joseph Lhota said.

Lhota, speaking at a meeting of the New York Building Congress in Manhattan today, said the No. 7 train extension would be too expensive, require building rail yards in New Jersey and would face pricing issues.

“Of course New Jersey would like to have it because they think they’re going to get across the river for $2.25,” Lhota said, referring to the subway fare, according to transcripts provided by a spokesman. “Not a chance. It’s not going to happen in our lifetime; not in anybody’s lifetime.”

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration raised the idea of the No. 7 extension in November 2010 as a less- costly alternative to a proposed New Jersey Transit tunnel that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie killed.

“Hopefully it happens in somebody’s lifetime,” Bloomberg told reporters today in Queens, when asked about Lhota’s remarks. “Those people may not have been born yet. I have great respect for Joe Lhota, and he’s a realist. We can keep trying.”

Bloomberg said having more Hudson tunnels “would clean the air” because there would be fewer traffic jams. The mayor is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.

Lhota said he supported a proposal by Amtrak for a $13.5 billion project that would put two rail tunnels under the Hudson from New Jersey to New York by 2020 as an alternative to the project Christie killed. The so-called Gateway project would allow New Jersey Transit and Amtrak to increase rail capacity into Penn Station.

The MTA, the biggest U.S. transit agency, runs the subways as well as the Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road commuter lines.

To contact the reporter on this story: Terrence Dopp in Trenton at tdopp@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net


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