Amtrak, MTA, NJ Transit, Port Authority & RPA on Expanding Trans-Hudson Capacity

As delays and interruptions become more frequent in the century-old North River Tunnels connecting New York and New Jersey, and the political debate grows louder over who will pay for the two new tunnels proposed by Amtrak, some context on the issue is helpful.

In May, the Port Authority, MTA, NJ Transit, Regional Plan Association, and Amtrak jointly convened a Trans-Hudson Summit to discuss the needs, challenges, and solutions for NY & NJ transit infrastructure. The Port Authority also prepared a Profile of the Regional Interstate Transportation Network, a snapshot of trends and market patterns:

Manhattan’s extraordinary concentration of high-value jobs would not be possible without its access to a huge, diverse, and talented labor market over a large geographic area that its extensive transit network makes possible. Efficient public transit is essential to providing the regional mobility needed to sustain its economic competitiveness. And interstate commuting to employment sites outside Manhattan has been growing as well. Access to skilled workers means gains in productivity and profitability for area businesses and a growing standard of living for the entire region.

A Vital Link: Expanding Transportation Capacity Across the Hudson
May 7, 2015

The morning sessions began with a series of presentations from the sponsoring transportation agencies, each of which focused on different aspects of the trans-Hudson challenge. The presentations covered the changes in the volume and nature of trans-Hudson travel that have occurred over the past generation; the condition of the physical infrastructure and capacity constraints on the trans-Hudson crossings and facilities; and referenced potential solutions to expand transportation capacity for further discussion, including project costs and benefits.

Moderator
Thomas K. Wright, President, Regional Plan Association

Presentations
Andrew Lynn, Director, Planning & Regional Development, The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
Drew Galloway, Chief of Planning & Performance, NECIID, Amtrak
Veronique Hakim, Executive Director, NJ TRANSIT
Rich Roberts, Chief, NEC Trans-Hudson Projects, NJ TRANSIT
Bill Wheeler, Director of Planning, Metropolitan Transportation Authority

A Vital Link: Expanding Transportation Capacity Across the Hudson
May 7, 2015

The second morning session began with remarks from the distinguished panelists listed below representing other partners in addressing the trans-Hudson challenge, who responded to the agency presentations. Then there was a moderated discussion of potential solutions and a process for moving forward.

Moderator
Thomas K. Wright, President, Regional Plan Association

Distinguished Panelists:
Peter Rogoff, Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation
Joel Ettinger, Executive Director, New York Metropolitan Transportation Council
Mary K. Murphy, Executive Director, North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority
Martin Robins, Founding Director, Voorhees Transportation Center, Rutgers University

Amtrak Panelists:
Anthony Coscia, Chairman of the Board
Stephen Gardner, Vice President, NECIID
Drew Galloway, Chief of Planning & Performance, NECIID

New Jersey Panelists:
Veronique Hakim, Executive Director, NJ TRANSIT
Rich Roberts, Chief, NEC Trans-Hudson Projects, NJ TRANSIT

New York Panelists:
Polly Trottenberg, Commissioner, New York City Department of Transportation
Bill Wheeler, Director of Planning, Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Port Authority Panelists:
John Degnan, Chairman
Scott Rechler, Vice-Chairman
Patrick Foye, Executive Director
Andrew Lynn, Director, Planning & Regional Development

Regional Plan Association Panelist:
Elliot G. Sander, Chairman

A Vital Link: Expanding Transportation Capacity Across the Hudson
May 7, 2015

This panel discussed innovative financing models, including the role of public-private partnerships, in funding the massive capital investments required to substantially expand cross-Hudson transit capacity.

Moderator
Rohit Aggarwala, Principal, Bloomberg Associates

Panelists
D.J. Gribbin, Managing Director, Macquarie Group
Chris Ireland, Director of Infrastructure Investments, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan
Sam Schwartz, President, CEO & Founder, Sam Schwartz Engineering
Robert Yaro, President Emeritus & Senior Advisor, Regional Plan Association

A Vital Link: Expanding Transportation Capacity Across the Hudson
May 7, 2015

This panel explored the project delivery process and the labor, regulatory and environment permitting involved in expanding cross-Hudson transit capacity, and possible strategies for “fast-tracking” necessary projects of national and regional significance.

Moderator
Joshua Schank, President & CEO, Eno Center for Transportation

Panelists
Mark Chertok, Principal, Sive, Paget & Riesel
Philip Howard, Chair, Common Good
Marilyn J. Taylor, Dean, School of Design, University of Pennsylvania

Apologies, for this post the comments are closed.