Patrick MoussignacApr 19, 2018, 12:06 pmApr 19, 2018, 2:16 pm

Plan calls for merger of NYC's major rail systems into single train network

Proposed Trans-Regional Express system would combine Metro-North, NJ Transit and Long Island Railroad

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PORT CHESTER — The Regional Plan Association has proposed a plan, called Trans-Regional Express, designed to overhaul the current railroad info structure. The plan will merge Metro-North, Long Island Railroad (LIRR), and New Jersey Transit, as well as add 300 miles of new track connecting more towns and cities to Lower Manhattan.

"I think that it would be a great thing considering that I do travel to the city at times," Greenwich resident Heidi Pastore said.

The three-phase plan includes a new crosstown rail line connecting Penn Station to Queens, which will allow at least 30 more trains to enter Penn Station from New Jersey and Long Island. It also includes new tunnels under the Hudson River, giving New Jersey residents direct access to both New York City airports.

The system would also give commuters access to Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn, where they could transfer to the LIRR at Atlantic Terminal. Southern Westchester could also see a subway like service where trains run every 10 minutes during peak hours and every 15 minutes during non-peak hours.

"I think for commuters going into the city, I think it's very beneficial. If you miss one train you can hop on another," Pastore said.

Commuters traveling back and forth to the Lower Hudson Valley would benefit as well, with a possible West Nyack station included in the plan.

However, some Long Island Railroad commuters are unsure about this one network system.

"I don't like the trains but it's our only option. Driving is not an option for me. Driving would take me over two hours and that's not happening," a commuter from Wantagh, Long Island said.

Some LIRR commuters are also unhappy with the system’s price increases, which they say has not improved the service.

"I've been taking it for 20 years and it's tripled the price in 20 years. And the service has not gotten three times better. It's gotten three times worse," another Long Island commuter said.

The Trans-Regional Express system is modeled after similar systems in both Paris and London. The system is estimated to cost around $72 billion and take more than 30 years to complete.

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