Phase 1 of Moynihan Station Can Help Alleviate Congestion, But Bigger Fixes for Penn Problems Are Still Down the Road

After years of delays and a dormant James A. Farley Post Office building, Phase 1 of the Moynihan train station adjacent to Penn Station opened today.

Far from the final form for Moynihan, the opening today unveiled the West End Concourse which allows travelers to access Penn Station’s tracks 5 through 21 via entrances in the Farley building on 8th Avenue at 31st and 33rd Streets.  This ADA compliant concourse also improves ventilation and safety for Penn Station’s platforms below the Farley building.

As anyone who has traveled through Penn Station knows well, congestion on the platforms and in corridors can often lead to delays and unsafe conditions. By providing additional points of entry and exit, this expansion is anticipated to help relieve some of that congestion on platforms 3 through 11 and other parts of Penn Station.

RPA has long been a champion of Moynihan Station and is pleased that funding was secured in April for Phase 2 of the station, which will add retail options, spacious and sun-lit corridors and waiting areas and additional amenities to the transit hub.

“Moynihan Station has the potential to offer a more enjoyable transit experience, faster connections to destinations on Manhattan’s Far West Side and safer travels for Amtrak, LIRR and NJ Transit commuters,” RPA President Tom Wright said today upon the opening.

A 2005 RPA study detailed the significant transportation, economic and cultural benefits the station could bring to the city, if completed.

However, a complete Moynihan Station doesn’t erase the need for larger fixes (and funding) to improve the daily experience for commuters at the nation’s busiest transit hub, Wright added.

“Reimagining Penn Station and its relationship to Madison Square Garden and moving full steam ahead with the Gateway Project to expand capacity and avoid catastrophe for the trans-Hudson tunnels are both vital components to addressing the problems that plague the region’s transit network.”


Photo: Neil R/ Flickr 

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