Thursday, June 30, 2011

New York looks to airport connections

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NYC official: Newark Airport rail access is good for New York and the region!  It's unlikely that New York City Transit will ever operate subway trains to or from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.

The airport lies not just outside the five boroughs, but in another state, something that NYCT parent New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority couldn't even surmount with bus service options until 2009.

Despite that, Newark Liberty might just be the best option for providing improved air/rail transit links to and from those boroughs, even viewed through a political prism, according to Tokumbo Shobowale, chief of staff, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development.

Shobowale last month acknowledged that the city's international access is "constrained by our airports," and New York must find "national and regional options," such as high speed rail or higher-speed rail, to ease such constraints. He made those points addressing an audience at New York University's Rudin Center attending "High Speed Rail: Leveraging Federal Investment Locally," cosponsored by the Center, Parsons Brinckerhoff, and Bombardier Transportation.

But he also acknowledged that the city's rail transit reach, though expanding locally, needs better access to airports as well. Responding to an audience question on a proposal to extend Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) rapid transit service directly to Newark Liberty, Shobowale said, "Newark [Airport] fits into the regional outlook; what's undoubtably good rail access for Newark is also good for New York City."

PATH currently links downtown and midtown Manhattan with Jersey City, Hoboken, and Newark Penn Station, but falls short of Newark Liberty by roughly 1.5 miles. The Port Authority's AirLink service, connecting with New Jersey Transit and Amtrak at Newark Liberty International Airport Rail Station on the Northeast Corridor, currently serves the city's air/rail market.