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Downtown Hub Plan


By PETE DONOHUE and GREG GITTRICH Daily News Staff Writers

Construction of a lower Manhattan transit hub and an expanded South Ferry subway station have risen to the top of a list of downtown transportation projects vying for $1.8 billion in federal aid, officials said. Katherine Lapp, executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said she's confident the projects will win approval. "We've done a lot of talking, a lot of convincing," she said, describing several meetings with the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. and the Port Authority, the agencies in charge of rebuilding downtown. "We want to make improvements that not only will help the business community downtown, but also the residents downtown," Lapp said. Development corporation President Lou Tomson called the transit proposals "priority projects." 

The MTA projects have a total price tag of some $1.2 billion, and officials are lobbying for money from other federal sources. The transit plans will be among the six development options presented next month, officials said. 

The proposed $750 million transit hub at Broadway and Fulton St. would feature a big concourse — similar to Grand Central Terminal — through which commuters could transfer to nine trains. Riders must now traverse a maze of passageways and stairwells to transfer. Officials hope to link it to a new PATH station at the Trade Center site using airport-style people movers. 

The MTA also envisions a $400 million expansion of the antiquated South Ferry station, boosting the number of tracks to three. That would allow an increase in the frequency of trains — potentially cutting the ride between the southern tip of Manhattan and Penn Station by up to 10 minutes. Also on the short list is a project that would allow riders to transfer between the N and R Rector St. station and the nearby 1 and 9 Rector St. station. The Rector-to-Rector connector would cost about $70 million. 

Original Publication Date: 6/13/02

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