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Harold H. Geissenheimer's Transnet #111

As New York City plans the redevelopment of lower Manhattan following  September 11, federal, state, local and private groups have acknowledged  the vital role that mass transit must play. The NYC metropolitan area has  long had the largest transit base in the nation. Many improvements are  coming on line now to continue this important role.

The destruction of the World Trade Center resulted in the suspension of  PATH service to lower Manhattan. The Port Authority of NY and NJ,  operator of PATH, responded by designing and constructing a new  temporary PATH WTC station on the site of the former loop station.  This is planned to be completed by the end of 2003.

This project also  included complete rehabilitation of track, power and signals for the  twin tunnels from New Jersey. In a first step, a new crossover will  allow the Exchange Place Jersey City station to reopen for shuttle  service. The inbound platform to NYC is being extended to allow  for ten car trains. A final WTC station will be built once plans  for the entire WTC redevelopment are complete. The end result will  be a complete upgrading of the PATH tunnels and stations on the  lower Manhattan route.

 On New York City Transit, there has been a quick reconstruction and  reopening of the subway facilities at the WTC. The 1-9 line to South  Ferry reopened on September 15 allowing restoration of normal West  Side Express service. On September 18, I inspected the station's at  South Ferry and Rector Street. NYCT has completed a major restoration  in kind of both stations. At South Ferry, a new stairway and pre-fab head  house has been built at the south end of the loop platform closer to the  Staten Island ferry terminal. The former Cortlandt Street station adjacent  to the WTC remains closed pending final WTC development. Also on  September 15, the Cortlandt Street N-R line station was reopened
 following rehabilitation.

 The next step is the development of a major underground mass transit terminal  at Cortlandt street. This will connect the Fulton Street 4-5, A-C, J-M-Z  stations with the N-R, 1-9 and WTC stations. Funding has been secured for this  facility. This will provide a solid mass transit base for the future of lower  Manhattan.

 On the surface, the NYDOT has taken a major step in restricting Trinity Place  to buses only during the peak hours. This will expedite the movement and  loading of Express buses between the Brooklyn-Manhattan tunnel and the Holland  tunnel. Restrictions on truck traffic and rush hour single occupancy vehicles  remain at the Holland tunnel. These moves have reduced over all  traffic congestion in this crowded area.

 In Brooklyn, the LIRR-Atlantic Ave and NYCT Pacific Street  stations are in the middle of a major reconstruction which  will expedite connections to lower Manhattan.  In Queens, the Port Authority is completing its Airtrain connections  from the A train at Howard Beach and the LIRR at Jamaica. The  Howard Beach and terminal loop will open later this winter.

 In the future, MTA is proceeding with the planning for the Second Ave  subway and possible Metro North and/or LIRR extensions to lower Manhattan.  The combination of all these improvements will maximize the impact of  mass transit on this vital area.

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