The Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Regional Plan Association, and New Jersey Future are standing firmly behind the Access to the Region’s Core project to build a new rail tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan. NJ Transit announced over the weekend that it would suspend all new work on the project for 30 days in order to review the project’s budget. (The review was not prompted by any cost overruns on the ARC project itself, but by delays in New York projects.)
In a letter to the governor, the groups’ executive directors warned that further stalling of ARC “will only lead to higher expenses later.” They also pointed out that many of the common criticisms of the ARC project “are overstated and in many cases unfounded.”
In an attached factsheet, the groups discussed many of these criticisms. For example, the reason the project does not connect to the east side of Manhattan is because New York City has prohibited construction in the vicinity of the city’s Water Tunnel No. 1 until a backup tunnel is completed in 2020. This problem would not be solved by a different tunnel alignment. The ARC Tunnel can be extended once this backup tunnel goes into operation.
The factsheet addresses which NJ Transit lines will benefit, access to the west and east sides of Manhattan, the depth of the planned tunnel, the terminal location, how the project is funded, and how the project relates to Amtrak. It can be downloaded here.
Amtrak: ARC Tunnel Supports Rail Growth
Critics of the project sometimes claim that Amtrak will not benefit from the new tunnel. Amtrak disagrees, and issued the following statement today:
Amtrak supports the ARC Tunnel because it will create additional commuter rail capacity for future New Jersey Transit and Amtrak growth along the Northeast Corridor. Simply put, more tunnels under the Hudson River must be built if additional commuter trains are to serve New York City.
The ARC Tunnel would free up capacity in the existing NYC-NJ tunnel and allow for increased Amtrak service.