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PCAC Statement – April 28, 2010 – Moynihan Station

Statement of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority at the Public Hearing on Proposed Changes to the Moynihan Station General Project Plan

April 28, 2010

Good Afternoon.  I am William Henderson, Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA.  The PCAC serves as the umbrella organization for three commuter councils:  the Long Island Rail Road Commuter’s Council, the Metro-North Railroad Commuter Council and the New York City Transit Riders Councils.  The PCAC was established in 1977 and formally constituted in State law in 2009, and its constituent Councils were established by the State Legislature in 1981 to represent the interests of riders.

I am here today to lend our enthusiastic support to the amended General Project Plan that has been approved by the Moynihan Station Development Corporation.   It has long been our position that the redevelopment of the Farley Complex into a new station facility must first address the pressing needs of public transportation users for better access to and from the existing station and build the essential infrastructure that will support the transportation function of this facility.

We are very pleased to see that Phase I of the project is focused on reducing crowding through adding vertical access points and passenger circulation space on the west end of the existing train shed and on adding platform ventilation facilities, both of which rank high in the priorities of our Long Island Rail Road riders. We believe that the planned new entrances at the 8th Avenue corners of the Farley Complex will in themselves be a powerful force in more evenly distributing passengers entering and exiting the Penn Station platforms and significantly reducing crowding.   I would further note that the Phase I benefits are independent of any future work on Phase II of the project and will accrue to riders regardless of the construction schedule of Phase II.

I have not addressed the many other benefits that the execution of this plan will create for our City and its transportation riders, and I will leave that to others who precede and follow me.  For public transportation users, particularly Long Island Rail Road and New Jersey Transit riders, but also Subway riders and perhaps in the future Metro-North Railroad riders, the current plan for Moynihan Station is clearly beneficial.  We strongly support moving forward with this project.  Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this vitally important project.