NEW YORK Oct 26 New York City Mayor Michael
Bloomberg said on Wednesday he was working with the governors
of New York and New Jersey on a plan to extend the No. 7 subway
line to New Jersey's Secaucus train station.
The decades-old proposal resurfaced a year after New Jersey
Governor Chris Christie rejected an alternative $7 billion
Hudson River rail tunnel due to cost concerns.
The mayor cautioned that the proposal was still in the
planning stages, telling reporters: "I think anybody that's
going to sit down and wait for the tunnel is - you better drive
over and go through the existing ones for the moment."
New Jersey rail commuters have long suffered lengthy delays
because of congestion, and analysts warn that this could hurt
economic and job growth in the metro area.
New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo had no immediate
comment on Bloomberg's statement, first reported by the New
York Post. Nor did a spokesman for the construction firm that
studied the new subway link to New Jersey.
A spokesman for New Jersey's governor said by e-mail that
the Christie administration was "intrigued" by the idea. "We
will continue to explore the No. 7 subway plan, its
feasibility, benefits and costs with the city and state of New
York and the appropriate government agencies in both states,"
The cash-hungry Metropolitan Transportation Authority,
which would have to build the new subway link, declined to
comment. A spokesman would say only that the MTA is focusing on
finishing other large projects, including the Second Avenue
subway and extending the No. 7 line as far west as Manhattan's
The current extension of the No. 7 subway line was funded
by the city in a bid to push development west of the central
The link was paid for with debt backed by the extra tax
revenue the new development is expected to generate. This is a
novel financing; it would have been much more typical for the
MTA to pay for the new subway link, which is a crucial part of
the Hudson Yards development planned for west midtown.
Separately, Tuesday's Wall Street Journal said luxury
retailer Coach (COH.N) might become the first tenant of the
Hudson Yards development project, which has been slowed by the
Spokesmen for Coach and the developer, the Related
Companies, had no immediate comment.
(Reporting by Joan Gralla; Editing by Dan Grebler)