December 8, 2022

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Penn Station redesign process begins with request for proposals

NEW YORK — New York Penn Station — arguably the most notorious transit hub in the region and once the busiest in North America — is on the path to getting a face-lift.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy jointly announced  Thursday morning a request for a proposal to reimagine and redesign the station that is known for chaos and delays.

“Today we are focusing on the physical, and I believe it will be a spiritual, transformation of Penn Station itself,” said Hochul, who was joined by Murphy, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Metropolitan Transportation Authority President Janno Lieber, NJ Transit President Kevin Corbett and Amtrak board Chair Tony Coscia.

Proposals are due July 28 and Hochul said a winning design and engineering firm will be selected late summer or early fall.

A rendering of the future entrance of Penn Station, is shown in Manhattan. Thursday, June 9, 2022

“All of our residents, whether they be daily commuters, occasional visitors and regardless of which direction they are traveling, deserve a Penn Station that is inviting and comfortable,” Murphy said. “They deserve better than the continually cramped and constantly muggy halls and claustrophobic, low-slung ceilings; they deserve better than the current maze of walkways that deserve their own page on Google Maps.”

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NJ Transit, Amtrak and Long Island Rail Road share the tracks at Penn, though many customers for Amtrak and LIRR can now board from next door Moynihan Train Hall, where Thursday’s press conference was held. The tracks NJ Transit primarily uses at Penn do not run under Moynihan. Six subway lines also stop at Penn Station.

The renovation of Penn, estimated to cost around $7 billion, could include consolidating the concourse waiting area into one level, constructing more escalators, stairwells, elevators and entrances, and connecting Penn and Herald Square with a new underground pedestrian corridor. There are also discussions about repurposing a former taxiway into a glassed-in entrance, according to a Politico report.

Gov. Phil Murphy speaks during a press conference at Moynihan Train Station about the future redesign of Penn Station on Thursday, June 9, 2022.

This project is one of several proposed as part of a new vision for the area around the train station. The other proposals include:

  • Building eight new tracks south of Penn Station for primarily NJ Transit use.
  • Constructing 10 new mixed-use buildings that could help pay for the plan.
  • Rehabilitating the more than 110-year-old train tunnel under the Hudson River and constructing a new one, as part of the Gateway program.