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Sen. Chuck Schumer announced a new plan with Amtrak called Gateway to make it easier to get folks—especially workers living in NJ—back and forth across the Hudson to Manhattan. (That's helpful because our paddle boat is always in the shop.) He's launching a push with fellow Sen. Frank Lautenberg to gather the $120M in federal funds needed through 2014 to get started.
Chuck Schumer at The Pierre on Sept. 28, 2012
The senator, whom we snapped on Friday at The Pierre—where he was speaking to the NY Building Congress—called it the Hudson's version of East Side Access. Amtrak will double the tunnels (and fit them out for the Northeast Corridor's planned high-speed rail) from two to four (access to Penn Station and the upcoming Moynihan Station). Besides the age of the two existing tunnels, the senator says they are security risks (natural or terrorist disasters) and the Amtrak NE Corridor's worst bottleneck. The big rub is that the only place to build is under Hudson Yards, so digging must start by the end of 2013 so as not to put Related's master-planned project off schedule. If it doesn't happen by then, he says, the entire project will dissipate. He's confident that the billions more needed will resurface considering House Transportation and Infrastructure committee chair John Mica views Amtrak investment as worthwhile.
NYU prez John Sexton says cities have to be magnets for talent if they're going to be world capitals. (Think of CRE in a city as the refrigerator.) NY is keeping up its part: the state is the leading importer of students from the 49 other states.