FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 21, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND MTA METRO-NORTH RAILROAD OPEN NEW YANKEES - E. 153RD STREET STATION AND PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE
New Station to Serve Southwest Bronx and Yankee Stadium is First Railroad Station to Open in the Bronx in Decades
Investing in Public Infrastructure Projects that Create Construction Jobs and Enhance New York City Neighborhoods is Part of the City's Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today joined Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) officials to open the new Yankees – E. 153rd Street MTA Metro-North Railroad station. The $91 million project is the first railroad station to open in the Bronx in decades. Beginning Saturday, Metro-North will provide train service 365 days a year to serve local residents and encourage economic development. On game days, thousands of fans will use the new station, greatly reducing traffic in the surrounding neighborhood. A new 450-foot-long, 25-foot wide pedestrian bridge leads from the station to Yankee Stadium and the new parks being built on the waterfront. Investing in public infrastructure projects that create construction jobs and enhance New York City neighborhoods is part of the City’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan to create jobs for New Yorkers today, implement a vision for long-term economic growth, and build affordable, attractive neighborhoods. Joining the Mayor at the announcement, which took place at the new station on 153rd Street and Ruppert Place in the South Bronx, were New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., Assembly Members Carmen Arroyo, José Rivera, Michael Benjamin and Carl Heastie, State Senator Pedro Espada Jr., MTA Chairman H. Dale Hemmerdinger and Executive Director Elliot G. Sander, and MTA Metro-North Railroad President Howard Permut.
“For decades, residents of the South Bronx have sought rail service to increase their transportation options and limit the number of people who drive to Yankees games,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Today, it has finally arrived. The new Yankees – E. 153rd Street MTA Metro-North Railroad station is the first railroad station to open anywhere in the Bronx in decades. Not only will it provide access to the new stadium, the fantastic new Gateway Center at the Bronx Terminal Market retail complex and the new waterfront parks, it will reduce traffic on neighborhood streets and help bring new jobs and economic investment to the area, which is something all Bronx residents can cheer about.”
“The opening of this station is part of a broader effort to ignite a new spark of commerce in the South Bronx, an area that has too often been left to fend for itself,” said Governor David A. Paterson. “By encouraging people to use mass transit instead of driving, the station will also be a boon to the environment and to the health of all New Yorkers suffering from respiratory ailments. Today is truly a great day for the MTA and for the Bronx, not to mention the millions of Yankees fans throughout the region.”
“When the Yankees committed to investing more than $1 billion of their own money to build a new stadium, our Administration agreed to invest in some key infrastructure upgrades, and the Yankees – E. 153rd Street MTA Metro-North Railroad station is one of the most significant,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert C. Lieber. “Transportation is always a critical driver of economic development, and this new station will serve the area well for a long time to come.”
“Everyone should be proud of this momentous achievement, which is the result of a successful collaboration between the City of New York and the great transportation agency that serves it,” said MTA Chairman Hemmerdinger.
“This beautiful station will benefit the neighborhood and the entire region for years to come and is a credit to the perseverance of all those who brought it to fruition,” said MTA Executive Director Sander.
“I’m proud to say that this incredibly complex construction project, including being built through two winters in the middle of an active train line, is on time and on budget,” said MTA Metro-North Railroad President Permut. “We expect it to attract new customers to Metro-North and serve as the gateway to the river and local destinations.”
“Today marks another great milestone in the ongoing renaissance of the South Bronx,” said NYCEDC President Pinsky. “From the opening of the new Yankee Stadium, to improved retail options at Gateway Center at Bronx Terminal Market, to expanded parkland and infrastructure, the South Bronx is changing before our eyes. This new train station is the latest in a series of public and private sector investments that are creating opportunities for local residents, in this case, taking cars off of the streets of a neighborhood with one of the highest asthma rates in the country.”
Metro-North projects that each weekday about 400 people will use the station. The station will be a regular local stop on the Hudson Line for those looking to travel into the Bronx with the same frequency of service as all Bronx local stops. On baseball game days, the new station will be served by all three lines, Hudson, Harlem and New Haven. In addition there will be special trains between the station and GCT and 125th Street continuously before, during and after the games. The trip from Grand Central Terminal to the new station takes about 15 minutes.
The City contributed $39 million to build the station, and $52 million came through the MTA Capital Program, which included allocations from Congressman Jose Serrano and Assembly Members Arroyo and Rivera. The new station is designed to safely handle 10,000 people on game days. With four elevators, it is fully accessible to the disabled. It will provide neighborhood residents a new transportation option as well as access to the waterfront park and ferry dock now being built along the Harlem River.
Four 10-car trains will be able to safely load or unload at one time. Four staircases and two elevators connect the platforms to a 10,000-square-foot mezzanine highlighted by a translucent barrel roof for maximum daylight. The station is outfitted with state-of-the-art, real-time customer information displays featuring arrivals, departures and track assignments. It will feature a glass mosaic mural, “Home of the Stars,” by Brooklyn artist Ellen Harvey, which was commissioned by MTA Arts for Transit. The 200-foot-long, 6-foot high mural will be installed in June.
Station, schedule and parking information are available on Metro-North’s website at www.mta.info.
The City’s investments in infrastructure improvements in the South Bronx are part of a comprehensive plan to sustain and strengthen the ongoing revitalization of the area. In April, Mayor Bloomberg opened The Home Depot at the Gateway Center at Bronx Terminal Market, the first store of the $500 million retail complex. The store adds 200 new, permanent jobs – 75 percent of which are Bronx residents – and by this fall, the LEED-certified Gateway Center will have created 2,100 permanent retail jobs and 2,900 construction jobs in the South Bronx. Last summer, the Mayor announced the South Bronx Initiative, a comprehensive set of programs to revitalize the area. As part of the initiative, the City is currently undertaking a comprehensive rezoning of the Lower Concourse to create a new, mixed-use district with 3,400 units of housing, with 540 affordable, generate 3,400 jobs and provide new waterfront open space to an underserved community. The proposal began formal public review in February 2009 and received approval from the local Community Board, the Bronx Borough President, and just yesterday, the City Planning Commission. It now goes to the City Council for approval.
The City’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan is a comprehensive strategy to bring New York City through the current economic downturn as fast as possible. It focuses on three major areas: creating jobs for New Yorkers today, implementing a long-term vision for growing the city’s economy, and building affordable, attractive neighborhoods in every borough. Taken together, the initiatives that the City has launched to achieve these goals will generate thousands of jobs and put New York City on a path to economic recovery and growth. To learn more about the plan, visit nyc.gov. Recently, the City has announced:
Stu Loeser/Andrew Brent (212) 788-2958
Jeremy Soffin/Aaron Donovan (MTA) (212) 878-7440
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