A NEW TRANSPORTATION HUB WEST OF THE HUDSON
Because of its unique location surrounded by legacy rail lines, ReThink Studio envisions Secaucus Junction as a major transportation hub for rail access within New Jersey, to NYC, and throughout the region. The New Jersey coast has seen a lot of development in recent years, but without adequate access to rail, developments are disconnected, which stymies further growth. The ReThinkNYC proposal corrects this through a major rail station at Secaucus Junction, a light rail system that makes use of an abundance of abandoned right-of-way throughout eastern New Jersey.
The modified Secaucus Station will offer free transfers between Amtrak long-distance rail, commuter rail, the NYC Subway, PATH, as well as local and regional bus routes. Additionally, the station could be connected to an expanded light rail network that will link to Jersey City, Newark, and the surrounding communities.
CROSS THE HUDSON ON RAILS
The primary access point for buses going to the PABT is through the Lincoln Tunnel, which creates a direct link between Midtown Manhattan and New Jersey. Over the next few decades, Port Authority expects both ridership and bus service to increase by 30%. However, the Lincoln Tunnel is already operating at capacity and the Port Authority has no plans to construct any new tunnels into Manhattan. In the same way that the Hudson River rail tunnel is a major bottleneck for trains accessing Penn Station, the Lincoln Tunnel is a major bottleneck for the thousands of buses going to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal each day. To alleviate this choke-point and provide additional capacity to handle future projected ridership, ReThinkNYC proposes that a smaller bus terminal is constructed in Midtown Manhattan on the existing site and a new bus terminal is built into an expanded Secaucus Junction. With this configuration, most buses will be redirected to Secaucus with the intention of reducing vehicular congestion by getting commuters onto rail before reaching Manhattan. Furthermore, some buses will still provide direct service to Midtown Manhattan, but can also be redirected to Secaucus in the event of traffic gridlock at the Lincoln Tunnel. At Secaucus, bus riders will be able to transfer onto commuter rail, subway, and light rail that will connect to Jersey City, Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx.
ESTABLISH AN EXTENSIVE LIGHT RAIL NETWORK IN NEW JERSEY
As Secaucus is established as a significant multimodal transfer hub, it can be the natural base of a significantly expanded New Jersey Light Rail Network. Because of how many lines once led to the New Jersey waterfront, there are a vast number of underutilized and abandoned rail lines throughout Northern New Jersey, and most of them already run through or near Secaucus. The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system has begun to take advantage of those opportunities, but our proposal is for a significantly more expansive network connecting every major destination in New Jersey. Because it would be based out of the Secaucus Hub, each of these lines would also have easy access to the entire metropolitan region via a simple transfer.