Amtrak has predicted that a critical stretch of the nation’s busiest rail line is in danger of failing within the next 10 to 15 years. The Hudson River Tunnel transports 200,000 passengers daily but it is more than 100 years old and in accelerated disrepair from damages incurred during Superstorm Sandy.
With uncertain federal support for a multibillion dollar package of infrastructure improvements known as the Gateway Program, a new report from New York metro area-based civic organization Regional Plan Association examined the potential consequences of a Hudson River Tunnel shutdown.
Titled “A Preventable Crisis: The Economic and Human Costs of a Hudson River Rail Tunnel Shutdown”, RPA’s report predicts $38 billion in economic impacts, including billions in lost wages and $22 billion in reduced property values. Its analysis also details a range of harmful effects on commuters’ pocketbooks and quality of life, road travel and air fares, and the environment.
“As many as 170,000 PATH and bus riders would be delayed by more crowded trains and congested roadways,” according to page 5 of the report.
In the event of a partial tunnel shutdown, the report predicts 38,000 NJ Transit riders would be diverted to alternate commutes, including 5,000 who would turn to bus travel, according to page 17 of the report.
For more information, download the full RPA report.