MTA, Amtrak plan would speed up East Bronx-Manhattan commute

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HUNTS POINT -

A new plan from the MTA and Amtrak could make the trip from East Bronx into Manhattan a little easier.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that the MTA, Empire State Development and Amtrak have reached an agreement that will lead to four new Metro-North railroad stations in the Bronx.

The plan is known as Metro-North's Penn Station Access Project. It is still in its very early stages. The project is aimed at cutting down travel times into Midtown Manhattan and even boosting the East Bronx's local economy.

The project's four new stations would include Hunts Point, Parkchester/Van Nest, Morris Park and Co-op City.

Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is excited about the possibilities that could open up in the future.

"We need to get people to and from the Bronx, into Midtown in under half an hour," says Diaz. "We need to get people in the reverse commute to Connecticut in under 45 minutes, and these four Metro-North stations do exactly that."

The contract still needs approval of the full MTA board as well as Amtrak's board. No timetable has been given for the project.

The borough president says he hopes to see the new stations up and running by 2020.

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