Westchester County Executive George Latimer joined with local elected officials from across Westchester County and the Bronx for an update from the MTA on the Penn Station Access Project.  MTA and Amtrak are negotiating an agreement for the construction project, which will be life changing for those who live in Westchester County along the Sound Shore and commute to the Bronx or parts of Manhattan for work, creating a one-seat ride into Penn Station and will improve reliability and on time performance for Amtrak customers.

Watch the full news conference.

County Executive George Latimer said: “I want to thank the MTA for coming to Westchester County for this briefing today, which will help keep every representative from Westchester and the Bronx on the same page regarding the Penn Station Access Project. Penn Station Access will be a real game-changer for Westchester’s residents who live along the Sound Shore. For the first time ever we will be able to create a one-seat ride into Penn Station, opening up greater access to jobs, education and health care, all while improving the commute and making these communities more desirable to live in. I want to thank the MTA and for their hard work on this – we cannot wait to see this project come to fruition.”

The creation of a faster, easier commute directly into Penn Station opens up Westchester’s Sound Shore communities to new residents, making our neighborhoods even more attractive to commute from and raising property values in the process. The project will also help foster job growth and transit-oriented development throughout the Bronx and Westchester, while also reducing travel times for commuters and providing New Yorkers with a more resilient transportation system in the event of emergencies. From New Rochelle, the County achieves the closest station to Manhattan with direct access to both the east and west sides.

President of Metro-North Railroad Catherine Rinaldi said: “Direct Metro-North service to the west side of Manhattan will be a game changer for Westchester County, the Bronx and Connecticut residents. When the Penn Access project is complete, Metro-North will have two terminal locations in Manhattan, making our network more resilient and providing more travel options for our customers.”

New York State Senator Shelley B. Mayer said: “I am pleased the Penn Station Access Project continues to move forward now that environmental review has been completed. This is great news not only for the residents of the Sound Shore who will have a direct line to Penn Station, but also for the people who are making the reverse commute into Westchester. I look forward to the expeditious completion of this project.”

New York State Senator Peter Harckham said: “New Haven Line riders and many Westchester and Bronx businesses and communities will benefit greatly from direct Metro-North service into Penn Station. The one-seat ride into Manhattan's west side will have a beneficial ripple effect on the local economy, as well as benefits to the environment by helping to reduce traffic congestion. I thank the MTA for moving forward with this important regional project. I also urge the agency to bring the same kind of benefits to Hudson Line riders by instituting service on the line over existing west side tracks into Penn Station.”

New York State Senator Alessandra Biaggi said: “The Penn Station Access Project will connect underserved communities with much needed reliable transit options, significantly improving commutes and fostering ADA accessibility to neighborhoods previously disregarded. I look forward to working in partnership with the MTA, Metro-North, Amtrak, and the community to complete this project and expand transit accessibility for working New Yorkers.”

Assemblymember Amy Paulin said: “Public transportation is essential to the lives and livelihoods of Westchester’s residents and economy. The Penn Station access project will give a significant quality-of-life benefit to our commuters in that for the first time they will have one-seat access to the West Side of Manhattan, and with significantly less commuting time. It also supports reverse commuters, benefitting our job market and economy. This infrastructure project truly ushers in a new era of improved access and customer experience for our County.”

Assemblymember Michael Benedetto said: “The Penn Station Access Project will provide new Metro-North rail service to and from Penn Station, creating an easier and faster commute for our residents both here in the Bronx, and in Westchester County. Penn Station Access will allow for new transit options, make our communities more desirable to live in, and create a boost to our local economy and business communities. I want to thank the MTA and County Executive George Latimer for helping to move this project forward.”

Assemblymember Nader Sayegh said: "For decades, we've known that Penn Station Access would dramatically cut travel times, encourage ridership, stimulate economic development, and significantly improve existing railway infrastructure. Now, thanks to the collaboration between County and State governments, this long-awaited project is a reality. I'm proud to support this project and look forward to its successful completion."

Assemblymember Chris Burdick said: “I am delighted that the MTA and Amtrak are moving ahead with the Penn Station Access project. The project truly is transformational for Westchester County rail riders to the Bronx and Manhattan, not only providing shorter commute times but also reaching underserved areas and improving accessibility for people with disabilities.  We need to do everything we can to encourage public transportation and this project is part of that effort.”

Assemblyman Steve Otis said: “I have been supporting the Metro-North Penn Station Access Project for years and am very pleased that the light is now at the end of the railroad tunnel. West side access for Westchester Commuters will bring new convenience and expanded service. This has been made possible through the planning, financial commitment and partnership of New York State, MTA and Amtrak. We will see this process through to a successful conclusion.”

Assemblymember Karines Reyes said: “I am a proud supporter of Penn Station Access which will connect the East Bronx to Lower Manhattan and New Haven,” The East Bronx is a transit desert where many rely on cars to get to and from work or school. I am grateful to see investments in public transit being made to connect underserved communities with new economic opportunities. I am particularly looking forward to the opening of the Parkchester Metro North Station and what that means for my community being able to quickly reach downtown and Connecticut.”

Westchester County Legislator Terry Clements said: “This is truly a transformational moment for the people of New Rochelle and all of Westchester. Being able to take the Metro North not just into Grand Central but straight into Penn Station will slash commuting times for people who work on the West Side, and strengthen our public transit infrastructure by giving Westchester residents multiple options in case of emergencies. It will make mass transit an even more attractive option for Westchester residents, and make destinations and businesses here more accessible to people from throughout the metro area. I am so excited that this is finally getting underway. I can't wait to take my first Metro North ride straight from New Rochelle to the new Penn Station.”

Westchester County Legislator Nancy Barr said: “The MTA Access Pass Project will provide commuters on the New Haven line easy and convenient access to Penn Station and the West side of Manhattan, cutting down commuting time and making public transportation a more attractive option for those who might commute by car today. This will be a real, lasting benefit for residents of Westchester County. I look forward to working with the Latimer Administration, my County legislative colleagues, our State counterparts, and the MTA in any way I can to help advance this project.”

Westchester County Legislator Damon Maher said: “Those of us from New Rochelle are looking forward to a new Metro North service that will provide us with direct access to Penn Station.”

Westchester County Legislator MaryJane Shimsky said: “Westchester County’s labor market, our goods and services, and our cultural and recreational amenities are all part of networks that extend throughout the New York metropolitan area. That is why Penn Station access is so important to our County’s future. I look forward to learning more about the plans for this transformational project, and thank those at all levels of government for their hard work in making it a reality.”

New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson said: “Penn Access will have a transformative positive impact on our region by enabling more residents to connect with centers of employment, dramatically reducing commute times, and fostering transit-oriented economic development.  For New Rochelle, whose Metro-North station will provide the closest direct service to both the east and west sides of Manhattan, the benefits are especially significant.”

Hastings-on-Hudson Trustee Morgen Fleisig said: “Penn Station Access for the lines currently terminating at Grand Central is an exciting development for our regional transportation network, and I look forward to understanding what other steps the MTA is taking to be able to handle the certain increase in demand all of their customers in our municipalities will be placing upon it.”