MTA Press Releases

Press Release
May 21, 2009
IMMEDIATE
MTA Metro-North Railroad To Open New Train Station in New York City To Serve Southwest Bronx and Yankee Stadium

After decades of dreaming, years of planning and just 24 months of building, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Metropolitan Transportation Authority and elected officials gathered Thursday to celebrate the opening of a new MTA Metro-North Railroad Station in the Southwest Bronx, the Yankees – E. 153rd Street Station.

Beginning Saturday, Metro-North will provide train service 365 days a year to serve local residents and encourage economic development in this area of the Bronx. On game days, thousands of fans will use the new station, greatly reducing traffic in the stadium neighborhood. This marks the first new railroad station to open in The Bronx in decades.

"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."

"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 H. Dale Hemmerdinger, Chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

"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 Elliot G. Sander, CEO and Executive Director of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

"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 Howard Permut. "We expect it to attract new customers to Metro-North and serve as the gateway to the river and local destinations."

"This station is a homerun for the Bronx," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. "It represents the new-found pride pervasive throughout the Borough. It's sustainable development of the highest value mitigating traffic and air pollution, improving access to regional employment centers and reconnecting resident with our new waterfront park."

"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."

"Today marks another great milestone in the ongoing renaissance of the South Bronx," said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky. "From the opening of the new Yankee Stadium, to the improved retail options at Gateway Center at Bronx Terminal Market and improved and expanded parkland and infrastructure, this new train station is the latest in a series of public and private sector investments that are creating opportunities for local residents. Importantly, this improved, year-round train service will also help to take cars off of the street in a neighborhood with one of the highest asthma rates in the country."

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.

The railroad also looks to attract local residents to take northbound trains - 27 each weekday - to jobs in Yonkers, Tarrytown and even Poughkeepsie.

For those wishing to travel into Grand Central, there is a city-owned garage right next to the station from Exit 6 off the Major Deegan. Customers can use one of 23 southbound trains each weekday for easy access into Manhattan.

Metro-North projects that each weekday about 400 people will use the station, which will be served about every 30 minutes in the peaks and every hour in the off-peak periods.

On baseball game days, the new station, which is on the Hudson Line south of the Morris Heights Station, will be served by all three lines, Hudson, Harlem and New Haven. In addition there will be special shuttles 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.

Direct "game trains" service will be provided on all three lines for weekend and holiday games, along with direct return service from weeknight games. In addition to direct service, transfers will be available at Harlem-125th Street Station or Grand Central Terminal for Harlem and New Haven Line trains.

The spacious new station is designed to safely handle the expected 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 riverfront park now being built along the Harlem River.

In May 2007, a cost-sharing agreement was reached with the City of New York that called for the MTA Capital Program to contribute $52 million and the city to contribute $39 million toward the $91 million project. Preliminary design was by AECOM and was completed in May 2007.

The MTA funding included legislative earmarks from Bronx Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo and Assemblyman Jose Rivera, who each secured $1.3 million, and Congressman Jose Serrano, who contributed $2.4 million to upgrade Metro-North stations in the Bronx.

A design-build contract was awarded in May 23, 2007, to CCA Civil Inc. / Halmar International LLC and a construction management contract to AECOM. The contract called for "beneficial use" by May 23, 2009, and final completion by August 23, 2009.

Before construction could begin, 15 real estate transactions had to be completed between the City of New York, the New York City Parks Department, the New York State Department of Transportation and two private companies, GAL Manufacturing Corp. and The Related Companies. An Environmental Assessment conducted by the railroad found that construction of a railroad station would have no significant adverse environmental impact.

To build the station, the four Hudson Line train tracks had to be spread out by about 50 feet west to allow construction of two island platforms between the tracks. The four tracks pass just west of the stadium and snake between columns supporting the Major Deegan Expressway (Interstate 87).

Construction was accomplished in very tight quarters. On one side is a functioning elevator components factory and the remaining perimeter consisted of construction sites: a major retail complex, the new stadium and the reconstruction of the Exterior Street ramp.

All this work went on without disruption to Metro-North train service. In 2008, the Hudson Line posted an on-time performance of 97.6 percent.

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. From the mezzanine, a 450-foot-long, 25-foot wide overpass leads to either the stadium or the new parks being built on the waterfront. The station is outfitted with state-of-the-art, real-time customer information displays featuring arrivals, departures and track assignments.

The station will be graced with 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, to be installed in June along the south wall of the overpass, will depict the Bronx sky as it transitions from sunny afternoon to starry night and evokes stars on the field as well as celestial stars.

Train tickets cost the same as to any Bronx station. Holders of Metro-North monthly or weekly commutation tickets to Manhattan on the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines and to either Hoboken or Penn Station on the Port Jervis and Pascack Valley lines pay nothing extra to travel to the station.

A one-way ticket to the station will be the equivalent of a ticket to Manhattan plus $1 during peak periods and 75 cents in the off-peak periods, called the "Via" fare. Metro-North also will honor $3.50 CityTickets good for weekend and holiday travel within New York City limits.

Yankees – E. 153rd Street is Metro-North's first new station to open since July 9, 2000 when the Harlem Line was extended to Ten-Mile River and Wassaic.

Additional station, schedule and parking information is available on Metro-North's home page at www.mta.info.