But it stops short of the more ambitious expansion Cuomo envisioned to add more tracks in anticipation of new rail tunnels being built under the Hudson River from New Jersey, part of the broader Gateway project, which will take several years to complete.
That expansion will come later, Hochul and Metropolitan Transportation Authority CEO Janno Lieber said.
“This is a window of opportunity,” Lieber said. “Track expansion is coming. There’s no reason we can’t, in the meantime, change the Penn Station experience for the better.”
Hochul didn’t offer a target date for when construction might begin. While the Gateway project and the Penn Station expansion are primarily for Amtrak and New Jersey Transit riders, she said, New Yorkers make up 60% of travelers using the station.
“Given that they’re the ones using it, I believe they deserve a transformative experience, as well,” she said. “It’s time to put New Yorkers first.”
Hochul even suggested renaming the station, which was originally built in the early 1900s by the Pennsylvania Railroad before being torn down in the 1960s, after a notable New Yorker and not “another state.”
The plan calls for a large, single-level train hall with higher ceilings and a 450-foot-long skylight; more escalators, stairs and elevators to platforms, and more street entrances to reduce sidewalk crowding.