Crowley, Meng, Dromm Welcome Funding Proposal for New LIRR Stop in Elmhurst
(Queens, NY) – Today, U.S. Reps. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Grace Meng (D-Queens) and NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights, Elmhurst) released the following statement following the release of the MTA's proposed 2015-2019 Capital Program which includes $40 million to construct a new LIRR station in Elmhurst:
"Restoring LIRR service to Elmhurst will help a burgeoning neighborhood reach its full economic potential and become a destination for all New Yorkers,” said Crowley, Meng and Dromm. “We are thrilled to learn the MTA agrees that investing in this community is a win-win and that they have included critical funding to rebuild the station in their recently proposed capital budget. For years, Elmhurst residents have called for greater transportation options and we are now one step closer to turning this idea into a reality. We will continue to work with MTA officials to ensure this project remains a top priority and look forward to the day when Elmhurst will be the next stop for millions of New Yorkers."
Crowley and Dromm initially called on LIRR to reopen the station in January 2012, a move will not only improve residents’ access to Midtown Manhattan, but will help create jobs in the area. The officials led a walking tour of the site with officials from MTA to further explore the possibility of reopening the station in March 2012, followed by a town hall with residents a month later to discuss transportation issues within the community.
The original station site, located on Broadway between Cornish and Whitney Avenues, was closed and demolished in 1985 due to a reported decrease in ridership following significant changes to train schedules that made the station unattractive to commuters. Since the station’s closure, Elmhurst’s growing population has suffered from a lack of efficient public transit into Manhattan.
At a time when funding for important transportation projects throughout the region is far scarcer than the demand, this project can be completed at a fraction of the cost of competing projects, which makes reopening Elmhurst Station an ideal candidate for consideration. Additionally, the increased capacity created by East Side Access will ease previous concerns that over congestion would occur at Penn Station by reopening this station.
According to the 2010 Census, Elmhurst and East Elmhurst are home to one of the most diverse populations in the country, a trend that will likely continue in the near future as the community continues to grow.