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MTA still mulling plan to bring Metro-North service to Penn Station

Joseph Lhota

Joseph Lhota Credit: Joseph Lhota (Craig Ruttle)

Despite opposition from some Long Island pols, Metro-North trains may one day stop at Penn Station.

MTA head Joseph Lhota said Thursday that the agency is considering a plan to have both Metro-North and LIRR trains go to the busy transit hub.

“I believe there is room for Metro-North to go in there,” Lhota told the MTA’s Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee Thursday.

Responding to criticism that the LIRR couldn’t afford to lose any space in Penn Station, Lhota said he would negotiate with officials from New Jersey Transit and Amtrak — which also have train service in the station — to make space for Metro-North.

A member of the committee’s Metro-North committee asked if the MTA could work out a deal by as early as 2018, when the LIRR service is supposed to begin going to Grand Central Terminal under the delayed East Side Access project.

“Tying it on or about to East Side Access gives us more than enough time,” Lhota said with a smirk, as the rest of the room chuckled, adding, “More time than you can imagine.”

Lhota also said the three transit agencies are trying to improve riders’ “experience” in Penn Station, saying, “It has to change.”


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