Across the United States, New York City is recognized for its transportation system which allows individuals to travel between distant boroughs throughout the night and early morning. While efficient, the transportation system has long alienated certain parts of Long Island and distant Queens, where residents rely on their own cars or carpools in order to access Manhattan. In hopes of bridging this gap, a project entitled East Side Access will create multiple locations in Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx that can be accessed by distant Long Islanders.
While the project is expected to near completion in 2022, it will serve as one of the largest transportation infrastructure projects in the history of the country. The magnitude of the East Side Access project includes meetings and planning that dates back to the 1950s when city planners first realized the isolation that people in Long Island experience.
In terms of New York City areas, Long Island is mainly inhabited by single family homes where individuals often settle their families and travel to the city for work or entertainment. According to projections for the East Side Access, the new transportation infrastructure will serve over 160,000 people in a single day, providing the fastest possible commute to the east side of Manhattan.
The extensive plan calls for more than 8 miles of tunneling and countless contractor agreements over the next few years. The most current revised budget for the project is $10.178 billion. In order to create a hub for these new travelers, the project requires a brand new 8 track terminal and concourse that will be established below Grand Central Terminal, a pillar of New York City travel. As if the new travelers weren’t enough to stimulate profits, the additional terminal space will also include nearly 25,000 square feet of brand new retail space, where vendors can fight for first access to the new commuters.