Today marks the long awaited and oft delayed opening of NYC's No. 7 line. I've discussed the new line before on this blog because it is funded through real estate value capture. The $2.4 billion investment is an important access element for the Hudson Yards development and the Jacob Javitz Center.
Yet, it's a marginal investment in the network. According to Emma Fitzsimmons of the NY Times:
In a sprawling subway system that carries more than 5 million people around the city each day, the new stop is its 469th station.
In fact, it's the connection to the massive NYC subway network that makes a single $2.4B station worth the investment (saying that one station is the only thing NYC got is not entirely accurate, but you get the point). The City of New York was willing to turn over future property tax from the development on the site to pay for the new line, the first time the City has funded a rail investment in 60 years.
As CityLab points out, there are numerous other interesting facts about the new line/station, including: the 2012 Olympic bid inspired the investment; it has a complicated inclined elevator that makes for a fun ride on its own; and it may be the first subway line extended to New Jersey. (Like I said, it's not fair to say that the only thing NYC got was a station. They also got plenty of option value.)
Ian Carlton is a transportation and land use expert specializing in transit-oriented development (TOD). He helps clients - including transit agencies, planning departments, and landowners - optimize real estate development around transit.
Special thanks to Burt Gregory at Mithun for permission to use the Portland Streetcar image above.