THE BRONX (WABC) — A major infrastructure plan has been launched to connect the east side of the Bronx to Penn Station.

On Friday, officials opened the first of four Metro-North stations to be built in the area with the ultimate goal of reducing commute times and growing jobs.

New York City officials announced the Bronx Metro-North plan Thursday, which also includes construction of 6,000 new homes along the route and about 1,500 will be affordable housing.

He also said the result would be new jobs and investment in the area.

According to the city, there are nearly 250,000 residents and more than 100,000 jobs within a half-mile of each of the new stations that will open.

The new stations under construction will reduce commuting times for residents and make it easier for people to get to the West Side of Manhattan.

Stations will be built in Co-op City, Morris Park, Parkchester and Van Nest and Hunts Point. They will be built on the existing Amtrak-owned Hells Gate line.

Not only will the stations cut commute times, but city officials say it will bring much-needed growth to the region.

Metro-North says it expects some stations to run every 20 minutes during peak hours and cut about 50 minutes each way to and from Penn Station.

The operator of Luminous Early Learning Center in Morris Park says direct access to the city by public transport will be a game-changer, especially for parents trying to rush home from work to pick them up.

“This is one of the last neighborhoods in New York, and I think a lot of people who have left this neighborhood, if you give them access to this neighborhood, it will give them a reason to come back,” said Ara Pasaoglu of the Luminous Early Learning Center.

This will be good news for residents of Westchester and Connecticut and other areas that are considered transit deserts.

“It’s all about quality of life, and if we can use something that sounds so cold and isolated like infrastructure to make people’s lives better, then I’m thrilled,” said Gov. Cathy Hachul.

Senator Chuck Schumer secured federal funds for the $2.8 billion project. He emphasized that the transit project is not only infrastructure.

“Transit growth equals community growth, and as we continue to rebuild our economy after the pandemic, we must do everything we can to make sure it’s a fair recovery,” Schumer said.

The continuation of railway transport has been discussed for 30 years. If all goes according to plan, residents will have to wait a few more as the stations are scheduled to open in 2027.

READ ALSO | A New York City Council committee is holding hearings on a bill to end criminal background checks on renters


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