Where's Our Train Stop, Hell's Kitchen Pols Asks MTA

HELL’S KITCHEN, NY — The MTA might not love the idea of building a 10th Avenue station on the 7 line, but a number of local lawmakers in Hell’s Kitchen are saying it’s past time to get it built.

A long-ago promised station at West 41st Street and 10th Avenue was initially pitched as part of the 1.3-mile-long 7 line extension to Hudson Yards years ago, but was ditched in 2008 by the MTA due to budget constraints.

And nearly two decades later, west side residents are still slogging the long trek to the Eighth Avenue subway line— and the MTA has continued to ignore the need for the station, despite it’s spiking population growth, according to a letter by Council Member Erik Bottcher, Rep. Jerry Nadler, Borough President Mark Levine, Assembly Member Tony Simone and State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal.

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In the most recent 20-Year Needs Assessment released by the MTA, a comparative evaluation of the plans for the station were dismissive of the idea, deeming the station expensive and not serving enough riders for the benefit.

The station’s construction price tag is estimated at $1.9 million and would only see 55,000 daily riders, the MTA wrote, calling the project high cost and low benefit.

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“An infill station on the 7 line would shorten commute times for some customers traveling to and from emerging areas of Hell’s Kitchen and Hudson Yards,” the MTA evaluation of the proposed station reads, “but the project would have a significant construction cost and would not substantially decrease crowding or expand accessibility regionally, since it serves an area already served by other transit lines.”

The station would also not help lessen crowding and could actually add time to commuters heading to the West 34th Street station.

According to the evaluation, the project objective of the station would be to “shorten commute times to developing areas of Hudson Yards.” The MTA said the proposed station would only save riders one minute per trip.

Bottcher, who ran on pushing for the construction of the station during his campaign to replace former boss and former City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, helped pen the letter to Gov. Hochul and MTA Chairman Janno Lieber, calling on the agency to not forget about Hell’s Kitchen.

“We are disappointed by the [MTA’s] assessment of this project in its 20 Year Needs Assessment, but we are hopeful that this station will ultimately be included in the MTA’s next Capital Program,” the letter reads.

Since the “ill-advised decision was made to remove this station” from the original 7 line extension, the letter reads, the neighborhood’s population has grown by nearly 30 percent, according to the 2020 Census.

“This was a missed opportunity,” the letter said. “As elected representatives, we ask that you move forward with construction of this station that would have a positive and lasting impact on the lives of New Yorkers for generations to come.”

There might not be much room in the next capital plan according to the transit agency, citing investments needed to keep “our existing system in a state of good repair and delivering cost-effective projects are top priorities,” said MTA Spokesperson Aaron Donovan.

Any path forward for the station, according to the MTA, would have to include funding by multiple parties — a mix of private, local and federal dollars — as it was originally pitched with such a funding model originally.

Hopes of a 10th Avenue station were briefly revived in 2016, when the city said it was conducting a feasibility study for the $1 billion station as part of a new development including a headquarters for the nonprofit Covenant House.

“It was a bait-and-switch. We got one station but we didn’t get the second that we were promised,” Hoylman-Sigal said at a 2022 rally in support of the station.

“A lot of people live even further west than we are now,” Bottcher said at the same rally, where nearly all of the current letter-signers were present. “It is a very very long walk to the subway.”

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