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Cuomo Pledges to Open New Metro-North Stations in Bronx

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TWC News: Cuomo Pledges to Open New Metro-North Stations in Bronx
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A pledge from Governor Andrew Cuomo for more Metro-North stations has boosted the hopes of many Bronx residents, hoping it will mean a much easier commute in the years to come. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.

It isn't a pleasant commute from Co-Op City, where residents have to grab a bus just to connect to a long subway ride to Manhattan.

"I have to go downtown to 125th just to get to another Metro-North, or take the bus to Fordham, but this is going to be easier," said one commuter.

Other sections of the East Bronx have closer subway service, but face that same long, long ride.

On Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said that's going to change.

"We will open a new spur for Metro-North Railroad to provide more resiliency and direct access to Penn Station, which will also at the same time build four new stations to bring transit options to the Bronx."

Right now, the railroad has a dozen stations in the Bronx, but they're all in the western and central sections of the borough.

The extension would bring stations to Co-Op City, Morris Park, Parkchester and Hunts Point, with trains continuing over the Hell Gate Bridge, through Queens and into Penn Station, a first for Metro-North.

It's a plan that officials in the borough have long been pushing for, and that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has been studying for years.

Commuters say the new stations are much needed.

"It would be easy accessible. I would love it," said one.

"That would be cool. It would be easier," said another.

The plan got a thumbs up from the new mayor and from the Bronx councilman who heads the City Council's Transportation Committee.

"For people in the Eastern Bronx, this was music to their ears and to the ears of all of us who care about the future of New York City, to finally get additional mass transit to a part of the city that hasn't gotten enough," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

"I think the governor's announcement today is fantastic for the Bronx," said City Councilman James Vacca of the Bronx. "It's going to mean that we finally can see light at the end of the tunnel."

There are still some questions to be answered, including who will pay for the projected $1 billion expansion, which officials hope can be done in about five years.

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