Bringing Amtrak service to Scranton
This article first appeared on Amtrak Connects Us. See the original article here >
Amtrak’s Vision: New York – Scranton
NYC-Scranton: 3 daily round trips
Initial Trip Time
NJT, D&L, Amtrak
$87 million annually, plus $2.9 billion in economic activity from one-time capital investments
Subject to further analysis by stakeholders including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Amtrak, this new corridor increases mobility for Scranton and New York residents to and from the broader Northeast region with daily multi-frequency service.
Despite being 125 miles apart, the last time Scranton and New York City were connected by passenger rail service was in 1970. In 2019, over 27 million people visited the Scranton area, the majority of whom were visiting from the New York City area for a scenic getaway. Scranton is home to popular ski and indoor waterpark resorts, hiking trails, and parks. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, since 2000, Scranton has added over 10,000 jobs to the economy. New York City added 750,000 jobs in the same period.
The proposed route would connect dozens of colleges and universities to the two cities. Connections are available to other Amtrak services throughout the Northeast, the Long Island Rail Road, subway lines, and NJ TRANSIT; future capital projects around Penn Station may also enable connections to Metro-North Railroad. These new rail connections for smaller cities would improve mobility for underserved communities and provide reliable and efficient transportation to education and employment opportunities along the route.
- Scranton, PA (NEW)
- Tobyhanna, PA (NEW)
- Mount Pocono, PA (NEW)
- East Stroudsburg, PA (NEW)
- Blairstown, NJ (NEW)
- Dover, Morristown, and Summit (NEW)
- Newark-Broad (NEW)
- New York Penn Station
Environment and Transportation Equity
As the New York – Scranton corridor continues to grow, residents and visitors will need faster and more efficient transportation alternatives. Due to the relatively small distance between the two cities, no direct flights exist between them. Heading towards Scranton, most traffic between the two cities is on I-80 and later I-380. At its thinnest, I-380 is a two-lane highway in both directions. According to INRIX, of the 25 worst highways in the country for traffic, four of them were in and around New York City.
The new route provides commuters with a safer and more efficient way to commute to work in New York City. New York City’s chokepoints have noticeably slowed down traffic in and out of the city. The Holland Tunnel has seen its average speed during rush hour decline to just 5 mph in 2018, a 50% decline since 2010 and the Lincoln Tunnels see over 43 million cars each year. Overall, in 2019 INRIX ranked New York City as the fourth most congested city in the country. The average New York City driver lost 140 hours in traffic, costing $2,000 per driver.
Connections to Higher Education
A New York – Scranton Amtrak route would create new connections between major metropolitan cities, medium-sized cities, and colleges and universities. Students, their families, faculty, and staff will be able to take advantage of frequent Amtrak service to avoid traffic between destinations and to enjoy greater productivity or relaxation while they travel.
Colleges and universities served by the New York – Scranton corridor include:
- St. John’s University (Student Population: 21,000)
- New York University (Student Population: 51,000)
- Fordham University (Student Population: 15,000)
- Columbia University (Student Population: 32,000)
- Rutgers University- Newark (Student Population: 14,000)
- New Jersey Institute of Technology (Student Population: 12,000)
- East Stroudsburg University (Student Population: 6,000)
- University of Scranton (Student Population: 6,000)
- Marywood University (Student Population: 3,500)
- Penn State Scranton (Student Population: 1,400)