City Planning Commission discusses $465M Grand Central upgrade plan

August 20, 2013 10:00AM

Updated, 11:28 a.m., August 20: The City Planning Commission discussed the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s $465 million Grand Central Terminal improvement plan Monday, DNAinfo reported. The plan, which is part of the Midtown East rezoning proposal, calls for more rush-hour subway trains, new escalators and a pedestrian connection to regional rail lines.

“This may not be the sexiest thing,” city planner Frank Ruchala said during the presentation, but “it’s a significant improvement to the [current] system.”

A portion of the money for the upgrades would come from a District Improvement Fund proposed by the city, which would be funded by the sale of local air rights. Developers who aim to build taller buildings as part of the rezoning will have to contribute into the fund, the proceeds of which will be used only to fund transit projects and infrastructure upgrades.

The commission must vote on the Midtown East proposal by the end of September, at which point the application will head to the City Council.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently said that the city would provide some upfront funding for improved transit in Midtown East, but has yet to make a specific commitment. [DNAinfo]Hiten Samtani