As with most infrastructure projects in New York, this one is proving difficult, with competing interests from different rail agencies, and divisions of the same agency. The core question is whether commuter rail should be extended from Midtown to Downtown, or should the city keep the current (and prior) system of requiring suburbanites to change to a subway — and pay an extra fare — to get Downtown?
One interesting option — and this is real inside baseball for rail foamers — will bring a kind of hybrid subway/commuter rail from Long Island to Downtown:, using existing track:
… the plan would require LIRR commuters to switch at the Jamaica station for a special shuttle that would follow existing LIRR tracks to the Atlantic Avenue Terminal in downtown Brooklyn. From there, it would use a “drill track” fifth center track used only in emergenciesn the A line until just before the Hoyt-Schermerhorn stop. There, it would move onto the F line and use the Rutgers Street Tunnel that currently runs between the York Street F stationhe last in Brooklynnd the East Broadway station on Manhattan龝 Lower East Side. From there, it could make any number of switches onto existing tracks into lower Manhattan…. Commuters from Long Island would make only one stop after boarding the shuttle in Jamaicat MetroTech in downtown Brooklynefore barreling towards lower Manhattan.