electricron wrote:Sounds reasonable! Let us do some math....(FY 2017 as posted by Wiki)

Yearly NJT ridership for NYC Pennsylvania Station = 27,296,100

Yearly Amtrak ridership for NYC Pennsylvania Station = 10,397,729

Assuming all Amtrak riders use the tunnels under the Hudson River (which Is not true) -

Total riders using these tunnels are 37,693,829.

In 30 years that would add up to a total of 1,130,815,000, for simplicity let us round that up to 1.131 Billion.

Depending upon how much the new tunnels would cost, and assuming the surcharge would pay the costs to build the new tunnel in 30 years, each rider would have to pay the following surcharge;

$10 Billion / 1.131 = $8.84

$15 Billion / 1.131 = $13.26

$20 Billion / 1.131 = $17.68

$25 Billion / 1.131 = $22.10

That’s before taking into account for an increase in ridership year after year,.

But I believe it is okay to assume ridership through the tunnels would not double. I doubt Pennsylvania Station could handle a doubling of ridership without expansion, another cost to calculate a surcharge for.

I do not think NJT could charge a $13 surcharge each way ($26 a day) in addition to regular fares.

I also wish to add how important it is for construction projects to finish on time and on budget.

Upon looking at this a second time, I realize 30 years may be too short a time period. There are privately funded toll managed lanes in Texas that look at 50 years to finance bonds, so let us look at again using 50 years....

Riders using the new tunnels over 50 years is now 37,693,829 x 50 = 1,884,691,000.

$10 Billion / 1.885 (rounding up) = $5.30 surcharge

$15 Billion / 1.885 = $7.96 surcharge

$20 Billion / 1.885 = $10.61 surcharge

$25 Billion / 1.885 = $13.26 surcharge.

Slightly better looking surcharges, but still too steep for daily commuters.

The only feasible way for NJT to place the costs on riders and keep it affordable for most riders is to charge a surcharge on every rider, not on just those using the new tunnel. Total NJT ridership for FY 2017 was 265 million passengers, almost ten times more than its ridership at NYC Pennsylvania Station. That would reduce the surcharge it needs to charge by 90%.

By making the pool of surcharge payers larger, the surcharge amount becomes smaller.