THE BRONX (WABC) -- A large infrastructure plan has been set into motion that will connect the east side of the Bronx to Penn Station.
Officials broke ground Friday on the first of four Metro-North stations that will be built in the borough with the ultimate goal of reducing commute times and generating job growth.
New York officials announced the Bronx Metro-North plan Thursday, which also includes building 6,000 new homes along the route and about 1,500 will be affordable housing.
He also said there will be new jobs and investment into the area as a result.
According to the city, there are nearly 250,000 residents and over 100,000 jobs within half a mile of each of the new stations that will open.
The new stations being built will cut down on commuting times for residents and will make it easier for people to get to the west side of Manhattan.
The stations will be built in Co-op City, Morris Park, Parkchester, and Van Nest and Hunts Point. They will be built on the existing Hells Gate line owned by Amtrak.
Not only will the stations cut down on commute times, city officials also say it will bring much needed growth to the area.
Metro-North says it expects some stations to have service every 20 minutes during peak hours and shave off about 50 minutes each way to and from Penn Station.
The operator of Luminous Early Learning Center, a daycare in Morris Park, says direct mass transit access to the city would be a game changer, especially for parents trying to rush from work in time for pickup.
"This is one of the last few neighborhoods in New York and I think a lot of people who have left the neighborhood, if you give them access to the neighborhood, it'll give them a reason to come back," said Ara Pasaoglu of Luminous Early Learning Center.
This will be welcome news for people in Westchester and Connecticut and other areas considered transit deserts.
"It's all about quality of life and if we can use something that sounds as cold and detached as infrastructure to make people's live better, that's when I get excited," Gov. Kathy Hochul said.
Senator Chuck Schumer efforted federal funds for this $2.8 billion project. He highlighted that a transit project is more than just about infrastructure.
"Transit development equals community development and as we continue to rebuild our economy coming out of the pandemic, we should do everything we can to make sure it's an equitable recovery," Schumer said.
Bringing train access to the area has been discussed for 30 years. If all goes according to plan, residents will have to wait just a few more as the stations are scheduled to open in 2027.