The New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area has the largest metropolitan economy in the nation, accounting for about 10% of national GDP. Yet this economy is rapidly outgrowing its three commuter rail systems, which were designed for a different era when their only job was to get people in and out of Manhattan at rush hour.

The result is a system that limits our region’s potential for economic growth, and makes it harder for individuals living beyond the reach of frequent train service to tap into economic potential. A modern rail network greatly expand access to jobs and housing, bring transit to underserved communities, dramatically reduce travel times and make this a healthier region for everyone.

Global cities like Paris, Tokyo and London provide a powerful example for how high-quality regional rail networks can unlock economic potential and expand opportunity.

In our newest report, “Trans Regional Express: Transforming the New York Region’s Commuter Rail System Into an Integrated Regional Rail Network” , RPA lays out a vision for how we can expand commuter rail in the NY-NJ-CT tri-state area to create an integrated regional rail system. Doing so will connect more people to jobs, affordable housing, and allow for inclusive, sustainable growth for our region.

T-REX is a sweeping vision that would transform mobility in the region. The report also suggests measures to fund this vision, address institutional barriers, and implement the capital improvements in a series of phases over the next several decades.