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Long-delayed commuter stairway opens at Penn Station, gives commuters new exit and entrance point

NEW YORK — A long-delayed stairway that will improve access for rail commuters at Penn Station has opened.

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Long Island Railroad and New Jersey Transit announced Thursday the West End Concourse entrance was open at 31st Street and Eighth Avenue, across the street from Penn Station.

The stairway will give commuters a new exit and entrance point at the western end of Penn Station, to ease overcrowding on the platforms.

Commuters say it can take up to 10 minutes just to get from the platforms to the main station area in the morning.

The new space greets riders with signs directing people to various tracks and large LED screens displaying schedule information. City attractions like the American Museum of Natural History and Central Park also are touted.

The $300 million concourse is part of the first phase of the redevelopment of the historic James A. Farley Post Office, and initially was scheduled to be opened last year.

The building eventually will be named the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Train Hall in honor of the late Democratic U.S. senator from New York.