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Thread: Worthy Transit Improvements

  1. #46

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    Im so over Silver, the guy is a dumb ass. To put it bluntly. It does not take a fool to see the downtown is no longer an office center. Geezzz

  2. #47
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    This is exciting news:

    NY Post

    MTA FINALLY GETS ALBANY'S OK FOR $21B TRANSIT FIX

    By KENNETH LOVETT Post Correspondent


    July 14, 2005 -- ALBANY State political leaders yesterday signed off on the largest capital program in MTA history, putting much-needed transit repairs and expansion projects like the Second Avenue subway back on track.

    The $21.1 billion plan, approved by the four-member Capital Program Review Board, also includes $2.5 billion set aside for East Side Access, which would bring Long Island Rail Road trains into Grand Central Terminal, and create a rail link between Kennedy Airport and lower Manhattan.

    The five-year plan includes $14.9 billion for transit repairs, including the purchase of new buses and subway cars, and another $495 million to beef-up security on the rails.

    "The MTA will now be able to continue the progress it has made in revitalizing the region's transportation network," said the agency's chairman, Peter Kalikow.

    The plan calls for the city to shell out $2 billion to extend the No. 7 line to the far West Side.

    Another $1.45 billion earmarked in the plan hinges on passage of a $2.9 billion transportation bond act that will go before voters in November.


    The capital program had been stalled for weeks over negotiations to require contractors using non-union workers on public-works projects to pay prevailing union wages.

  3. #48

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    Im suprised Silver didnt get the 7 exstension cut out. Any thoughts on when these projects could start?

  4. #49

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    Could Sivler still fight the 7 line extension--or is this the end of that debate?

  5. #50

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    I would assume its the end. Due to the fact he had to vote to approve the plan.

  6. #51

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    ^Makes sense I guess. lol

    But, if that one 2.9 billion dollar bond doesn't get approved by the voters, how would that affect the 2nd avenue subway, 7 line extension, and eastside access?

    Read this article:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/14/nyregion/14bond.html

    "The board, the Capital Program Review Board, unanimously approved a large chunk of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's plan for $21.1 billion worth of construction and repair projects. And it allowed the Transportation Bond Act, which would pay for $2.9 billion worth of borrowing, to go before voters in November. Half of the bond act money would help pay for authority projects like the Second Avenue subway, a connection between the Long Island Rail Road and Grand Central Terminal, and a direct rail link from Lower Manhattan to Kennedy International Airport."

  7. #52

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    Accord Reached on Transportation Spending Plan

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    By AL BAKER
    Published: July 14, 2005
    ALBANY, July 13 - State leaders settled their differences over how to pay workers on state transportation projects on Wednesday, clearing the way for a state board to approve a five-year capital plan for billions of dollars worth of projects.

    The board, the Capital Program Review Board, unanimously approved a large chunk of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's plan for $21.1 billion worth of construction and repair projects. And it allowed the Transportation Bond Act, which would pay for $2.9 billion worth of borrowing, to go before voters in November. Half of the bond act money would help pay for authority projects like the Second Avenue subway, a connection between the Long Island Rail Road and Grand Central Terminal, and a direct rail link from Lower Manhattan to Kennedy International Airport.

    As is customary in Albany, officials from the Pataki administration and the Legislature also signed off on a similar five-year capital plan for the State Department of Transportation, said the acting commissioner, Thomas J. Madison Jr.

    The action means that state elected officials, as well as union leaders who fought for union-rate wages for workers on transportation projects, can promote the bond act and begin campaigning for it in earnest, something Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has said is crucial considering how a previous transportation bond act was rejected by voters and criticized for being too nonspecific.

    "It will be a shot in the arm for the state economy," said Mr. Spitzer, who had stressed the importance of adhering to the state's prevailing wage law when public money is used.

    The standoff over transportation spending had stalled dozens of projects around the state, from a plan to rehabilitate the Tillary Street ramp onto the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to replacing two bridges over creeks in Delaware County. And because many projects could not be officially awarded until the plan was approved, officials feared that some bidders would withdraw their bids and come back with higher costs.

    Francis X. McArdle, the managing director of the General Contractors Association, said the delay had taken a toll. "Very simply put, a lot of people haven't gone to work," he said.

    The deal came a day before Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky, a Westchester County Democrat, was to hold a public hearing to discuss what he said was the "enormous economic dislocation" caused by the delay. News of a deal prompted Mr. Brodsky to cancel his hearing.

    Elliot Sander, the director of the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at New York University, said, "Several key transit and highway projects that were stalled can now proceed."

    He said that the transportation authority's chairman, Peter S. Kalikow, must now decide whether to award the first construction contracts for the East Side access project, to bring the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Station, and whether to proceed on the final design for the first segment of the Second Avenue subway. Mr. Sander said the authority would now go to Washington to try to "nail down" a commitment of several billion dollars in federal money for the big projects.

  8. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pottebaum

    But, if that one 2.9 billion dollar bond doesn't get approved by the voters, how would that affect the 2nd avenue subway, 7 line extension, and eastside access?
    I would assume that it will just take a bit longer for these projects to move forward.

  9. #54
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    Not necessarily. "A bit longer" sounds like an understatement. A few things still have to fall in place, one of them being federal support. Also, the vote is important to the timing, because as the NYTimes article points out, a previous transportation bond act was rejected which ended up causing delays. I also read that the money designated for the three main projects - 2nd Ave. Subway, LIRR link to GCT, and the rail link to JFK - amounted to only 2.5 billion. The 7 extension alone will cost 2 billion, so that gives you an idea of how far 2.5 billion will go. The MTA was hoping for 8 billion.

  10. #55

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    ^I'm not sure, but I think the 2.5 billion was solely for the LIRR connection to Grand Central. The second avenue subway appears to be covered, and the plan calls for the city to shell out 2 billion for the 7 line extension--which they appear ready to do.

  11. #56
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    I never said the 7 extension wouldn't be covered. That expense is being taken on by the city, not the state, that's why it wasn't directly addressed in this capital program. I am pretty sure about the other three major projects getting only 2.5 billion. I'm gonna try to find some info to corroborate.

  12. #57
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    Here's an article:

    MTA $21B plan clouds 2nd Ave. line

    BY PETE DONOHUE
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

    A four-member Albany panel approved an MTA capital plan last night that leaves the timing of three major expansion projects, including the Second Ave. subway, in doubt.

    The Capital Program Review Board - with representatives from the Pataki administration, the Legislature and the mayor's office - approved a $21.1 billion plan that envisions only $2.5 billion for the three main projects: the Second Ave. subway, a Long Island Rail Road connection to Grand Central Terminal and a Kennedy Airport rail link to downtown Manhattan. The MTA had sought nearly $8 billion.

    The five-year plan hinges on major assumptions, including that voters will approve a bond act in November that would funnel $1.45 billion to theMetropolitan Transportation Authority.

    MTA officials previously have said that unless the state and feds come up with more funding for the expansion, the hoped-for completion dates of the first leg of the Second Ave. line and the Grand Central extension - 2012 - will be pushed back.

    The plan also includes $2 billion for the extension of the No. 7 line, to be funded by the city.

    But MTA Chairman Peter Kalikow last night focused on the positive - $16 billion for the "core program," which involves critical maintenance and upgrades, and includes the purchase of new subway cars, buses and the total rehabilitation of 44 subway stations.

    "All of New York benefits from a superior public transportation system, and this capital plan will allow the MTA to continue to offer New Yorkers the best service in the world," he said in a statement.

    Copyright 2005 The New York Daily News

  13. #58

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    There are millions of residents of Queens and Brooklyn (and Long Island) who find the current AirTrain arrangement far more convenient than a Manhattan-only ride would have been. Finally, the Outer Boroughs get some love!

    And it's not like a direct-to-Manhattan train would be a "one seat" ride for most people anyway. I mean, it's not like the AirTrain just dumps you in Jamaica or Howard Beach with nowhere to go - you get on the subway to your final destination, just like you'd probably have to do if the AirTrain did go to Penn Station or Lower Manhattan. (If you're on the Upper East Side, is Lower Manhattan *really* more convenient than Jamaica? Not at all.)

  14. #59
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    Transportation Bond Proposal Will Be on November Ballot

    By SEWELL CHAN

    Published: July 18, 2005

    While few voters may be aware of it, a $2.9 billion bond measure will be on the ballot across New York State in November, and officials at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority are already describing it as crucial to the future of the mass transit system.

    Gov. George E. Pataki and the leaders of both houses of the Legislature cleared the way last week for a five-year, $35.8 billion capital plan that includes money for mass transit as well as for highways, bridges, canals and other elements of the transportation infrastructure.

    Under the plan, state voters will be asked to vote on a borrowing measure, the Rebuild and Renew New York Transportation Bond Act, in the general election on Nov. 8.

    Half of the money, $1.45 billion, would go to the transportation authority for a variety of building projects and new equipment, including new subway cars and buses as well as trains for the authority's two commuter railroads.

    The authority's share of the bond proceeds would also provide $450 million each to two major projects - the first segment of a Second Avenue subway and a link between the Long Island Rail Road and Grand Central Terminal - and $100 million to continue planning a direct rail link between Lower Manhattan and Kennedy International Airport.

    The other half of the money from the bonds would go to the State Department of Transportation for highway and bridge improvements, and also to finance projects like repairs to freight railroad lines and improvements to airport security.

    Whether the bond measure will be approved, however, is far from certain.

    Transportation advocates are still smarting from the defeat of a $3.8 billion transportation bond act in 2000. The measure received strong support from New York City voters, but was overwhelmingly rejected upstate.

    Republicans who supported the 2000 measure were reluctant to promote it enthusiastically for fear that higher turnout in the New York City area would help Hillary Rodham Clinton in her Senate race .

    The state's Conservative Party financed advertisements calling the 2000 measure a giveaway for the Second Avenue subway plan. The Citizens Budget Commission, a fiscal watchdog group, criticized the measure as irresponsible, because it would have increased state debt. Neither organization has taken a position yet on the new bond issue.

    Supporters of the measure say they believe the political situation this year is different. They argue that the mayoral race could mean that the city's voters will be disproportionately represented as a share of all state voters, although several upstate cities, including Buffalo and Binghamton, also have mayoral contests.

    Last week, Eliot Spitzer, the state attorney general and a Democratic candidate for governor in 2006, announced his support for the measure.

    The defeat of the 2000 bond act forced the authority to borrow heavily itself to finance its capital program for 2000 to 2004. "People realize that much more is at stake this time," said a leading transportation advocate, Elliot G. Sander, the director of the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at New York University. "The financing for the last program was horrific and put the M.T.A. in bad financial straits."

    A loose coalition of politicians, labor groups and associations of construction and engineering firms has begun a series of strategy meetings to organize a campaign for the measure, although the supporters concede that most voters will probably not start to focus on any ballot measures until Labor Day.

    "We're not taking for granted anyone's vote," said Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky, a Westchester County Democrat, who is chairman of the committee that oversees state authorities. "The lessons of the failure of 2000 have been learned."

    State Senator Thomas W. Libous, a Broome County Republican, who is chairman of the Transportation Committee, said that supporters must make clear the projected benefits from transportation spending. "The average voter felt that more money was going, in 2000, to a subway project rather than roads and bridges in their area," he said.

    Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

  15. #60
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    This better get approved. I'm getting sick and tired of the "equal treatment of upstate" attitude, which seems to be stalling a lot of progress in New York. Even if it does go through, however, the money being talked about is a mere pittance, relatively speaking. 450 million is less than a quarter of what either East Side Access or the Second Avenue Subway would cost. It's a start though. The 100 million for the JFK rail link is just laughable, although I feel as if the bulk of the money will be coming from the Feds. The underlying theme still continues - that is, that the MTA will never escape its debt and get the transit system running at an impressive level unless a drastic change is made in determining funding for these projects, big and small. I know this means some fare increases, but I'm also thinking of using some of the surpluses from real estate taxes to fund some of the more visionary, long-term projects. In any case, this bond proposal is a start.

    On a different and somewhat off-topic note: Can someone please explain to me why Pataki's roaming around Iowa? If he's traveling anywhere out of state, it should be Washington, for crying out loud. Get us the money for our transit projects, and then worry about your bid for President.

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