Congresswoman Maloney announces over $203 million in Federal Funds for East Side Access
(L-R) Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, President, MTA Capital Construction; Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY); Councilmember Ben Kallos; Trudy Mason, Manhattan Rep., MTA Citizens Advisory Committee
NEW YORK -- Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn) was joined City Councilman Ben Kallos and Trudy Mason, Manhattan Representative, MTA Citizens Advisory Committee as she presented a check to Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, President, MTA Capital Construction for more than $203 million in federal funds appropriated for the current fiscal year.
The East Side Access Project will be the first major expansion of the Long Island Railroad in generations. The project will create a stop at Grand Central Terminal which would reduce the burden on Penn Station and afford faster, easier access to the East Side. Presently LIRR passengers have to go all the way to the West Side and then take a subway back to the East Side.
“The East Side Access will transform the commute from Long Island and Queens to the East Side of Manhattan for more than 160,000 people every day, cutting people’s commute by up to 3 hours a week and making it significantly easier to get to and from Manhattan,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). “Less time on the train, even a nice train, means more time to earn a living or spend time with family and friends. Either way, this is exactly the type of infrastructure investment that our city and our country needs right now.”
“When completed, East Side Access will serve more than 160,000 customers each day, providing a faster and easier commute from Long Island and Queens to the east side of Manhattan in a new eight-track terminal and concourse below Grand Central Terminal. Those customers will save up to 40 minutes off their commute each day. LIRR Trains from Grand Central also will provide quick and easy access to John F. Kennedy International Airport by connecting with the AirTrain in Jamaica. We thank Representative Maloney for her continuing support of the project,” said Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, President, MTA Capital Construction.
"Today's payment from the Federal Department of Transportation means that the massive East Side Access project is that much closer to completion," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "Carolyn Maloney deserves 203 million 'thank-yous' for helping to obtain this funding. The new LIRR service that East Side Access will bring to Grand Central will make a 'grand' terminal even grander."
"East Midtown Manhattan needs to continue to be a thriving commercial center, with class A office buildings right next to one of the City's best transit hubs. East Side Access is an important part of that," said Council Member Dan Garodnick. "Let us be sure that the MTA continues to move forward on big game-changing transit projects, which can help ease the commutes for many in our region."
East Side Access is a transformative project that will improve quality of life, reduce congestion and boost the City economy. On behalf of the millions of New Yorkers who stand to benefit—from Queens and Long Island commuters who will have direct access to Manhattan’s East Side, to residents of the Bronx who will enjoy direct service to Penn Station made possible by East Side Access—I want to thank Congresswoman Maloney for her leadership and the federal government for its strong, sustained commitment to mass transit in New York” says New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer.
"East Siders will travel more freely when East Side Access opens and the Second Avenue Subway opens. Federal funds are integral to these important transit projects, and I applaud Congresswoman Maloney for her efforts to secure resources," said City Council Member Ben Kallos.
The LIRR is the largest suburban commuter railroad in the country, transporting 272,000 passengers on more than 700 trains every 24 hours and Maloney has helped secure nearly $2.6 billion in federal funds to construct the East Side Access tunnel.
The vast majority of those passengers exit at Penn Station, with more than 50% then using another mode of transit to jobs on Manhattan’s East Side. Additionally, the LIRR is currently operating at or near capacity, with overcrowding adding time and inconvenience to daily commutes. On December 16, 2006, the MTA and the Federal Transit Administration signed a full funding grant agreement, pursuant to which the federal government agreed to provide $2.6 billion of the project’s cost, currently estimated at $10.1 billion.
ESA will carry LIRR passengers directly to Grand Central Terminal in the core of Manhattan’s Central Business District. Once finished, ESA will add nearly 50 percent more rail capacity into Manhattan from Long Island and Queens, saving East Side-bound commuters 30 to 40 minutes daily. ESA is anticipated to serve about 160,000 customers a day. The creation of a direct, “one-seat” LIRR service from the Long Island/Queens corridor into Grand Central Terminal will have a number of significant regional transportation benefits, relieve congestion at Penn Station; reduce crowding on the subway lines that use Penn Station; and resolve a critical bottleneck at Harold Interlocking in the Sunnyside Rail Yard, thereby making High Speed Rail possible in the Northeast Corridor.