Maloney and Rangel question MTA Second Avenue Subway Plans in light of cuts

Nov 3, 2015
Press Release

NEW YORKCongresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) and Congressman Charles Rangel (NY-13) today sent a letter to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, questioning future plans for Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway in light of recent cuts announced in the 2015-2019 capital plan. Maloney and Rangel have been critical of the cuts to the long-beleaguered subway line.

“We understand that the MTA will be moving forward with preliminary engineering and design, but it is disappointing to know that this project is once again being short-changed,” they wrote. “As you know, the long history of the Second Avenue Subway has involved repeated incidents of funding allocated and withdrawn, plans made and cancelled, ground-breakings celebrated and construction halted.  We hope that this substantial funding cut does not signal the MTA’s lack of commitment to building phase 2 of the project.”

Maloney and Rangel requested an updated timetable, details on work delays, how remaining funds for phase 2 will be spent, and for a litany of other details regarding the future of the Second Avenue Subway.

The full text of their letter to MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast follows:

The Honorable Thomas F. Prendergast
Chairman and CEO
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
2 Broadway
New York, NY 10004
 
Dear Chairman Prendergast,
 
We were disappointed to learn that roughly half the cuts in the MTA’s 2015-2019 capital plan are coming from Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway, a project which would significantly benefit our districts, and the City of New York.  Phase 2 of the subway will provide relief to riders on the Lexington Avenue IRT, the nation’s most overcrowded subway, and provide subway service to an area that is currently underserved.  It will also generate economic development in an area of the City that continues to have high levels of poverty.  According to the U.S. Census, the median income in the area is less than $34,000 and near 125th Street is as low as $15,625.  The people who live near phase 2 rely on mass transit and need better transportation alternatives.  The Second Avenue Subway will make a huge difference in their lives.
 
We understand that the MTA will be moving forward with preliminary engineering and design, but it is disappointing to know that this project is once again being short-changed.  As you know, the long history of the Second Avenue Subway has involved repeated incidents of funding allocated and withdrawn, plans made and cancelled, ground-breakings celebrated and construction halted.  We hope that this substantial funding cut does not signal the MTA’s lack of commitment to building phase 2 of the project.  Accordingly, we have a number of questions:

  1. What is the current timetable for phase 2?
  2. What work is being delayed as a result of the reduction?
  3. How is the $535 million allocated for phase 2 expected to be spent?
  4. How much of the $535 million is expected to be spent each year?
  5. What needs to be done before the MTA can apply for New Starts funding?
  6. When does the MTA expect to apply for New Starts funding?
  7. How much New Starts funding does the MTA expect to receive?
  8. When does the MTA expect to negotiate a full funding grant agreement with the MTA?
  9. What is the current status of phase 2?  Has any work been done on phase 2?
  10. How much will preliminary engineering and design cost?
  11. How long will preliminary engineering and design take?
  12. How many station entrances will be built in phase 2?
  13. What proportion of the tunneling has already been completed and how much remains to be done?
  14. How many ancillary facilities does the MTA expect to build?  How many that are not also station entrances?
  15. What is the total expected cost of the project?

We look forward to hearing from you and hope that you can reassure us that the Second Avenue Subway is not being put on the back burner.
 
                                                            Very truly yours,

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney

Congressman Charles Rangel

 

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