Maloney, Nadler applaud continued funding commitment for 2nd Avenue Subway, East Side Access

Sep 13, 2011
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) applauded the passage by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation and HUD of the full funding allotments scheduled for this year for the Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access projects.  The subcommittee approved the funding installments on September 8th.  The federal government and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) have entered into full-funding grant agreements for the Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access, which commit the federal government to provide $1.3 billion and $2.6 billion, respectively, delivered in installments over the lives of the projects.

“The Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access are moving forward and creating tens of thousands of jobs literally beneath our feet.  At a time when all in Washington agree that jobs are our number-one priority, I’m proud that federal funding for two of the best job-creation engines in the New York area have been included in the 2012 budget,” Maloney said.  “Transit projects are among the best economic stimulus programs around – indeed, every dollar spent on public infrastructure boosts our economy by an estimated $1.59.”

"It is essential that Congress follow through with commitments to fully fund transit projects, including the Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access, for the coming fiscal year," said Nadler.  "These two projects are essential infrastructure improvements for New York City and its region that will alleviate overcrowding and increase efficiency.  The projects will also create substantial economic development, at least 38,000 jobs, and meaningful investment in New York's workforce at a time when the nation is desperate for such investment."

Last week, Maloney and Nadler organized a letter signed by 10 of their House colleagues to the Subcommittee Chair and Ranking Member urging the completion of the federal funding agreements for the projects. A copy of the letter follows below.

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September 7, 2011

The Honorable Tom Latham                                                  The Honorable John Olver
Chairman                                                                                Ranking Member                               
Subcommittee on Transportation-HUD                                 Subcommittee on Transportation-HUD
Committee on Appropriations                                                Committee on Appropriations           
2358 Rayburn House Office Building                                   1116 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515                                                          Washington, DC 20515


Dear Chairman Latham and Ranking Member Olver:

As you move forward with the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Transportation, HUD Appropriations bill, we respectfully request that you honor the federal government’s commitment to fully fund the New Starts Program and complete the Second Avenue Subway and the Long Island Rail Road East Side Access, two projects that have Full Funding Agreements (FFGA).  These two projects are phenomenal economic engines for the New York Metropolitan region, and will continue to contribute significantly to the economy for many years to come.  When completed, they will relieve overcrowding on two of the nation’s most overcrowded rail systems, the Lexington Avenue subway line and the Long Island Railroad (LIRR).  Together they are creating 38,000 jobs and billions in economic activity.  Cutting these projects or reducing their appropriations would harm our region’s economy, causing job losses, impacting small businesses, increasing overall construction costs and delaying the completion of these critically important projects.

As you know, since the mid-1990s, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have fulfilled the federal commitments outlined in executed FFGAs and supported transportation projects that provide jobs and economic activity, such as the Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access projects.  New York state and local sponsors of these FFGAs have already provided their share of funding, and the reliability of the FFGA funding schedule has allowed sponsors to use their FFGAs to support private financing arrangements.  Reductions in FFGA appropriations for these vital projects would force increase borrowing, resulting in greater interest costs and even higher project costs.

Both East Side Access and Second Avenue Subway are substantially underway and slated for a 2016 completion date.  In both cases, full funding grant agreements have been signed, obligating the federal government to provide a fixed dollar amount toward the construction costs.  Failing to honor the federal government’s commitment in the FY12 appropriations process will cause these projects to be significantly delayed putting tens of thousands of private sector construction jobs immediately at risk and jeopardizing hundreds of thousands of indirect jobs in supporting sectors.

We respectfully urge you to fully fund the New Starts program in order to complete projects with Full Funding Grant Agreements, such as Second Avenue Subway and the East Side Access projects.

Sincerely,

CAROLYN B. MALONEY                    
JERROLD NADLER                 
PETER T. KING
CHARLES RANGEL                                                                             
MICHAEL GRIMM
YVETTE D. CLARKE                                                                            
GARY ACKERMAN
MAURICE HINCHEY                                                                           
JOSEPH CROWLEY
PAUL TONKO                                                                                     
GREGORY MEEKS
TIMOTHY BISHOP
Members of Congress