Rep. Maloney: “The Fourth Time is the Charm For the Second Avenue Subway”

Apr 16, 2007
Press Release
New York, NY – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) delivered the following statement at today’s historic groundbreaking for the Second Avenue Subway:

We have a great deal to celebrate. After 70 years of fits and starts, big plans and cancellations, and countless jokes, the Second Avenue Subway has passed the point of no return.  The fourth groundbreaking is the charm for the Second Avenue Subway.  This time, major funding is in place and we have the combined political will to get it done.  Like all great projects, this is a partnership in the best sense of the word, among the city, state and federal governments and the public.

“First, the MTA and the FTA have demonstrated remarkable leadership in moving this project forward since the scoping done in 1995. I have been told by officials in Washington that the MTA’s work on this was the most professional of any they had seen on any project in the nation. It’s not surprising, then, that this is one of the highest-rated projects in the country. On day one, it will move more than 191,000 riders, more than any other federal mass transit project in the pipeline.

“Second, Governor Spitzer has made this a top priority for the state and has pledged his full support.

“Third, Speaker Silver would not accept a state budget without a full-build subway and substantial funding.  His efforts paid off to the tune of $1.05 billion in state funds.

“Fourth, Mayor Bloomberg championed the passage of the Transportation Bond Act, which led to $450 million designated for the project.

“Finally, on the federal level, we’ve gone from a $5 million feasibility study in the 1990's to $200 million in the President’s budget this year --and the promise of a full funding grant agreement, which will give us nearly $1.3 billion in federal subway funding.

“In my view, what took the project off the drawing board and made today’s groundbreaking possible was a steady buildup of support from the federal government, a firm commitment from the state, and a vote of approval from New York’s electorate.

“Commuters have great reason to celebrate, especially those on the most overcrowded line in the nation – the Lexington Avenue line.  Believe me, there is a limit to the number of people you can stuff into a subway car during rush hour – and the Second Avenue Subway will reduce crowding on the Lex line by 13 percent.

“This historic project will benefit commuters, our environment and our city’s economic development --and it is a crucial investment in our city’s infrastructure for the 21st Century.  The Second Avenue Subway was once a dream deferred but it has now become inevitable.

“It truly took a cast of thousands to get the subway back on track, but millions in our city and state will benefit from the effort.  I am on cloud nine - the Second Avenue Subway is coming!”