Rep. Maloney Applauds $171 Mil. for Second Ave. Subway, $215 Mil. for East Side Access in Fed. Transportation Bill

Nov 14, 2007
Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed the final version of the federal Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill for FY2008, which contains $171,235,000 for the Second Avenue Subway and $215,000,000 for East Side Access, which will both provide relief for commuters in her congressional district.  Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) hailed the passage of major new funding for the two projects, which she has championed in Congress.

“This bill reflects a bipartisan commitment from Congress and the President to build the Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access, which will benefit hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers on their first day of operation,” said Rep. Maloney.  “Transit is the lifeblood of New York City and our system is getting a nearly 400 million dollar boost from the federal government.  The two biggest upgrades to our transportation network in generations are right on track.  I was proud to work with Senators Schumer and Clinton, Congressman Serrano and many of our colleagues from New York to pass this crucial funding.”

“The Second Avenue Subway has been a top priority of mine since I first came to Congress,” Maloney added.  “When I first proposed this in Congress, it was not taken seriously, so it’s a great joy to finally see the project moving.  I will not stop until the subway reaches the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens.  This is the largest infusion of federal funding to date for the Second Avenue Subway, with more to come when the MTA and the federal government sign a full-funding grant agreement for the project.  This is great news for all New York City straphangers, but especially those who ride the Lexington Avenue line, the most overcrowded subway in the nation.  On day one, the Second Avenue Subway will carry nearly 200,000 riders, reducing crowding on the Lex line by 13 percent."

“East Side Access will be a giant leap forward for public transportation in our state.  It will be built in Long Island City and will provide LIRR commuters a one-seat ride to Grand Central Terminal –shaving more than a half-hour off riders’ commutes.  In addition, East Side Access will create a new stop in Sunnyside to bring commuters to the growing business district in Long Island City and take traffic off of Queens streets.”

Although President Bush has said that he may veto the THUD bill due to concerns about other spending items contained in the measure, he had requested major funding for the Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access in his budget proposal for this year.  Accordingly, it is expected that the funding for the projects would remain in any compromise legislation.

Since the Second Avenue Subway’s groundbreaking in April, construction on the project has begun in earnest along Second Avenue.  East Side Access is also making great strides: in June, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) lowered a 200-ton “earth eating” borer into the ground beneath Sunnyside, Queens, to begin carving a tunnel for the project beneath the streets of Manhattan.

Maloney led efforts to resuscitate the Second Avenue Subway after the project had lain dormant for decades.  The subway project, as planned, would run primarily through the 14th Congressional District, which Maloney represents.

Background:

The Federal Transit Administration's Annual Report on Funding Recommendations: Proposed Allocations of Funds For Fiscal Year 2008: New Starts, Small Starts, Alternative Transportation in Park sand Public Lands lists a recommendation of $200,000,000 for the Second Avenue project and a recommendation of $215,000,000 for the East Side Access project.

East Side Access will bring the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Terminal. Congresswoman Maloney, a strong supporter of East Side Access, has worked with her colleagues in the New York delegation to direct a total of $815 million in federal funds to the project since FY 1998.

The full-length Second Avenue Subway will be an 8 ½ mile, two-track line beginning at 125th street and ending in Hanover Square in lower Manhattan.  Construction of the full-length Second Avenue Subway has been divided into four phases, each of which will produce a minimum operating segment that will carry a significant number of passengers. The first phase of the subway project will include stops at 96th, 86th and 72nd Streets, and tunnels from 99th to 62nd Streets. At 63rd Street, the subway will link onto the existing Q tracks, providing a one-seat ride from the Upper East Side to Times Square, Wall Street and Brooklyn.

Maloney has led efforts in Congress to direct more than $207 million in federal funding to the Second Avenue Subway project over the last seven years.

The federal funding infusions for the Second Avenue Subway, combined with $1.05 billion in funds previously authorized by the state, put the MTA in a strong position to negotiate a full funding grant agreement with the Federal Transit Administration for the subway’s first phase. The full funding grant agreement, which is expected to be signed later this year, will ensure that there is a federal match for state dollars spent on the subway, locking in approximately $1.3 billion in federal funding.

A full funding grant agreement for East Side Access was signed in December 2006.

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