October 29, 2010

As NJ Gov. Christie Turns Away Federal Transportation Funds, Gillibrand Urges Transportation Sec. To Redirect Investment To NY

Gillibrand: NY Needs Funds For LIRR East Side Access Project, Second Avenue Subway to Reduce Congestion, Ease Commute for NYers, Open Subway Access to Far East Side

Washington, DC – As New Jersey Governor Chris Christie turns away federal funding for the Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) project, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today wrote to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood urging him to redirect this funding for two of New York’s most critical infrastructure projects: the Long Island Rail Road East Side Access project and the construction of the Second Avenue Subway line.

Advancing these two projects would help relieve massive traffic congestion in the New York metropolitan area, ease commutes for New Yorkers, and finally open subway access to Manhattan’s far east side.

Not only do both of these projects have the complete support of elected officials from both parties, from the Governor to the Mayor, but the City and State of New York have already invested hundreds of millions of dollars towards planning and construction,” Senator Gillibrand wrote. “The Federal Transit Administration has already started to invest in these two projects and additional resources to advance construction will have enormous impacts on the region’s public transportation system.”

Senator Gillibrand’s full letter to Secretary LaHood:

Dear Secretary LaHood,

I am writing in regards to New Jersey Governor Christie’s decision to forgo federal funds for the Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) project.  I strongly urge you to re-appropriate this funding so that it remains in the region. While I remain committed to the goals of the ARC project, this funding could also be redirected within the New Starts program to two New York projects that have been waiting far too long for completion; the Long Island Rail Road East Side Access project and the construction of the Second Avenue Subway line.

Not only do both of these projects have the complete support of elected officials from both parties, from the Governor to the Mayor, but the City and State of New York have already invested hundreds of millions of dollars towards planning and construction.  The Federal Transit Administration has already started to invest in these two projects and additional resources to advance construction will have enormous impacts on the region’s public transportation system.  The East Side Access project, for instance, will help to relieve congestion throughout the New York City’s Metropolitan Transit System, reduce commuting time, and increase reliability of train services in and out of Manhattan.  The Second Avenue Subway project, which was first proposed decades ago, would bring subway access to the far east side of Manhattan, while reducing traffic congestion, and increasing mobility for residents and commuters alike.

I thank you for your attention to this request, and welcome the opportunity to further discuss the benefits that additional resources towards these projects would have in advancing them to completion.  I thank you for your commitment to developing access to public transportation systems nationwide, and will continue to work with you to promote those goals.