May 07, 2009

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Nearly $275 Million in Economic Recovery Act Funding Coming for LIRR East Side Access and Second Avenue Subway Projects -- Will Ease Commute Times and Create Jobs

Schumer, Gillibrand: This Funding is a Win-Win for All New York Straphangers

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced today that the United States Department of Transportation will allocate over $274 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) East Side Access Project and the Second Avenue Subway Project. The East Side Access Project will create a rail link from the Long Island Railroad via the 63rd Street Tunnel to Grand Central Station that will help tens of thousands of Nassau, Suffolk and Queens commuters save hours on their daily commutes. The Second Avenue Subway Project will help to ease congestion on the Lexington Avenue line, the most crowded subway line in the nation.

"This funding is a win-win for all New York straphangers," said Schumer. "East Side Access is an indispensible mass transit project for Long Island and New York City commuters and will lead to less crowded subways and buses and easier travel routes, while the Second Avenue subway line will also provide much needed relief for commuters as well. Both projects are vital steps New York City's economic growth."

"These federal dollars are vital to economic development of the East Side and growth of the communities along the LIRR," said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "By building the sorely needed Second Avenue Subway we will not only reduce commuting times for thousands of New Yorkers, but we will create jobs for our City. The East Side Access Project will give Long Islanders see less crowded trains and a better route into the City. New York needs all the federal dollars we can get to help support the State's infrastructure and create jobs for our communities. I will continue to work with Senator Schumer to ensure that New York receives its fair share."

The Long Island Rail Road East Side Access Project has been awarded $195.4 million. The project is a rail link from the Long Island Railroad via the 63rd Street Tunnel to Grand Central Station that will help tens of thousands of Nassau, Suffolk and Queens commuters save hours on their daily commutes. The project will also free up much needed capacity in Penn Station, take thousands of cars off congested New York roads and help remove 800 tons of pollutants from the air.

In addition, East Side Access will significantly reduce the bottleneck on the City's subways and buses between Penn Station and Grand Central Station, particularly the 1,2,3,7,9, A, C, and E subway lines, as well as the shuttle trains between Grand Central and Time Square.

The Second Avenue Subway Project has been awarded $78.6 million. The project will ease congestion on the Lexington Avenue line, the most crowded subway line in the nation. The Second Avenue line is expected to generate 7.5 million new riders every year and take 340,000 current riders from the Lexington Avenue Line.