Every once in awhile, we like to run letters from readers in response to articles published by City & State and New York Slant.
City & State recently published the “Future of Queens” issue – part of our annual borough series – focusing in particular on some of the development and transportation projects that the borough has in the pipeline.
Larry Penner, a transportation historian and advocate who spent 31 years working for the U.S. Department of Transportation, took issue with the fact that many of the transportation projects that Queens residents and elected officials are clamoring for do not have the necessary funding budgeted for these projects.
Read Penner’s letter to the editor below, and stay tuned as we try to get a response from the MTA.
When it comes to “Queens Transportation of the Future," (May 23) what's missing is specific information on how the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New York City Department of Transportation will come up with funding to implement various transportation projects advocated by many Queens elected officials, constituents, transit advocates and riders.
All 14 members of the Queens New York City Council delegation are supporting the Commuter Rail Fare Equalization Proposal. This would allow city residents to pay the same $2.75 fare on the Long Island Rail Road or Metro-North Railroad as riding the New York City subway and provide a free transfer to the subway. How will the city provide the MTA with $200 million to cover the cost?
The LaGuardia Airport Train to the Plane (with a baseline budget of $450 million that may require up to an additional $550 million in the years to come, with a final budget that could end up closer to $1 billion); Woodhaven Blvd. Select Bus Service ($400 million, of which up to $200 million may be needed from the New Starts program of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration); Light Rail between Glendale and Long Island City on the old Montauk LIRR branch ($100 million); restoration of LIRR service on the old Rockaway Beach LIRR branch ($1 billion); Triboro X Subway Express (new subway line connecting the Bronx, Queens & Brooklyn ($2 billion); Main Street Flushing Intermodal Bus Terminal ($100 million); reopening the Woodhaven Blvd. Atlantic Branch LIRR Station ($40 million) and the Brooklyn-Queens Waterfront Street Car Connector, which would connect various neighborhoods along the waterfront from Sunset Park, Brooklyn to Astoria, Queens ($2.5 billion).
Many neighborhoods are looking for introduction of either Select Bus Service (SBS); Bus Rapid Transit (BRT); Limited Stop Bus to Subway or Express Bus Service to Manhattan. There is still the need to bring many of Queens’ 78 subway and 21 LIRR stations back up to a state of good repair. Don't forget the need for additional subway and LIRR stations to become fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) via the construction of elevators.