New York governor gives extra $1 billion to 'decaying' transit system




  • In US
  • 2017-06-29 20:38:36Z
  • By By Jonathan Allen

By Jonathan Allen

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday announced an extra $1 billion to repair the state's "decaying" public transportation system and loosened environmental regulations and other laws to help speed up the work.

Under its current capital program, the state's Metropolitan Transportation Authority is spending $32.5 billion between 2015 and 2019 to upgrade aging transit infrastructure, improve its communications with commuters, and replace or refurbish its more than 6,000 subway cars.

Nearly half of that spending is for the New York City subway system, with the remainder split between various commuter railroads, bus networks, bridges and tunnels that the MTA operates.

Only 63 percent of subway trains are on time so far in 2017, down from 85 percent six years ago, according to MTA data. Just this week, a subway derailment injured 34 people.

"The current state of decline is wholly unacceptable," Cuomo said in a speech at an MTA conference for transit experts. "We know the system is decaying, and we know it's happening rapidly."

The $1 billion comes in addition to $8.3 billion in state funding to the MTA's capital program announced last year. Other funding comes from New York City, the federal government and through the sale of bonds.

Cuomo also signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency for the MTA that suspended a number of procurement and environmental regulations for repairs to the system.

According to the order's text, the MTA no longer has to produce environmental impact reports, for example, nor certify that there has been no collusion in a contract bidding process nor pay contractors promptly if compliance with those laws delayed necessary improvements.

Alphonso David, the governor's chief legal counsel, said in a telephone interview that the suspension of these laws was "standard" in emergencies, pointing to similar provisions in recent emergency orders issued by the governor during winter storms. The order would expire in 30 days, but can be renewed as long as the system's disrepair remains an emergency, which could take weeks, months or years, David said.

Riders Alliance, an advocacy group for New York commuters, said $1 billion was welcome but not enough.

"The Governor has stopped ignoring the problem, which is a vital first step," John Raskin, the alliance's director, said in a statement. "Now he needs to produce a credible plan to fix the subway, and to put together the billions of dollars we will need to make it happen."



(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Andrew Hay)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Tax breaks cost New York $1.2 billion in financial year 2017, half went to film industry
Tax breaks cost New York $1.2 billion in financial year 2017, half went to film industry
  • US
  • 2017-09-20 21:56:40Z

The state included the information in a July financial statement, but the report was not widely known until the group Good Jobs First spotted it. Hundreds of cities, counties and other local governments across the country have already reported similar information under a new mandated accounting rule now in effect. "It's important for state taxpayers and residents to be able to see accounting in one place and make their own judgments about whether those investments have been worth it," said Good Jobs First researcher Scott Klinger.

California suing to block Trump border wall
California suing to block Trump border wall

California moved Wednesday to block the Trump administration's construction of a wall on the border with Mexico that would aim to keep out unauthorized immigrants. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed suit in federal district court in San Diego, saying the government violated constitutional and environmental laws in moving to launch new wall projects on the state's southern end. "The Trump Administration has once again ignored laws it doesn't like in order to resuscitate a campaign talking point to build a wall on our southern border," Becerra said in a statement.

China, Russia urge end to North Korea vicious cycle
China, Russia urge end to North Korea vicious cycle

The Chinese and Russian foreign ministers called for a peaceful end to the "vicious cycle" on the Korean peninsula as they met in New York for the UN General Assembly, Beijing said Tuesday. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov urged all parties to seek a "peaceful resolution" to the current stand-off with Pyongyang over its nuclear weapons program, the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement.

New York governor wants credit-reporting firms to follow cyber rules
New York governor wants credit-reporting firms to follow cyber rules
  • US
  • 2017-09-19 03:18:04Z

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that he wants credit-reporting firms to comply with the state's cyber-security regulations, the latest government official to crack down on the industry in the wake of the massive Equifax hack. Also on Monday, Bloomberg

3 die as buses collide at New York City intersection
3 die as buses collide at New York City intersection

NEW YORK (AP) - A city bus and a tour bus collided and spun around in a New York City intersection on Monday, leaving three people dead, including a pedestrian, officials said.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.