NYC Transit Could Get $10B in Infrastructure Bill

NEW YORK -
A subway conductor wears a face mask as the train is in a station in the Bronx. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

The Senate’s bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill could allocate up to $10.7 billion for MTA’s trains and busses, the New York Times reported.

Democrat Majority Leader and New York Senior Senator Chuck Schumer said the funds would be directed towards several major projects, including the Gateway plan to build rail tunnels under the Hudson River between New Yok and New Jersey, finish the Second Avenue subway in downtown Manhattan, and repairing the rail tunnels under the East River.

“New York has not seen such a federal infusion of infrastructure dollars,” Schumer said, saying the infrastructure bill offers the opportunity to “rebuild and revive” the city’s beleaguered subway system. “It’s to advance our infrastructure in the way that a growing city needs.”

New York would also be the recipient of Amtrack expansion and modernization in the Northeast. $30 billion of railway funds would include restoring and expanding the crumbling 110-year-old tunnels beneath the Hundson River, part of Amtrack’s broader plan of connecting Boston to Washington, DC via railway.

Some Republicans pushed back against Schumer’s prioritizing of his home state.

Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton tweeted, “Chuck is going to gold-plate every rail in the NYC subway system. He’s asking for enough money to do that.”

The Senate voted on Wednesday night to take up debating the massive infrastructure bill, which allocated$550 billion in federal spending on roads, waterworks, transit, rail and other physical infrastructure upgrades and expansions.

The bipartisan package, championed by President Joe Biden’s determination for across-the-aisle governing, will still have to pass the Senate and the House of Representatives before it can be signed into law. Left-leaning Democrat Representatives have threatened to opposed the bill, which they say was cut too much from its initial $3 trillion worth of projects.

“The agreement reached by the White House and members of the U.S. Senate on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework is the critical next step toward securing unprecedented and long-needed levels of federal investment in public transportation,’’ Ken Lovett, a spokesman for the M.T.A., said in a statement. “The Senate legislation includes funding for essential state of good repair needs and capital investment programs that will help the M.T.A. fund its historic 2020-24 capital plan.’’

The MTA has already received $14.5 billion in federal pandemic relief, with $8 billion delivered in 2020 and $6.5 billion in 2021. The emergency capital kept the troubled agency going as revenue and ridership collapsed during the coronavirus pandemic.

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smarcus@hamodia.com