Testimony Before The Metropolitan Transit Authority Regarding Federal Financial Assistance on June 5, 2002
My name is Liz Krueger and I represent the 26th Senate District on the East Side of Manhattan. I am here to support the MTA’s request for $20 million in Federal Financial Assistance for the preliminary engineering of the Second Avenue Subway.
The Second Avenue Subway is the most critical mass transit project needed to ensure New York City’s economic growth. The East Side of Manhattan is not only one of the most densely populated areas in the country with over 200,000 residents per square mile, it also has the most densely used office space in the country. As the only subway serving the East Side, the Lexington Avenue line is dangerously overcrowded, carrying 600,000 people each day. The Second Avenue Subway would alleviate these severe conditions, while reducing overly long travel times and improving transit accessibility to residents of the far east side of my district. In addition, the MTA has concluded that this project would also result in reduced crowding and improved reliability on the M-15 bus, and provide support for the economic well-being of Lower Manhattan by providing new transit access to the region.
Total capital costs for the Second Avenue Subway are estimated at about $16.8 billion, and significant federal contributions will be required to meet this budget. I certainly understand the significant competition for scarce federal funds from around the city. However, I can assure you that few can match the immense benefits that a Second Avenue Subway will provide to many tens of thousands of area residents. I hope the MTA continues to treat the Second Avenue Subway as a funding priority in the future, and that we can keep to the existing schedule and begin initial construction by the end of 2004. I appreciate the MTA’s important work, and look forward to working with the MTA to ensure funding for a Second Avenue Subway.