By Benjamin Kabak
While New York City’s rail plans for Staten Island include just a modest proposal to reactivate the North Shore rail line and Mayor Bloomberg wants to spend the federal government’s $3 billion left over from the ARC Tunnel on a 7 line extension to Secaucus, one Staten Island politician would prefer to see the city deliver on a long-promised subway line to the island. State Senator Diane Savino (D-North Shore/Brooklyn) said this weekend that instead of pursuing a subway extension to New Jersey that “flies in the face of practicality and fairness,” the city should connect Staten Island to the rest of New York’s extensive subway system.
“If the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) wants to truly move people out of their cars and onto rail, extending a subway to the Island is the way to do it,” Savino said in an interview with SILive.com’s Judy Randall. “The MTA should complete a 1912 plan that would have rail and freight access from the terminus of Victory Boulevard to Brooklyn, along 67th Street, and then utilize the R train route along Fourth Avenue. The projected cost of the plan is $3 billion, the same as the extension of the 7 line under the Hudson River.”
“In 1898, when the boroughs voted to consolidate,” Savino said this weekend, “Staten Island voted overwhelmingly to become part of New York City on the basis of two promises, a municipal ferry and subway service. After seven years we got ferry service, but 112 years later we are still waiting on the subway. Staten Island is part of New York City, with over half a million people. It is past time we have similar transportation alternatives that other boroughs have.”