“The total shutdown of both tunnels and all service scheduled for April 27 will not be necessary,” reads a statement from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority released Thursday. The announcement comes just a few days after the MTA held an “emergency” meeting to present the agency’s board with information about the new L train plan ahead of a vote on the project. But it appears the MTA will argue that the new plan, which would not require a total shutdown of subway service, does not need board approval to move forward after all.
Earlier this month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo shocked New Yorkers when he called off the 15-month shutdown of L-train service, part of the plan to fix the Canarsie Tunnel which had been in the works for years. Instead, the governor, along with an expert panel of engineers, presented a new, never-been-done-before plan that would require less construction in the century-old tunnel. But the New York Times reported on Tuesday that a similar plan was rejected by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority nearly five years ago over safety and feasibility concerns.
Via Gov. Cuomo’s Flickr
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Tuesday will hold an emergency public meeting for its board to review Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s L train reconstruction proposal. Earlier this month, the governor unexpectedly presented a new plan to fix the Carnasie Tunnel that would not require it to close for 15 months and halt L train service between Manhattan and Brooklyn, but instead be repaired on nights and weekends. The MTA board is expected to question the agency on the feasibility of the new plan, which was announced by Cuomo just three months before the shutdown was set to begin in April.
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Via NYC Ferry
The city will launch two new ferry routes by 2021, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday during his State of the City address. Staten Island and Coney Island will be added to the NYC Ferry system, providing a much faster commute to Manhattan for outer-borough New Yorkers. “It shouldn’t be this hard to get around in the greatest city in the world,” de Blasio said. “And so we’re giving people more and better options.” With the addition of the Staten Island route, all five boroughs will be a part of the NYC Ferry system by next year.
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It was announced today that a $60.2 million contract to build the project that will bring the Long Island Rail Road service to Grand Central Terminal was awarded to construction and development company Skanska. The award represents the final heavy civil contract in the MTA’s largest largest capital project and one that marks the first expansion of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) in over 100 years.
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Significant improvements will be made over the next two years to the New York City’s outdated bus system, Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to announce during his State of the City address on Thursday. A report released by City Comptroller Scott Stringer in 2017 found the city’s buses run at the slowest pace in the nation among large cities, traveling at just 7.4 miles per hour on average. The mayor aims to increase the bus speeds by 25 percent to just over 9 miles per hour by the end of 2020, as amNY first reported.
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Via City Council Speaker Corey Johnson
On Monday, Corey Johnson, the speaker of the New York City Council and Acting Public Advocate, kicked off a five-day tour of the city’s subway system. Johnson, who will hold both posts until the public advocate special election on Feb.26, plans on traveling to stations in all five boroughs to get feedback from real New Yorkers all over the city. “New York City deserves a world-class transportation system, but unfortunately, due to years of neglect and mismanagement, we don’t have one,” Johnson wrote on the City Council’s website.
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Amtrak is taking a close look at Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s possibly-disaster-averting new L train repair strategy as a “common sense solution” for their own damaged tunnels between Manhattan and Queens, the Daily News reports. The agency would, of course, subject the tunnel fix to more scrutiny before making a decision. Amtrak chairman Anthony Coscia said “It is important for us to do a thorough vetting so that we can determine now at this stage whether it’s a methodology that we could use. Because if it is, it will make the process far less painful to our travelers,” much like the new subway solution would allegedly be.
Could this make the Gateway Project obsolete?
With each passing month of the partial government shutdown–currently in its third week–the Metropolitan Transportation Authority stands to lose $150 million per month in federal funds, Sen. Chuck Schumer said Sunday. Without funds from Washington, which are allocated for track repair work and construction projects, the MTA may have to cut back service or borrow money, if the shutdown continues. “They can last another four weeks, but after that, [the MTA has] got real trouble,” Schumer said during a news conference, as the New York Post reported. “They may have to borrow which would increase their costs. They may have to cut back, which would be a very bad thing.”
Image via Flickr cc
After facing sharp criticism this week from almost all New York media outlets for missing the January 1st start date of Fair Fares, Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson held a press conference this afternoon to officially launch the program. As of now, the joint initiative will provide half-priced MetroCards to approximately 30,000 low-income New Yorkers who are receiving cash assistance benefits from the Department of Social Services. In April, an estimated additional 130,000 New Yorkers receiving SNAP benefits will be able to apply. But as the Daily News’ City Hall bureau chief Jill Jorgensen mentioned on Twitter, limiting the program to these two groups means that no undocumented residents are eligible to apply.
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