During a press conference Thursday, Governor Cuomo declared a state of emergency for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and announced that he would sign an executive order to expedite the process of fixing the system. The governor’s announcement comes just two days after a subway train derailed at 125th Street, injuring over 30 people. His plan includes committing an additional $1 billion in the MTA’s capital plan and reviewing the system’s decades-old equipment.
To coincide with pride weekend, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that artist Anthony Goicolea had been chosen to design the first official monument to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to be commissioned by the State of New York. According to the New York Times, the statue will be built near the waterfront piers in Hudson River Park. The monument’s design features nine boulders bisected in places with glass, which can act as a prism, emitting a rainbow pattern. Governor Cuomo formed the LGBT Memorial Commission after the deadly attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. in 2016; A request for designs for a new memorial went out in October of this year. Hudson River Park’s waterfront piers have figured prominently in the history of the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
This week, Governor Cuomo called on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to provide Long Island Rail Road riders a discounted fare for “enduring the inconvenience of a disrupted commute.” In response, the MTA said on Tuesday that the LIRR will offer fare discounts to commuters during Penn Station’s major repairs set to begin this July. The discount will average roughly 25 percent for those traveling to Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn and Hunters Point Avenue in Queens. Plus, according to Crain’s, commuters will receive free morning rush hour subway transfers from those two stations. Starting this week, discounted monthly tickets can be purchased at station vending machines.
Just a day after Penn Station‘s long-awaited West End Concourse revealed itself to the public, for the first time allowing Amtrak, Long Island Rail Road, and NJ Transit passengers to enter and board trains through the historic James A. Farley Post Office across 8th Avenue, Governor Cuomo has announced that Empire State Development signed the final financial agreement with Related Companies, Vornado Realty LP, and Skanska AB for the $1.6 billion Penn-Farley Complex. After decades of delays, construction will now begin to transform the historic post office into the Moynihan Train Hall, a new 255,000-square-foot train hall housing both Amtrak and LIRR ticketing and waiting areas, as well as 70,000 square feet of new commercial, retail, and dining space. But a development announcement from the Governor is never complete without a fresh set of renderings, and Cuomo did not disappoint this time.
Image by Ged Carroll via flickr CC
Despite months of lobbying efforts by transit advocates and public officials, Mayor de Blasio declined to fund a $50 million program for half-price MetroCards for low-income riders. The mayor has previously said the city could not afford the pilot program, and also shifted the responsibility for funding the program to the state, since Governor Cuomo oversees the MTA. As the Gothamist reported, a study released by the Community Service Society of New York and the Riders Alliance, the NYPD arrested 5,137 New Yorkers for fare evasion between January and mid-March of this year, 90 percent of whom were black or Latino.
Waterfront Alliance’s ‘Harbor Scorecard’ says if your NYC neighborhood is at risk for severe flooding, Fri, June 2, 2017
This week marked the beginning of hurricane season and experts predict storms will be worse than usual, especially following President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord on Thursday. To better inform New Yorkers about the risks of rising sea level and storm surges, the Waterfront Alliance, a nonprofit that works to protect waterfronts, released a Harbor Scorecard, as reported by the Brooklyn Eagle. The interactive scorecard lets users view each neighborhood by its waterfront safety and coastal resiliency. The group found that more than 400,000 New Yorkers face a 50 percent risk of a major flood by 2060.
Governor Cuomo continues his push to improve and modernize transit across the state, announcing today that the first application for an autonomous vehicle demonstration on New York public roads has been approved. As shared in a press release, Audi of America Inc. was given the green light and will begin demonstrations this summer. The upcoming tests will be the first ever made in New York history and will be conducted on roads near the state capital, Albany.
Rendering via Governor Cuomo’s office
Governor Cuomo announced a $151 million plan on Tuesday to build an elevated promenade to improve the resiliency of Staten Island’s east shores during natural disasters. The seawall will stretch from Fort Wadsworth to Oakwood Beach to protect residents from coastal flooding, while simultaneously creating new wetland habitats and recreational amenities. The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation will hold a series of community-based design forums, allowing for Staten Island residents to offer direct input into the project’s final design, which will be complete in the winter of 2018, with construction expected to begin in 2019 and a completion date of 2022.
While just a few days ago Governor Cuomo announced his “aggressive” action plan to combat the chronic problems of the city’s subway service, the MTA’s new version of its capital plan released Wednesday shows barely any increase in spending for system improvements. As the New York Times reported, the agency increased its current five-year capital plan from $29.5 billion to $32.5 billion, adding $1.6 billion in debt. However, instead of allocating funds for subway service improvements, spending instead will go towards projects seen as priorities for Cuomo, like electronic tolling at bridges and the next phase of the Second Avenue Subway.
Image via Alan Bloom/Flickr
Seeking innovative solutions to fix the mess that is the New York City transit system, Governor Cuomo on Tuesday launched a competition called the “MTA Genius Transit Challenge.” Just one of the governor’s recently proposed ideas to fix the subway, the international competition challenges participants to develop ideas for better signaling, new car designs, and WiFi throughout the system, including in tunnels. The winner of each category will receive $1 million and a possible contract deal with the state. In addition to the challenge, Cuomo announced he has created a Penn Station Task Force to devise alternative transportation solutions during Amtrak’s track work at the station this summer.