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Commentary By Nicole Gelinas

New York State Is Robbing the Subways to Buy Amtrak a New 'Home'

Cities, Cities Infrastructure & Transportation, New York City

Two-thirds of New Yorkers think Gov. Cuomo is doing a bad job with the subways, according to a new Quinnipiac poll. But this dismal showing hasn’t spurred Cuomo to change his ways when it comes to an invisible part of how transit works: the money.

The state is now forcing even more debt onto the MTA for a project that won’t give commuters a payoff.

Cuomo is famous for his infrastructure projects, and one of his favorites is Moynihan Station. He’s transforming the old Post Office on Eighth Avenue across from Penn Station into, as he said last year, “a world-class 21st century transportation hub.” It’ll be Amtrak’s new home and will have waiting areas for LIRR passengers, with shopping, restaurants and office space.

LIRR riders get some benefit from this — better access to platforms (a part of the project that is already finished, and is nice). Other than that, the biggest change they’ll see is the extra space to wait or buy tickets — a hall bigger than Grand Central.

These changes aren’t worth half a billion dollars to the MTA. People don’t show up for LIRR trains hours early to wait around, and they can buy their tickets online.
Indeed, the governor has never publicly stated that the MTA would have to shoulder the burden of nearly a third of this $1.9 billion project’s cost (up from a $1.6 billion estimate last year).

Last year, the plan was that private developers would....

Read the entire piece here at the New York Post


Nicole Gelinas is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and contributing editor at City Journal. Follow her on Twitter here.

This piece originally appeared in New York Post