Biden infrastructure plan could fund new NYC subway: Schumer

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The cash-strapped MTA could increase subway service into the “transit desert” of southeast Brooklyn if President Biden and the Democratic-led Congress cross a multi-trillion greenback “Build it Back” infrastructure program, Sen. Chuck Schumer stated.

“There’s some talk that if we get the $4 trillion we can build a subway line to southeast Brooklyn, which is a subway desert,” Schumer instructed the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce throughout a Zoom discuss on Friday.

City leaders have tossed across the concept for over a century to increase the subway down Utica Avenue to serve the train-less nook of southeast Brooklyn together with East Flatbush, Flatlands and Marine Park.

Most lately, de Blasio pushed for a examine of the idea, together with bus fast transit and light-weight rail. The MTA started holding public conferences for the examine in 2020 on the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, however has not put out any information since April.

But with Schumer taking the reins as Senate majority chief, transit advocates are optimistic about an inflow of federal money to assist deal with New York’s pricey transit challenges.

“Sen. Schumer is right that this year is an opportunity for dramatic positive change,” Riders Alliance spokesman Danny Pearlstein stated. “Now is the time for New Yorkers to make these types of demands, and say that after decades of defeat at the hands of the highway lobby, that it’s time to take transit and transit riders seriously.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer at a press conference on February 2, 2021.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer at a press convention on February 2, 2021.
EPA/SHAWN THEW

Utica Avenue is at the moment served by the MTA’s B46 bus. The jam-packed route carried 44,000 each day riders pre-pandemic — making it the busiest bus in Brooklyn and third-busiest within the metropolis.

The MTA’s most up-to-date subway extension on Manhattan’s Second Avenue clocked in as the most costly subway per-mile in world historical past.

Ben Fried, of the think-tank TransitCenter, stated the Utica subway “should be at the top of any subway expansion list,” however cautioned the MTA towards deprioritizing upkeep of the prevailing system.

“There’s a huge need to make subway stations accessible and upgrade signals and switches to operate reliably. On top of all that, there’s a lot of long-term uncertainty about the MTA’s operating budget,” Fried stated in an electronic mail to The Post.

“We need to make sure that we use federal funds in a way that shores up the agency’s ability to provide service — avoiding excessive debt, controlling capital costs, and preventing a repeat of boondoggles like East Side Access.”

Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg have steered they might pursue a $2 trillion “green” infrastructure plan to assist revive the nation’s economic system.

An MTA spokesman stated its examine of the Utica Avenue hall will suggest initiatives for the MTA’s subsequent capital plan, which is scheduled to start out in 2025. The present $51.5 billion capital program is already underway.

“We’re grateful to Majority Leader Schumer for securing billions of dollars in federal funding to help save the MTA’s basic services during this pandemic,” MTA spokesman Shams Tarek stated in an announcement.

“This study looks at different transit improvement concepts using various modes and will be evaluated along with other major regional transit expansion projects as we build the next capital program.”

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