Award–winning journalist Andrea Bernstein is Senior Editor for Politics & Policy for WNYC News. She has previously served as Metro Editor, Political Director, Director of Transportation Nation, and Senior Reporter.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has promised that a proposed new casino/convention center in Queens wouldn't cost anything to the NY MTA. But at a Crain's Breakfast forum this week, an executive for the development firm set to build the complex seemed to carve out a loophole -- one caused by the borough's own transit needs.
Here's an exchange between Genting Sr. VP Christian Goode and moderator Greg David:
Q: Do you expect the organization would have to spend money on transportation infrastructures to improve access to the site?
A: What we warranted -- what we represented up front if there’s infrastructure that’s needed we would work collectively. I think the infrastructure needs have been identified for a long time for the area. Our project would be just one more reason to do it. I think from the city perspective, the state perspective, highways and stuff -- I think there’s already a plan by the DOT, and so on and so forth, that there’s a need for infrastructure upgrades.
What we represented is that, if we have express service from the MTA coming out we would fund the capital costs of that. Now other things I think are in discussion --
Some local elected officials brought up the Rockaway spur, the Rockaway express line that could be reconstituted -- probably most likely necessary to provide adequate mass transit to the residents of Queens in general.
When you compare Queens to Brooklyn to the Bronx, and certainly to Manhattan their access to mass transit is significantly less than the other boroughs whether there be express bus or train service.
I think there is a need our project would add to the need. We look forward working cooperatively and collaboratively to go through that process. How the finances work out its way to early to tell. I don’t know all the research and analysis has been done to see what could become and what that would cost .