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M.T.A. Begs Albany for more Transit Funds

Friday, March 21, 2008

The federal government gave out more than $4.5 billion after September 11 to invest in downtown transportation improvements. Now that these projects are being built, state agencies are finding that the money was not nearly enough to pay for them all. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman reports.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is begging Albany for an extra half-billion dollars to finish the Fulton Street Transit Center and the subway station at South Ferry. The Port Authority, meanwhile, is scaling back its much celebrated PATH terminal so it won't have to dig further into its own pockets. These projects were conceived back in 2003, in what Preston Niblack of the city's Independent Budget Office describes as very different times.

NIBLACK: At the time it looked as if there was a big pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and there was a scramble to take advantage of it.

REPORTER: Niblack says the next year, double-digit inflation hit the construction industry. Now, the agencies are finding themselves on the hook for projects they would otherwise not have undertaken. For WNYC, I'm Matthew Schuerman.

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