Second Avenue Subway, Full Speed Ahead?
Thursday, February 15, 2001
New York, NY –
In the meantime, he's pushing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for more bus routes in his Lower East Side neighborhood to meet the need for public transport.That's the neighborhood represented by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. He and other political leaders - like Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields - have thrown their weight behind the second avenue subway. So has Governor Pataki. The Governor wants Long Island commuters to have access to Manhattan's East Side with a stop at Grand Central. Weber says this is another reason to get people off the existing four and five trains."These are already some of the most crowded trains in the system. What East Side access will do is add 2,000 more people downtown in the peak hours and that is two more subway trains"This isn't just about public and political pressure. Business leaders say New York needs a new subway line and, they say, it would be a great investment for the community. Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board: "Creating a second avenue makes total sense. It will relieve tremendous pressure off the Lexington avenue line and it will keep lower manhattan economically viable because people can keep getting to and from work."As always, the big question is who's going to pay for this after last year's rejection of the Transportation Bond Act. Transit Authority president, Lawrence Reuter, is on record as saying that the second avenue subway is moving "full speed ahead".
But he and other major players have still to explain precisely how the state plans to fill a gap of one-point-six billion dollars in the MTA's current five-year capital plan.
From the Marketplace/WNYC business desk, I?m Patricia Willens.