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Transportation Nation

H is for Hoodie: Rockaways Shuttle Swag Will Benefit Hard-Hit Queens Neighborhood

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

For $34, you too can dress like MTA chair Joe Lhota.  Note: the catwalk is his actual office. (Photo courtesy of NY MTA)

You can ride the H train for free -- but the shirt is a different story.

On Tuesday, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority launched the Rockaways Collection -- shirts, magnets, and pins branded with the logo of the shuttle now plying the heavily damaged Queens neighborhood.

The MTA says all profits from the sales will go to the Graybeards, a Rockaways non-profit helping rebuild after Hurricane Sandy. Products will be sold through the New York Transit Museum.

 

But can the MTA afford to give away money? The transit agency sustained $5 billion in damages from Sandy. It will cost $650 million alone just to restore A train service from mainland Queens to the Rockaways. It had to truck subway cars out to the neighborhood just to operate the free H train shuttle service.

An MTA spokesman says yes.

"We have a financial plan," says Aaron Donovan. “We will have money available through issuing short-term notes to restore the service and we expect to be reimbursed by FEMA and our insurance.”

The MTA announced last week it was taking on debt to pay for Sandy damages and will issue $950 million in bonds. At that time, chairman Joe Lhota said he had "an enormous amount of confidence" that the MTA would receive "a substantial amount of money" from the federal government.

Since then, both New York City's mayor and the state's governor have gone to Washington to make the case for federal aid.

To learn more about the H train, and to watch a video of how the MTA got subway cars out to the Rockaways, go here.

 

 

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WNYC News

News Analysis: For Cuomo and Christie, Sandy Offers Peril and Possibilities

Monday, October 29, 2012

WNYC

National disasters are fraught with peril for any leader. As Hurricane Sandy slams the eastern seaboard just a week before a national election, no one wants to make the wrong move.  Least of all the Governors of New York and New Jersey, both of whom are eying a possible 2016 run for the presidency.

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Transportation Nation

Infrastructure Financier Tapped to Run California High Speed Rail Authority

Thursday, February 02, 2012

An expert in infrastructure financing and former member of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District has been elected to head the California High Speed Rail Authority.  Dan Richard of Piedmont has been tapped to chair the authority, which faces withering criticism from mostly Republican critics who say the $98 billion price tag is too high.

Richard succeeds Thomas Umberg, who abruptly resigned that post last month.  Umberg  will remain on the board as an active member.

Here's Richard's bio, from the CAHSRA press release:

Dan Richard of Piedmont, has been a principal of Dan Richard Advisors since 2010. He was managing partner and co-founder of Heritage Oak Capital Partners, an infrastructure finance firm, from 2007 to 2009 and was senior vice president of public policy and governmental relations at Pacific Gas and Electric Company from 1997 to 2006.

Richard was an elected member of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District from 1992 to 2004, where he served twice as president of the Board. At the Bay Area Rapid Transit District, Richard led efforts to secure $4 billion in capital for system rehabilitation projects, the transit system’s expansion to the San Francisco Airport and seismic retrofit programs. 

Richard was a principal at Morse, Richard, Weisenmiller & Associates from 1986 to 1996, a firm serving the independent power industry and project finance lending community. He was vice president of Independent Power Corporation from 1983 to 1986. Richard served as Governor Brown’s deputy legal affairs secretary from 1982 to 1983 and deputy assistant for science and technology from 1978 to 1979.  He was advisor to the chairman of the California Energy Commission from 1978 to 1982.

Richard began his career at National Aeronautics and Space Administration, where he was an assistant to the deputy associate administrator from 1972 to 1978. Richard received his Juris Doctor degree from McGeorge School of Law.  

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