Transportation funding paves way for continued economic expansion.Private sector development hinges on public sector investment. In no area is this more true than in transportation systems. The ability to move goods and people from one point to another conveniently and reliably is an essential building block for long-term economic expansion, particularly in New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City
City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S. .
The public sector has stepped up and provided a major economic stimulus in the first half of 1999. One piece of legislation alone - the recently-adopted federal transportation bill (dubbed TEA21) - will provide multiple positive effects for New York's economy for years, even decades to come. The bill authorizes $14.7 billion over the next six years to New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of for transportation improvements - a $4.5 billion increase from the previous six-year funding cycle.
Federal funds Federal Funds
Funds deposited to regional Federal Reserve Banks by commercial banks, including funds in excess of reserve requirements.
These non-interest bearing deposits are lent out at the Fed funds rate to other banks unable to meet overnight reserve will be made available through the bill for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's capital program, reconstruction of the Gowanus Expressway The Gowanus Expressway is an expressway in the Borough of Brooklyn, City of New York. , purchase of new subway cars and buses, as well as other maintenance and repair projects. In addition, the legislation authorizes preliminary spending for two significant new investments which will make New York City more accessible to commuters and tourists and more attractive to private developers.
First, the bill provides $350 million toward much-needed access to Manhattan's East Side for Long Island Rail Road commuters. Currently, the only terminus for the LIRR LIRR Long Island Rail Road (New York) in Manhattan is Penn Station, which is severely overcrowded o·ver·crowd
v. o·ver·crowd·ed, o·ver·crowd·ing, o·ver·crowds
To cause to be excessively crowded: a system of consolidation that only overcrowded the classrooms. and inconvenient for those who then must travel back to the East Side.
The project will permit LIRR trains to enter and depart Grand Central Terminal via the unused lower level tracks of the 63rd Street Tunnel, thus allowing up to 70,000 Queens and Long Island commuters per day to ride directly to the East Side of Manhattan. It also will free up space at Penn Station, allowing Metro North to provide service there, which would shift some of the Lower Manhattan Lower Manhattan is the southernmost part of the island of Manhattan, the main island and center of business and government of the City of New York. Lower Manhattan is generally defined as the area delineated on the north by Chambers Street, on the west by the Hudson River (North commuter traffic from the Lexington Avenue line Lexington Avenue Line refers to the following transit lines:
IRT In Regard To
IRT Incident Response Team
IRT In Reference To
IRT In Regards To
IRT Icing Research Tunnel (wind tunnel)
IRT Interborough Rapid Transit .
The new LIRR East Side connection also will facilitate quicker and more reliable airport service when combined with a new light rail linking JFK Airport to the LIRR and New York City's subway system in Jamaica, Queens. For the first time, thousands of residents, tourists and business travelers a day will have the benefit of taking rail transit to JFK Airport.
The second allocation, of $40 million, will help finance the already-approved conversion of the Farley Post Office into a new Penn Station. The station will ease congestion The condition of a network when there is not enough bandwidth to support the current traffic load.
congestion - When the offered load of a data communication path exceeds the capacity. at the current Penn Station across the street from the post office, the capacity of which is taxed by 500,000 Amtrak Amtrak, the National Railroad Passenger Corp., authorized to operate virtually all intercity passenger railroad routes in the United States. Amtrak was created by Congress in 1970 in response to more than two decades of continuous operating deficits by privately run , LIRR, New Jersey Transit The New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ Transit) is a statewide public transportation system serving the state of New Jersey, and Orange and Rockland counties in New York. It operates bus, light rail, and commuter rail services throughout the state, notably connecting to major and subway passengers a day.
The project will provide multiple benefits for economic development and civic improvement, in addition to transportation. The new Penn Station, which will be bathed in light from a glass ceiling and supported by attractive restaurants, stores and offices, will serve as a visible symbol of the rebirth of Manhattan's West Side and a word-class gateway worthy of a global capital.
The next challenge, however, is matching federal transportation dollars with local and state funds. Scant resources currently are on the horizon for the Metropolitan Transportation's Authority's next capital plan, and this looms as a top issue for the 1999 legislative session.
With the economic renaissance already underway, New York City is beginning to experience the problems of prosperity. More jobs means greater use of the subway system, on top of the increased ridership that has been generated by the MTA's highly successful initiation of unlimited free transfers. Further adding to the specter of overcrowded subways is this summer's introduction of daily, monthly and weekly passes, which is expected to boost ridership even further.
Accommodating further increases in ridership requires more frequent trains and additional cars on each train - an expensive proposition given that replacements for many of the City's subway cars, in addition to its aging buses, already are overdue.
With New York City and State both protecting huge surpluses this year and next, now is the time to invest further in the transit system. We learned the hard way in the 1970's that deferring needed maintenance and repairs will only cost taxpayers more in the long-ran, and drive employers from the region.
With unemployment declining, tax revenues increasing, and ongoing development throughout the city - most notably in Times square, Lower Manhattan, Queens West and Harlem - New York City is experiencing an unprecedented renaissance as it heads into the 21st Century. Building upon this momentum requires dedicated investment in the infrastructure that sustains it. New York's delegation in Washington recognized this in drawing up the federal transportation bill. Now it is up to City and State officials to follow their lead in subsequent budgets.
(Richard T Anderson is president of the New York Building Congress, a non-partisan, 77-year old public policy coalition of business, labor, professional, association and governmental organizations representing the design, construction and real estate community. Its 300 corporate, institutional and labor union labor union: see union, labor. members comprise some 100,000 individuals.)