New York, NY—U.S. Senator Charles Schumer worked with the rest of the New York congressional delegation to ensure that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority received $4 billion from December’s $900 billion coronavirus relief bill to stave off layoffs and service cuts. Now, with President Joe Biden proposing a $1.9 trillion relief package that also includes significant investments for transit, there’s hope that some funds can be directed towards major capital projects.

The Senator will be participating on Monday, January 25 in the “Transit Coffee Hour” hosted by a number of transit advocates, planners and organizations such as the Regional Plan Association, Straphangers Campaign, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, StreetsPac, Transportation Alternatives, New York League of Conservation Voters, Reinvent Albany and Permanent Citizens Advisory.

The conversation is very timely, as the new presidential administration of Joe Biden has thrown its support behind some New York metro area projects that have previously stalled because of the lack of dedicated funding from the federal government. One of those mega projects is building two new double-tracked rail tunnels under the Hudson River in order to expand capacity, part of a much larger transportation renewal project known as The Gateway Project. Time is of the essence to build the new tunnels because the current North River single-tracked tunnels are 111 years old.

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The Regional Plan Association, one of the organizations that is hosting Monday’s Transit talk, just released a new report this month, Infrastructure for Recovery and Renewal, which notes that a central pillar of recovery will be the infusion of much-needed federal dollars to modernize the city's and the nation’s aging infrastructure.

“This may be our best opportunity to reinvigorate the economy while addressing structural inequities and inefficiencies. We need to go big and bold and set priorities that build on identified needs and existing plans and projects,” according to the report.

New York City just celebrated the opening of the Moynihan Train Hall in what used to be a mail-sorting room in the James A. Farley Building. It’ll be the new home of Amtrak and Long Island Railroad ticketing operations. While the majestic new hall doesn’t add track capacity, the new hall represents the first phase of improving New York’s aging infrastructure.

TAPinto Sutton Place/Lenox Hill will be providing coverage of the talk with Sen. Schumer. 

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