FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 2, 2009
ON THE HEELS OF NADLER SECURING ADDITIONAL $3 BILLION FOR MASS TRANSIT
SCHUMER, NADLER UNVEIL ACTION PLAN TO BOOST MASS TRANSIT FUNDING IN THE SENATE STIMULUS - WOULD MEAN HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS MORE FOR NEW YORK CITY
Senate Version of Economic Stimulus Package Includes $8 Billion for Mass Transit Systems - More is Needed to Create Jobs and Modernize Buses, Subways and Commuter Rails
Last Week, Nadler Was Able to Increase Transit Funding in the House Bill by $3 Billion
Schumer Unveils Senate Action Plan to Add Billions More for Mass Transit - Hundreds of Millions for NYC
With the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) facing an historic budget crunch and New York City commuters on edge about service cuts and the deterioration of the overall transit system, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and Congressman Jerrold Nadler today announced that they are joining forces to increase funding for mass transit infrastructure in the economic stimulus package now moving through Congress. Right now, the senate version of the economic stimulus package only includes $8.4 billion for mass transit systems, less than is needed to not only give the regional economy the boost it needs, but also pay for much needed upgrades and modernizations to our mass transit systems. Last week, Nadler led the fight in the House to increase funding for mass transit by $3 billion on top of $9 billion already in the bill. On the heels of Nadler’s victory, Schumer will unveil his action plan to boost funding in the Senate.
“In order for our economy to get the boost it so desperately needs from the stimulus package, we have to ensure there is enough funding to upgrade our nation’s transportation infrastructure, particularly mass transit. “The economic stimulus package would be a win-win-win for commuters and a shot in the arm for our aging mass transit system. First, the hundreds of millions of dollars in new funding would go directly to long-delayed projects and would immediately improve the quality and efficiency of service. Second, it would help MTA cope with its budget problems caused by massive increases in ridership. And third, the money would prime the pump of our regional economy and create good jobs, quickly. We are going to work night and day to make sure this stimulus package gives New York’s subways, busses, and rails the boost they need to keep our mass transit system on track.”
"Last week, we scored a major victory in Washington, as the House of Representatives approved my amendment to increase transit funds in the stimulus bill by $3 billion, bringing the total amount of transit dollars in the package from 9 billion to 12 billion. This additional funding would mean hundreds of millions more in transit money for New York, creating thousands of local jobs, protecting our environment through green projects, and improving public transportation across the region. These funds would go a tremendous distance toward stemming the advance of our deepening economic recession. And now, with the support of Senator Schumer in the Senate, we have taken one great step closer to realizing this essential goal."
Schumer’s amendment would boost funding in the Senate version of the stimulus package by $6.5 billion, from $8.4 billion currently in the bill to $14.9 billion. Specifically, Schumer’s amendment would increase funding in the transit capital pot from $8.4 billion to 10.4 billion, add $2 billion for rail modifications, and $2.5 billion for New Starts. The last two funding increases would match funding in the House bill.
Schumer and Nadler said the capital pot must grow to reflect out-of-control capital costs for transit systems, “rail mod” is important for aging rail systems, of which New York has many and more money for New Starts is important to projects like East Side Access and 2nd Ave subway, as well as NJ ARC.
Last week, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-08), the Northeast’s senior member on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (T & I), secured an additional $3 billion in transit funding when his amendment to H.R. 1, the American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, passed the House of Representatives. His amendment increased the amount of transit funding in the Plan from $9 billion to $12 billion.
The Senate began consideration of the its version of the stimulus package today with debate expected to last through the week. The House passed its version of the stimulus last week.