If you have not noticed yet, NY State is trying to close a $1.2 billion budget gap for the MTA (the regional transit authority). Even though they have said they need to cut bus and subway service and lines, they plan to move forward on major capital projects. Are you as confused as I am?
We know a lot of the federal stimulus dollars are going to road projects, why would an agency move forward on large projects when they can't even balance their budget and continue the same level of service (which is still far from a "state of good repair"). Here is an excerpt from a USA Today article talking about all the planned projects for the region:
Work is set to begin this spring on a $9 billion train tunnel under the Hudson River between New Jersey and Manhattan, the first new link between the two in more than a half-century. The nearly 3.5-mile tunnel will more than double the number of commuter trains that can cross into New York City. Trains now use a 100-year-old two-track tunnel that is at capacity, meaning that trains sometimes must wait their turn to cross into the city.
According to the article these other projects will cost the following: $16 billion for the 2nd Avenue subway, $2.1 billion for extension of the 7 line (one stop), and $7.2 billion for East side access (yes, so LIRR passengers can get off at Grand Central).
I was never great at math but that adds up to $34.3 billion. Call my analysis simplistic, because it is, but no one really can't find $1.2 billion out of all these projects to keep the current system running? What good is the stimulus if our current transit systems fail us?