Bloomberg: MTA Plan Must Include Funding for Capital Projects

The mayor’s office just released a statement insisting that the MTA financing plan address the transit system’s long-term needs:

As discussions for a permanent funding plan for the MTA continue, stop-gap measures that kick the big problems down the road must be rejected. For any plan to truly meet the needs of the metropolitan region’s people and our economy, it must include stable, reliable funding for capital projects.  Our transportation infrastructure is aging, and expansion projects are absolutely critical to keep New York City and the surrounding counties moving forward. We must invest in the system, even during economically difficult times, or buses, railcars, stations, signals and tracks will fall into disrepair and commuters will suffer — just as happened in the 1970s.

There is no painless option, but the issues will be no simpler a few months from now than they are today, which is why Albany must find a permanent stream of funding for capital projects — not next fall, but right now.

I called the mayor’s press office, and they don’t appear ready to get more specific than this. It’s fairly clear, however, that Bloomberg does not approve of Governor Paterson’s new direction.

He also raises a good point about timing. With contractors competing intensely during the recession, state DOTs across the country are getting deep discounts on stimulus-funded road projects. Shouldn’t New York City’s transit system get in on the construction bargains while we have the chance?

If you want to pass that message on to our leaders in Albany, follow the jump for some key email addresses.

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