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Thursday’s Headlines: Lawsuits vs. Subway Improvements Edition

Anti-congestion pricing lawsuits have officially stopped the MTA capital program in its tracks. Plus more news.

Streetsblog Photoshop Desk (based on photo by Hugo Fernandes)|

(From left) Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella, N.J. Gov. Phil Murphy and UFT President Mike Mulgrew bodyslam the MTA.

Gov. Phil Murphy, Staten Island Borough President Vito Fosella, United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew — congrats, you have officially endangered the future of New York City's subway and transit system.

That's according to MTA Construction & Development President Jamie Torres-Springer, who on Wednesday informed transit contractors that the agency "will not be issuing any new construction contract solicitations, with limited exceptions for emergency work, small business mentoring contracts, and small projects with dedicated Federal funding" as long as federal lawsuits from New Jersey, Staten Island and the UFT and other unions are pending.

Congestion pricing is slated to raise $15 billion for the MTA's $55 billion current capital program. That money is set to help fund "ADA accessibility, signal
modernization, bus electrification, future Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 contracts, and key state of good repair work" — all of which is on pause, Torres-Springer said.

Torres-Springer's missive was first reported by Bloomberg.

The MTA's letter highlights the "real world consequences" of Murphy and company's anti-transit legal grandstanding, said Kate Slevin of the Regional Plan Association.

“These are the real world consequences of not implementing congestion pricing in a timely manner," Slevin told Streetsblog. "Signal improvements to allow better subway service, electric bus purchases, station accessibility, not to mention maintenance and repair projects — all delayed.”

— Reporting by Dave Colon

In other news:

  • Speaking of congestion pricing, the New York Post printed more lies about London's tolling.
  • Meanwhile, Bergen County has added its richy-rich voice to New Jersey's flawed legal case against congestion pricing. (NorthJersey.com)
  • Subway surfing takes a possible sexual turn in this Jose Martinez's Valentine's Day special. (The City)
  • Brooklyn Paper covered the push for fixes to the notorious Crown Heights subway bottleneck.
  • Congestion pricing could not come soon enough, exhibit 1,000. (S.I. Advance)
  • Boston's City Council will take up Beantown's own congestion pricing proposal. (NBC Boston)
  • Cruise ships are on the agenda today at the City Council. (Gothamist)
  • Vornado now wants to replace the Hotel Pennsylvania with ... an empty space. (Crain's)
  • Finally, we have to hand it to Council Member Chi Ossé. This is the best public service announcement we've seen in a while:

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