From Queens Chronical
Maloney says budget is full of baloney, as do Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand
Initiatives such as the next phase of the Second Avenue subway or the implementation of Select Bus Service on Woodhaven and Cross Bay boulevards are at risk of losing millions of dollars under President Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget, sparking outrage from lawmakers and transportation advocates.
“The President’s budget cuts would only further delay long overdue repairs to make our transit systems more safe and reliable,” U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said in a May 25 statement. “I will do everything I can to fight these harmful cuts and protect the funding that helps support our transit systems.”
The U.S. Department of Transportation faces a 13 percent cut overall, according to the plan, a $2.4 billion reduction from the $16.4 billion approved for the agency in the continuing resolution authorized by Congress in early May — which funds federal agencies through the end of September.
In New York State, no transit proposal is at the full-funding grant agreement stage, according to the Federal Transit Administration’s website.
That means the Gateway tunnel project, which would allow Amtrak to run trains under the Hudson River, SBS in South Queens — which, among other changes, would put dedicated bus lanes along much of Woodhaven Boulevard and have commuters wait on median bus stops — and the second phase of the Second Avenue Subway may have to be funded by other means, should Trump’s budget plan be passed by Congress the way it’s proposed.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn) said in a statement to the Chronicle she’ll fight to restore the transportation cuts.
“New Yorkers can’t afford cuts to federal transit investments,” said Maloney, who represents the area of Manhattan where the Second Avenue subway line is. “Rather than cut programs like TIGER and New Starts grants, we need to continue to increase investment in infrastructure so we can extend the Second Avenue Subway line north to 125th Street and south to Houston Street, and so we can also deal with the major problems plaguing Penn Station. Given these needs in New York City and similar ones around the country, I am hopeful that Congress will reject these cuts.”
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called Trump’s cuts to transportation “a job-killing, 180-degree turn away from his repeated promise of a trillion dollar infrastructure plan.
“President Trump’s campaign promises on infrastructure are crumbling faster than our roads, railways and bridges,” the Senate minority leader added.
Raskin and Richards also called out the president for cutting transit funding while saying he’ll improve infrastructure across the country.
“It’s both hypocritical and counter-productive if we’re trying to restore infrastructure,” Raskin said.
“So far we have not seen any signs that he’s really serious about infrastructure, outside of saying localities should take care of things,” the councilman said.