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Transit jeopardy


To the editor:

Is Governor Hochul’s indefinite postponement of the congestion pricing politically motivated? Is it an attempt to protect Democrats running for the State Assembly, Senate and Congress within the MTA service area in the outer boroughs of NYC, Long Island and Hudson Valley from Republican challengers using this issue against them?  

Among other grants, the delay jeopardizes $3.4 billion in funding for the Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 project.  

Continuously placing the project officially on hold and failing to proceed with advancing the project will eventually result in FTA de-obligating the funding and closing out the grant. Never in MTA history, has the MTA lost FTA funding due to reneging on providing its legally required matching local share in any approved FTA grant.  MTA Chairman Janno Lieber would be the first MTA Chairman to do so and have egg on his face.

Transparency is required on the part of Hochul, Lieber and others when it comes to securing the MTA local share and any future promised cost savings. The same holds true for my old colleagues at the Federal Transit Administration when it comes to enforcing the approved grant agreement. Taxpayers, commuters, MTA Board members, elected officials and transit advocates should expect nothing less.

Larry Penner

The writer is a former Federal Transit Administration NY Region 2 director for the Office of Operations and Program Management.


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