By Philip Newman
Members of Congress, transit officials and labor leaders warned today of what they said was a Republican plan to put an end to automatic federal money for New York City’s transit system.
“This plan is like a dagger aimed at the heart of our transportation system,” said U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan).
The Congress members said legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives but is not due to come up for a vote before next week.
“What the Republicans are trying to do would cost New York City $1.7 billion,” said Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights).
Members of Congress who showed up at the news conference in Grand Central Terminal said the Republicans were trying to divert vast amounts of federal funding away from mass transit in the claim that mass transit is “alternate transportation.”
“For millions of our people, there is no such thing,” Nadler said. “It’s our only way to work.”
Such big money infusions would no longer be permanent, as it has been since legislation was signed by President Ronald Reagan more than 30 years ago.
As such, New York City’s transit system would suffer and ultimately the cost of travel would rise, the legislators said.
Others present were Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joseph Lhota, Reps. Charles Rangel (D-Astoria) and Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) and city Central Labor Council President Vincent Alvarez, as well as a representative of the Transport Workers Union,
Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 718-260-4536.