By Juan Soto
New York City may lose $2 billion in federal funding for road, bridge and mass transportation repairs and projects unless Congress takes action and continues to allocate money for the so-called Highway Trust Fund.
To try to secure federal funding, City Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) recently introduced a resolution in the Council calling for the Obama administration to offer resources “to continue vital transportation infrastructure construction.”
The resolution asks the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to replace subway signals that are at least 50 years old. Subway signals, said Miller, a member of the Council’s Transportation Committee, have a useful life of 50 years.
The resolution, expected to be approved this month by the Council, carries no legal authority.
Miller emphasized the need to upgrade the aging mass transit system.
“Mass transit alternatives have already proven to be more environmentally friendly, efficient and time-saving over longer distances compared to roadway travel,” he said.
He added that if southeast Queens is to continue to grow, “it needs a better public transportation system. Residents in southeast Queens have the longest commute into the city.”
The Highway Trust Fund provides $46 billion in transportation funding in the United States each year. Out of the total budget, the city gets around $2 billion, and New York state as a whole gets approximately $3 billion.
“Public transportation has to be on top of the agenda of the City Council, especially for a borough like Queens,” Miller said.
Reach reporter Juan Soto at (718) 260-4564 or by e-mail at [email protected].