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Schumer Calls for Stimulus Money for Moynihan

madison square gardenCharles Bagli reports in the Times that Senator Schumer has a plan to jump start the Moynihan Station project, by using some federal stimulus money to build a train station in the Farley Post Office that would be used by Amtrak.

Bagli wrote: “Senator Charles E. Schumer is calling for the injection of $100 million in federal stimulus funds to convert the post office building, expand the city’s transportation infrastructure and employ thousands of workers. Mr. Schumer also renewed his call for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to take charge of the project and asked them to invest $1 billion.”

The $100 million would not be from the State and City’s stimulus money (read here for more information ), but rather from the $8 billion set aside for high-speed rail service and $1.3 billion set aside for Amtrak. Schumer called for Amtrak to be more actively involved in the project and suggested they should be the tenant in the new station. They could offset operating costs through revenue from new retail in the station (may we suggest that Grand Central be the model).

In addition to the Port Authority taking over the project, Schumer called on them to contribute at least $1 billion to the project. PA Executive Director Chris Ward responded:

“The senator’s effort to get Moynihan started is consistent with the port’s goal of developing a financially viable project,” said Christopher O. Ward, executive director of the authority. “The key is to work with Amtrak on an important transportation project for the entire region. Finding the necessary funding is our No. 1 priority.”

Schumer injected a note of urgency in getting started. “This is just what was envisioned by the stimulus: shovel-ready projects that generate a lot of jobs,” Mr. Schumer said.

We couldn’t agree more.

Read “Schumer Seeks Federal Stimulus Funds to Jump-Start Moynihan Transit Project,” by Charles Bagli in The New York Times