$210 Million Grant Approved For LIRR East Side Access Project

Earlier today New York Senators Charles Schumer & Hillary Clinton announced the official approval of funding for the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) East Side Access project. The funding will come in the form of a $210 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Steve Ritea of Newsday filed this brief report:

Sens. Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton on Thursday announced $210 million in federal funding for East Side Access, the $7.2-billion project to link the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Terminal by 2015.

Although the funds — received through a grant by the U.S. Department of Transportation — were already anticipated, their final approval is nonetheless welcome news as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority wrestles with a fiscal crisis that forced the agency to delay a slew of other, smaller capital projects last month.

“East Side Access is a crucial mass transit project for New York City, and this funding means less crowded subways and buses, more convenient routes and less wear and tear on our rails and roads,” Schumer said.

“This is a wise investment in New York’s infrastructure that will improve transportation services for many New Yorkers and Long Islanders who are feeling the strain of the daily commute,” Clinton added.

The project, which still needs about $3 billion in funds, recently reached a milestone when one of the tunnels the LIRR needs between Queens and Grand Central was completed.

Also Thursday, Schumer announced the Federal Transit Administration has awarded $490,000 for upgrades at Long Island Bus, which serves Nassau County.

I am excited to see the federal government help fund our transit infrastructure. Sorry I can’t be more excited about it though as I’m not a big supporter of the East Side Access Project in terms of it being completed before more significant projects. I am happy to see Long Island Bus get some funds as that division could use a complete overhaul to be able to provide the service it should for Long Island residents.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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