MTA To Use Stimulus Cash On Fulton Transit Center

Late last year, the prospects of a completed anytime soon Fulton Transit Center seemed bleak. The MTA’s finances were spiraling out of control on all fronts & major capital projects such as this lacked a clear idea of where more funding for them would come from. Now a little over month later, the question of where funding for completing the Fulton Transit Center would come from has been answered in the form of stimulus package cash. The MTA plans on using $497 million of federal stimulus money towards the completion of the Fulton Transit Center. C.J. Huges of the New York Times has more in this report:

The Fulton Street subway station might be a good spot for M.C. Escher to set up an easel, if the surrealist artist were still alive and sketching.

Ramps double back on themselves. Stairs twist down around corners. Passengers weave through a maze where there is no clear way forward.

“I come here every two weeks, and every time I get lost,” Khana Fraser, 34, a student from Far Rockaway, Queens, said as she paced a ramp near the A train platform, trying to find a street-side exit.

And if locals have problems decoding the station’s perplexing U-turn arrows — are they telling passengers on the way to another subway connection to make a left, or to do an about-face? — imagine how much like hieroglyphics they seem to tourists.

But the struggles with the layout quirks of this station, a bottleneck of nine subway lines, may soon cease. On Thursday, the executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced that $497 million in federal stimulus money is expected to go toward renovating the station, a project that began in 2005 and stalled as it ran over budget.

With the federal money, the transportation authority will put up a new glass station on the corner of Broadway and Fulton Street, which is now a fenced-in dirt lot, according to Elliot G. Sander, the agency’s executive director.

The authority will also go ahead with a plan to build a bypass hallway in the area where the A and C lines stop, said Kevin Ortiz, an authority spokesman.

Click here for the complete report.

As I stated on Christmas Eve, I support the Fulton Transit Center as it is a worthwhile project that would benefit many riders. However I also said that as important as this project is, I find other projects such as the Second Avenue Subway to be of more importance. I could even make the case that the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Third Rail project is more important. So with saying that, it is obvious that I am disappointed to hear that so much stimulus package money would be used for the Fulton Transit Center.

I sincerely hope the MTA considers using some of the money towards the Second Avenue Subway & the LIRR Third Rail Project. If I could only choose one of those projects, I would choose the Second Avenue Subway since it is so vital to the NYC Subway system as well as being much further along.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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[…] was the last time I blogged about stimulus money for the MTA. In that entry, I talked about the MTA’s desire to use some of the money for the […]

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