Senator Schumer Pushes For Renewal of Rail Project
The Democratic Senator says New Jersey Governor Christie's decision to pull the plug on the Trans-Hudson Rail Project was a huge mistake.
It's been three months since New Jersey Governor Chris Christie nixed the ARC rail tunnel project, and New York State Senator Chuck Schumer is pushing to get the project back in the works.
Speaking in midtown Manhattan, Senator Schumer called Christie's cancelation of the Trans-Hudson Passenger Rail Tunnel last October a "terrible, terrible decision”, and said that Gov. Christie’s plan to use the money originally allocated to the massive project for road and bridge repairs instead, was unacceptable: "To take a huge chunk of money and use it for existing maintenance of different roadways, if that starts happening, we will have no agency that can think large and think grand.”
The Democratic Senator also said though he understands the fiscal crisis that New Jersey faces, the 1.8 billion dollars in funds allocated for this project is not Governor Christie's to play around with:
"We need to deal with the deficit, but you don't eat your seed corn. And this is a project that the vast majority of money was not coming from New Jersey, it was coming from the federal government -- the largest public works project ever -- and, in part, from the Port Authority.”
Governor Christie scrapped the multi-billion dollar ARC rail tunnel, which would have allowed for more commuter trains between New York and New Jersey, back in October due to budget constraints. Construction was already underway on the tunnel.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says it's looking into alternative plans including expanding the Number 7 Subway Line from Manhattan to New Jersey.
Both New York Governor Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Christie must agree on how the Port Authority money is spent. Governor Cuomo has not yet issued a public comment on the matter.