It’s kinda like that old scenario about the giant asteriod hurling towards earth. You would suddenly have all the nations of the world united in an effort to blow it out of the sky before it could kill all life on this planet. Mortal enemies would be joining hands in the effort.
It wasn’t quite that extreme of a scenario at the Senate Budget Hearing, but both Republicans and Democrats kept asking the same question: why isn’t New York also paying for this?
The project in question is known as ARC Tunnel which fancily stands for Access to the Region’s Core. Basically it’s a new rail tunnel under the Hudson river connecting NJ to Manhattan. This is, in all fairness, desperately needed if everyone is going to crow about smart development, improving the regional economy and getting folks out of their cars which has the dual benefits of reducing congestion and saving the environment ( yeah ).
Anyway, the tunnel has it’s critics and there are some points to be scored against it, but what everyone was asking at the hearing is why NY isn’t paying it’s fair share.
Total cost of project is $8.7 billion. More than $6 billion of that has already been committed from a combination of federal, Port Authority and NJ Transportation Trust Fund dollars.
NJ Trsnportation Commissioner Stephen Dilts and NJ Transit Executive Director Richard Sarles basically said that the project is necessary to improve train traffic in and out of Manhattan for NJ commuters ( trust me, this is true, it’s a nightmare ).
They also said that NY has it’s own problems, including trying to fund $50 billion worth of projects such as the second avenue subway, the lower Manhattan transit hub and numerous others.
All fair points, but lemme ask again…so, why isn’t NY contributing to this?