Wall Street Journal:
Diverted passengers who face a grueling commute this summer because of rail disruption at New York’s Penn Station deserve discounted tickets on the Long Island Rail Road, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday morning.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Suffolk County board member later suggested such a discount could be up to 15%.
As Mr. Cuomo made his suggestion, during a news conference at Penn Station, the head of the MTA, which owns the LIRR, told a committee of the agency’s board in lower Manhattan that the MTA will withhold regular payments it makes to Amtrak for use of Penn Station and that the MTA will send Amtrak a bill for costs incurred by the disruption.
Amtrak, which owns and operates the Midtown Manhattan terminal, will reduce weekday rush-hour service into and out of the station beginning July 10. The outages are needed so that Amtrak can carry out extensive repair work to rails and switches following two low-speed derailments earlier this year.
City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer is not mincing words when it comes to his opinion on the MTA's plan for Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) riders this summer.
“I think it is ridiculous,” he said.
This week, the agency announced it would cancel or divert close to three dozen rush hour trains into and out of Penn Station while Amtrak does emergency track work. That means more LIRR trains originating or terminating at stations in Brooklyn and Queens, including Hunterspoint Avenue in Long Island City. Passengers there would then either take a ferry or transfer to the 7 train.
“To take Long Island Rail Road users and divert them to the 7 train is stupid,” Van Bramer said. “We know the service is unreliable as it is.”
A State Senator from Queens says taxing the rich is how to fund repair work at Penn Station.
Senator Michael Gianaris says his bill would require millionaires in New York to pay a three-year temporary state income tax surcharge. It would apply to those living in any county where the MTA operates.
Gianaris says it would generate close to $2 billion dollars for the MTA every year.
Hotel taxes would also see a new $5 fee on top of the already existing tax in the city.