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Proposals for Federal Funding of Capital Projects

Statement of the Long Island Rail Road Commuter’s Council on Proposals for Federal Funding of Capital Projects developed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for the Remainder of Federal Fiscal Year 2007 and Federal Fiscal Year 2008

                                                                                                                  June 27, 2007

The Long Island Rail Road Commuter’s Council (LIRRCC) was created by the State Legislature in 1981 to serve as the representative of Long Island Rail Road riders. The Council’s volunteer members are appointed by the Governor upon the recommendation of the Nassau and Suffolk County Executives and the Brooklyn and Queens Borough Presidents. As regular users of the Long Island Rail Road, LIRRCC members are very concerned with the issues of security and safety on the Rail Road and are adamant that projects addressing these issues receive adequate funding. These issues of concern encompass a range of concerns with homeland security, platform gaps, and Rail Road facilities, staffing, and equipment.

The LIRRCC recognizes that there are multiple sources of funding available for capital projects on the LIRR and that the projects identified here as potential recipients of Federal funding account for only a portion of the total capital expenditures planned by the MTA and its agencies. The members further recognize that other sources of funding may be more appropriate as means to complete safety and security initiatives than the Federal funding opportunities being discussed at this hearing. Nonetheless, the LIRRCC wishes to take this opportunity to call upon the MTA to carefully consider the financing options being discussed in this hearing in the context of a comprehensive financing plan for capital projects, which must include adequate attention to safety and security. We have a particular interest in having platform gap safety and remediation projects addressed under this framework, as decisions are now being made about the work that is necessary in this area.

The proposed program of projects made available for this hearing includes a number of worthy and necessary projects, several of which will serve to increase safety on the LIRR. We look forward to seeing these and other vital capital projects progress toward completion.

Download here: FederalCapitalProjectHearing062707