Correction Notice: Please note that there is a correction to this post. You can read it here.
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When the MTA, at the behest of the city, opted to take on the Metro-North stop near the new Yankee Stadium, it seemed like a good idea at the time. The agency could, for $40 million, open up a new station in an area of the city that could really use the commuter rail access.
Of course, as is the case with every other project in New York these days, initial cost estimates never come true. According to new reports, the MTA is now on the hook for at least $53 million for this new station, and costs are still going up. Metro’s Patrick Arden reports:
The cost of the new Metro-North station has climbed to $92 million —the city’s kicking in $39 million — and keeps rising: This week Metro-North approved $800,000 to keep the station clean.
“The Yankees have refused to contribute,” said Andrew Albert, a rider rep. on the MTA board.
When the Yankees’ stop was OK’d in 2006, then-MTA chair Peter Kalikow pledged a “similar level of commitment” to the Mets, spending $8 million to study improvements to the LIRR and subway stations at Shea Stadium.
The MTA is keeping Kalikow’s pledge, but its financial situation has deteriorated.
In my opinion, the Yankees shouldn’t have to bear any of the cost overruns for this project. While it certainly benefits the team, it benefits the neighborhood more. If Kalikow and his Board didn’t see fit to work out a deal to balance cost overruns with the city, the Yankees shouldn’t have to take the blame for that.
When all is said and done, these cost overruns pale in comparison to the 62 percent (and climbing) increases at Fulton St., but they are another indication of a poorly financed MTA/New York City joint project. I can’t wait for this to happen with the 7 line extension too.