Businesses along Second Ave. may be suffering through the pains of construction, but according to one politician, the city is enjoying some substantial benefits from the ongoing effort to build the Second Ave. subway.
Caroline Maloney, House representative from New York’s 14th District, issued a report this week touting the job-creation benefits of the MTA’s capital project. At a time when New York is hemorrhaging jobs, Maloney has certainly found a silver lining.
“The Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access are moving forward and creating thousands of jobs literally beneath our feet,” Maloney said at a news conference this week. “The stock market may be slumping, but these two transit megaprojects are delivering a very healthy return on the federal and state investments in them. The Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access have already created tens of thousands of jobs and generated billions in revenue. While these projects won’t cure everything that ails our economy, they are a huge help in getting us back on track.”
Per her report, supposedly available here but inaccessible last night, the Second Ave. subway has created 16,000 jobs, generated $842 million in wages and produced $2.87 billion in economic activity for the city. She estimates that the final total economic activity generated of what I have to believe is Phase I of construction will be around $4.347 billion.
Despite these lofty numbers, it is hard to ignore the downturn in business along the construction site. Maloney’s report, however, reinforces something I have been saying for a while: People may suffer in the short term, but the long-term gains from having any part of the Second Ave. subway up and running far outweigh the present losses. That doesn’t — and shouldn’t — make Second Ave. business owners feel good about the downturn in business, but the rest of us should know better.
Meanwhile, as Maloney touted this new subway line and the East Side Access project as New York’s local version of a stimulus, her fellow pols reiterated their support for the oft-delayed project. “This is the ultimate stimulus package,” Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said. “We don’t want to be talking about a third groundbreaking 20 years from now.”
Now if only the MTA could secure enough in funding to build a line the length of Manhattan, everything would be all set for the seemingly cursed subway line. But right now, I’m not betting past Phase I.