Home 7 Line Extension City’s tab for 7 line extension coming due

City’s tab for 7 line extension coming due

by Benjamin Kabak

One of the more appealing aspects of the 7 line extension has involved the identify of those footing the bill. While the MTA clearly does not see this extension as a priority, Mayor Bloomberg pledged $2.1 billion in city money both because the Hudson Yards area is Manhattan’s last frontier and because the Mayor’s real estate buddies would benefit. Today, Adam Lisberg reports that taxpayer dollars will go toward the project starting in 2011, and the city’s to fund this extension could come under some limited scrutiny.

So far, Lisberg notes, the city’s payments for construction bonds have come in the form of revenue from developer fees and investment income, but with Related yet to sign a deal, the development dollars have tried up for now. Instead, the city will have to put between $31-$46 million toward the project next year, and as New York is facing spending cuts, few are happy with the prospects of a 7 line extension bill. Still, this was the mayor’s decision through and through, and he’ll have to live with it. Now, if only we could see that station at 10th Ave. and 41st St. built too.

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Rob April 28, 2010 - 1:38 pm

Agreed Ben…Now we need to QUIT electing these left wing loons. This includes Bloomberg who is a RINO anyway.

Alon Levy April 28, 2010 - 2:43 pm

The left-wing loons you criticize oppose those deals. Back in 2009, they begged for more stimulus money to go to maintaining city services and for less to go to new construction.

Rhywun April 28, 2010 - 8:44 pm

They were pretty silent when it came to handing out my tax dollars to Ratner, the Yankees, and the Mets.

Alon Levy April 28, 2010 - 11:42 pm

Really? DMI kept posting about why stadium giveaways were a bad idea. I think it also linked to (predominantly liberal) community websites opposing Atlantic Yards. Overall a lot of left-wing community activists consider gentrification one of their galvanizing issues, and are absolutely against Atlantic Yards and other land grabs.

Jerrold April 28, 2010 - 8:07 pm

What’s a RINO?
People all over the Web often use acronyms without stopping to think about whether most readers will understand them.

Benjamin Kabak April 28, 2010 - 8:09 pm

Republican In Name Only. That’s a pretty common one.

kais April 30, 2010 - 1:37 pm

Why not just type RINO into Google?
The first result is the answer to your question.
Educate yourself!

Eric F. April 28, 2010 - 4:31 pm

That seems to me to be an odd premise on which to denigrate the 7 extension. The terms “developers will benefit” means…? It means that the area will become accessible and thus more desirable and therefore more valuable. This was a lefty argument against Westway as well. It’s really bizzare. We must be against it because it will improve the desirability of an area and people will profit! Imagine if it cured cancer too, then we’d really have to hate it! The argument against the extension is that it’s a huge amount of money for a really short amount of track. Which, come to think of it, can be equally applid to the 2nd avenue subway. The notion that it will make property values increase is an argument in favor of the project, not against it. This reasoning is example one million of why the elites who run this city have their priorities askew.

Benjamin Kabak April 28, 2010 - 5:06 pm

I’m not denigrating the extension as much as I’m denigrating the planning process. Getting transit to that area isn’t a bad thing, but the costs are extreme and the project is ill-conceived.

Jerrold April 28, 2010 - 8:05 pm

I think that the project is ill-conceived only BECAUSE OF the omission of the 10th Ave./41st St. station.

Rhywun April 28, 2010 - 8:54 pm

Eric, the benefits have already been promised to one of the mayor’s real estate buddies, as noted above. Any benefits enjoyed by the public are a mere afterthought. If the city decided to build a “neutral” line – one which wasn’t so obviously designed for the sole benefit of one corporation, and if the land were then put on the market like any other land (well, land which isn’t already promised under one corrupt deal or another), I would have less of a problem. In other words, the problem is not that “someone will profit”, it’s that public dollars are going into the pocket of a favored developer. That is corruption, plain and simple.

Alon Levy April 28, 2010 - 11:44 pm

Eric, the property values aren’t going to increase by enough to defray a $2 billion pricetag.

The SAS argument is completely different. SAS serves the densest parts of the city, providing a relief line to the overcrowded Lexington line and improving east-west connectivity.

AlexB April 29, 2010 - 10:34 am

Building a new neighborhood over a railyard is a great idea, but requires transit access. Generally, the 7 extension is a decent enough way to do it, but the current plan is flawed without access from Penn and no 10th Ave station.

I remember seeing ideas to build some sort of shuttle from Penn Station to 11th ave in the railyards themselves. I always thought that was a pretty reasonable idea, and I hope they resurrect it in the future as the need for something like that will only increase with development. The 7 extension doesn’t really do any good for the hundreds of thousands of Penn Station commuters. As it would have used existing tracks and platforms, a railyard shuttle probably wouldn’t cost that much, relative to the current work.

Without the 10th Ave station, building the railyard shuttle and extending the 42nd st shuttle to Penn would have made much more sense. Extending the 42nd st shuttle would have required much less tunneling and smaller stations. It’s always irked me that you can’t take a subway directly from Penn to GC.

I complain, but when it’s built, I’m sure I will love getting all the way to the Hudson in the new 7. It will be cool.

Evan April 29, 2010 - 12:46 pm

I think it’ll be real tough extending the Shuttle to Penn…since the shuttle tracks are right next to the West Side IRT (1,2,3) since they used to feed right into them. Also right now there’s the bus that runs across 34th St. Once the 34th Street improvements are complete, I’m sure that bus route will be more desirable.

AlexB April 29, 2010 - 11:57 pm

yeah, the shuttle extension would have to rebuild the times square station and the track leading up to it so the shuttle could pass under the 123. on the other hand, i wonder if it could have somehow made use of the IND station under the ACE for building the extension.

Benjamin Kabak April 30, 2010 - 9:24 am

They had to basically destroy the abandoned platform at 42nd and 8th to build out the 7 line extension. There’s no way they could have used it for a shuttle extension. I don’t think anyone ever considered extending the shuttle. There is, literally, nowhere for it to go.

pete April 30, 2010 - 5:28 pm

The shuttle was supposed to go east. Currently the passage to the shuttle from the 456 is the tunnel provision of extending the shuttle tracks eastward.

Andrew April 30, 2010 - 7:17 pm

No it wasn’t. The shuttle is part of the original IRT line, and the current Grand Central station is at the same location as the original station. When the southern leg of the original IRT line was extended up Lex in 1918, it ran on the alignment still in use today. The two stations weren’t right next to each other; there had to be some sort of passageway.

What you may have been thinking of is that, in 1918, there were plans to move the shuttle station closer to the Lex. But the planned station had only two tracks and a narrow platform, and it was quickly decided that the shuttle would need three tracks. So the plan was abandoned and the station left in its original location. Where exactly was this planned station? In what ultimately became the passageway!

There were never any plans to extend the shuttle any further east.

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