M.T.A. Chairman Peter Kalikow invented his own language in a hearing this morning on the state transit agency’s potential sale of the West Side rail yards to the city.
“The city of New York has guaranteed us $2 billion for the No. 7 line,” he said at first, but under questioning from Assembly Member Richard Brodsky, backed down and said, “My ‘guarantee’ was a term of mine, not a term of law. I regret the choice of words.”
Once upon a time, the city had all but promised the $2 billion to the M.T.A. (PDF) to extend the No. 7 to 11th Avenue, using the money from real estate developers that it would get as a result of the up-zoning. But now that the city says it needs those rail yards in order to sell the bonds for the extension, suddenly the whole enterprise is in jeopardy.
When asked after the hearing whether the city would give the M.T.A. the $2 billion is the two parties didn’t make a deal, Kalikow said, “I don’t know.”
If a deal is reached, the next Governor or even Governor-elect will have a chance to review it, Kalikow said, and Eliot Spitzer has already said he thinks the city’s $500 million offer is too low.