In his State of the MTA address today, Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chief Executive Elliot (Lee) Sander imagined aloud the Second Avenue Subway running from the Bronx into Brooklyn and on to Queens.
“Imagine the Second Avenue subway running south to Lower Manhattan, then going under the East River to Downtown Brooklyn, then onto Jamaica Avenue to Jamaica, Queens, via the Long Island Rail Road Atlantic Avenue branch, with a connection to the AirTrain to JFK,” Mr. Sander said, according to an MTA release.
The musings on the much-anticipated new line came amid a general push by Mr. Sander for more money, for both short- and long-term projects.
Mr. Sander said he is encouraging the MTA Board to approve $30 million for short-term 2008 goals: increasing service on 11 subway lines; extending bus routes; and boosting the capacity of the LIRR and Metro-North commuter rail lines.
He also called for the completion of the MTA’s major capital projects such as the first phase of the Second Avenue Subway, the Fulton Street transit hub, and the East Side Access project for the Long Island Rail Road.
Overall, Mr. Sander proposed 32 different proposals costing an estimated $46 million per year that rely on what he called the “MTA’s diamonds in the rough,” namely dormant commuter and rail lines that can be transformed into active subway lines and middle tracks that accamodate more express lines. The program would require increased federal and state funding, but would benefit from any congestion pricing revenue.
Under the 2008-2013 capital program (which has yet to be approved or fully funded), the MTA has budgeted $9.5 billion to expand capacity and $50 million to study potential improvements including the extension of the full-length Second Avenue Subway to West Harlem, the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn; and for a new AirTrain connecting the Long Island Rail Road in Woodside, Queens, to LaGuardia Airport.