NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Metropolitan Transit Authority proposed a $1 billion cut to work on the new Second Avenue subway line as part of a new capital plan that is facing opposition from some city officials.
The first phase of the Second Avenue subway line — extending from 63rd Street up to 96th Street — is on track to be completed by the end of next year. Phase two would extend the line up to 125th Street in East Harlem.READ MORE: New York Attorney General: Trump Organization Misled Banks And Tax Officials
“We will not accept transit inequality,” “We will not accept the take of two transit systems,” Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said construction on the subway extension is crucial to accommodate the growing city population — especially in areas where people rely heavily on public transportation.
“I think we’re not planning properly and we’re not making the investments that are important for New York City,” Rodriguez told 1010 WINS.
Right now, the East Side of Manhattan – which at 650,000 people has more residents than the entire city of Nashville – has only the No. 4, 5 and 6 line along Lexington Avenue.
In late September, MTA spokesman told 1010 WINS that the Second Avenue subway project was susceptible to cuts because slashing the budget wouldn’t hurt current ridership.
The city has been grappling with the state over how the MTA’s $32 billion capital plan would be paid for.
The bulk of the five-year plan goes to buying new cars for the subway system, Staten Island Railway and commuter railroads; adding thousands of new buses; adding positive train control to the commuter lines; and fixing tracks, signals, subway stations, tunnels and bridges.READ MORE: Mayor Adams Vows Crackdown On Drivers And Cyclists Who Fail To Yield For Pedestrians: 'Stop, Let Them Cross'
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo reached a deal on funding in mid-October, with the city committing $2.5 billion to the plan.
According to City Comptroller Scott Stringer, the money was promised, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.
Stringer called the MTA cuts “an outrageous bait and switch.”
But according to State Senator Liz Krueger, the legislature could still hold things up.
“Everybody’s talking about this deal like it’s a done deal — it’s not a done deal. We haven’t voted for it yet,” Krueger said.
An MTA spokesman said the money was cut only because they’re not ready for construction just yet. According to the spokesman, the money is there for designing and planning, and the project should be started by 2019.
Rodriguez, however, had a different point of view.MORE NEWS: Rashaun Weaver Sentenced To 14 Years In Prison In Murder Of Tessa Majors
“To cut it by a billion dollars puts this project in jeopardy and slows it down,” Rodreguiz said. “Regardless of what the MTA says, there’s no question that we are now looking at anywhere between 2025 and 2030.”