NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A subway station ceiling collapse attracted the attention of lawmakers, who are calling for immediate funding to fix the struggling transit system.
As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reports, it will cost tens of billions of dollars.
“To me, it screams we have to invest money in this,” said Molly Scott, the woman hurt when the ceiling gave way last week at Borough Hall station in Brooklyn.
“It’s a real threat to riders to have a station falling apart like this,” Jaqi Cohen, of the Straphangers Campaign, said.
State politicians and transit activists who gathered Thursday outside Borough Hall want the MTA’s 10-year “Fast Forward” plan approved in Albany, so the overhaul of 300 stations can start next year.
“What we have is a lot of haggling about the how to,” said Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon.
The legislative roadblocks are the same old ones – knowing something needs to be done, but not knowing exactly how to raise the money, Carlin reported.
The state legislators at Thursday’s demonstration said congestion pricing, which charges extra for driving into Central Manhattan, is essential to raising the money need for the Fast Forward program.
“Obviously the governor has a big role to play in pushing forward a congestion pricing plan,” Assemblywoman Robert Carroll said.
Carlin asked Gov. Andrew Cuomo whether it can be done.
“We have to get it passed in the beginning of the year,” the governor replied. “I believe we will.”
“Nobody has a better, smarter solution than congestion pricing, and I believe we get it done,” he added.
Different funding streams could include much more money being kicked-in from Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city’s budget.
New Yorkers who Carlin spoke with said they don’t want congestion pricing.
“Find another way,” one said.
“I think it should have been taken care of years ago,” said another.
They said to do it with fair funding spread out among more people.