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Cuomo to plead for help in Washington during transit crisis

Gov. Cuomo will visit Washington to lobby for what he says might be "the most important transportation project in the region."
(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
Cuomo will visit D.C. Wednesday to ask for support for a new tunnel under the Hudson River. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

As New York is hit with a barrage of transit troubles, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is hitting the road. Today, he’ll travel to Washington to meet with Democrats and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to address New York’s problematic trains, which are notorious for delays, shutdowns, overcrowding and track fires.

The meeting will focus on the Gateway Tunnel, a proposed plan to construct an additional tunnel under the Hudson River connecting New York and New Jersey that would ease railway congestion. In a statement released Tuesday evening, Cuomo said it “may be the most important transportation project in the region” and stressed the importance of its success, stating, “It is essential that this project, which has been delayed for years, goes forward.”

However, it’s clear he’ll have to move forward without local support. On Sunday, Mayor de Blasio vowed to cut off city funding to the MTA, stating that most of a $2.5 billion donation to the agency remains unused.

Cuomo’s visit is the latest in a series of attempts to solve the transit crisis and follows MTA Chairman Joe Lhota’s announcement of an action plan Tuesday and the posting of de Blasio’s recommendations the day before.

The governor hopes that Wednesday’s meeting will result in progress for the plan. “The Gateway Tunnel is critical for rail traffic entering New York and the entire Northeast,” he said.