Larry Penner

Gateway tunnel and second avenue subway: Phase 2 funding competition

The recently released Federal Transit Administration (FTA) FY 2019 New Starts Report provides interesting insight into several locally competing projects seeking federal funding from the same source.  President Trump proposes eliminating this program and reassigning funding toward his proposed...

Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 6:08 PM

What NYC Comptroller Stringer’s bus audits miss

Never stand between NYC Comptroller (and 2021 mayoral wannabe) Scott Stringer and a microphone, camera or photo opportunity. His participation and endorsement of the recent Bus Turnaround Campaigns press conference on the release of their report on problems with 246 bus routes is nothing new. The...

Monday, February 19, 2018, 5:00 AM

The real cost of LIRR East Side Access

No one at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Long Island Rail Road or any elected official including Gov. Cuomo ever wants to talk about the real full cost for LIRR East Side Access to Grand Central Terminal which may be closer to $15 billion rather than $10.8 billion. The original Full...

Monday, February 12, 2018, 5:00 AM

Happy 105th anniversary, Grand Central Terminal

Let us all rejoice in celebrating the 105th Anniversary of Grand Central Terminal, which first opened on Feb. 2, 1913. Contrast this with the late, great Penn Station Terminal which was destroyed in the name of progress in 1962. Fast forward, 56 years later. Penn Station is still a shell of...

Monday, February 5, 2018, 5:00 AM

Another 30-year wait for completion of the Cross-Harbor Freight Tunnel?

There is only $70 million for advancing an environmental study along with preliminary design and engineering for the Cross-Harbor Freight Tunnel within the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey 2017 - 2026 Capital Plan. This leaves a $9.930 billion shortfall to complete this project....

Monday, January 29, 2018, 5:00 AM

Ferries are the wave of the future

There is still more NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio can do with his $325 million new citywide waterborne high-speed ferry services program. Our waterways are an underutilized natural asset which can offer significant transportation alternatives for thousands of New Yorkers. Most of our existing public...

Monday, January 22, 2018, 5:00 AM

Why the Brooklyn/Queens street car connector isn’t progressing

A recent presentation of a mock-up for the Brooklyn Queens Connector Street Car without $2.8 billion in real money to pay for it continues to be a dream versus reality. The project also missed initiation of a formal public review process which was supposed to start by December 2017. Perhaps this is...

Tuesday, January 16, 2018, 5:00 AM

Governor Cuomo and donor states

In Governor Andrew Cuomo's 2018 State of the State speech, he complained that New York sends more money to Washington than we get back, resulting in our being shortchanged as a donor state.  This is nothing new. Cuomo continues to play from the old liberal Democratic...

Tuesday, January 9, 2018, 5:00 AM

NYC transportation projects compete against each other for funding

Both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have competing wish lists for capital transportation improvement projects that even Santa Claus couldn't deliver. NYC already faces competition within the metro New York area for potentially $80 billion plus needed to fund major capital...

Thursday, January 4, 2018, 5:00 AM

Is Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Utica Avenue Brooklyn subway extension dead?

Here is why The Regional Plan Association release of their fourth annual master plan which included calling for construction of the Utica Avenue subway will never leave the station. At the request of Mayor Bill de Blasio, the MTA allocated $5 million in funding under the $32 billion...

Wednesday, January 3, 2018, 5:00 AM

Govs. Christie and Cuomo still shortchange Gateway Tunnel

The numbers just don’t add up in the recent announcement by lame duck Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey and 2020 Presidential wanna be Andrew Cuomo of New York concerning their respective funding commitments for the Hudson River Gateway Tunnel project. Cuomo promised $1.75 billion,...

Wednesday, December 27, 2017, 5:00 AM

Lost transit connection opportunity for the Bayonne Bridge

Something else was missing from recent news that cost for reconstruction of the Bayonne Bridge has now grown between $350 to $400 million from $1.3 to between $1.65 and $1.7 billion. Ongoing work is two years behind schedule. This past fall was the 89th anniversary of the ground breaking...

Monday, December 18, 2017, 5:00 AM

Why MTA fare hikes make sense

Any public official, MTA board member, MTA management or transit advocate who opposes future planned 4 percent fare hikes in 2019 & 2021 misses the reason why they are needed. Over the past 53 years since the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964, over $120 billion dollars in combined city,...

Monday, December 11, 2017, 5:00 AM

Why the Triboro X rail may never leave the station

In 2012, Manhattan Borough president and future 2013 Democratic Party primary NYC Comptroller candidate Scott Stringer called for the construction of a new Triboro X subway line. This would connect Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx. It made a great sound bite at the time and got...

Monday, December 4, 2017, 5:00 AM

The problems with MTA fare payment system and new technology projects

Last year, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority issued a Request for Proposals for a new Fare Payment System. Funding of $419 million to support this project was included in the $32 billion MTA 2015 - 2019 Five Year Capital Plan. This new fare collection system could be made through either...

Monday, November 27, 2017, 5:00 AM

Extend the Second Avenue Subway to the Rockaways?

Queens NYC Council member Eric Ulrich's idea of extending the Second Avenue subway via the Atlantic Brooklyn Long Island Rail Road branch connecting with the abandoned Queens LIRR Rockaway Beach line, on to the Rockaways is unrealistic. This idea has been studied before along with different...

Monday, November 20, 2017, 5:00 AM

East River Tunnel repair delays impact new Penn Station services

Proposals by Amtrak to delay the overdue major repairs to the four East Rive tunnels until after the LIRR begins service into Grand Central Terminal in December 2023 is bad news for both riders and taxpayers. Remember only one of four East River Tunnels can be worked on at a time. It will take...

Monday, November 13, 2017, 5:00 AM

Cuomo’s ‘Fix NYC’ MTA transit advisory board is nothing new

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's recent announcement for his creation of the "Fix NYC” MTA Transit Advisory Board is reminiscent of his previous creation of a Transportation Reinvestment Commission in 2014 to develop a 100-year blue print to plan for the future of public transportation....

Monday, November 6, 2017, 5:00 AM

Amtrak delays for East River Tunnel repairs make no sense

Proposals by Amtrak to delay the decades-overdue major repairs to the four East River tunnels until after the LIRR begins service into Grand Central Terminal in December 2023 is bad news for both riders and taxpayers. Delaying the start of work by six years from 2019 to 2025 will increase...

Monday, October 30, 2017, 5:00 AM

Mayor Bill de Blasio, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the MTA

The current disagreement between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio over who controls and is responsible for recent Metropolitan Transportation Authority problems is nothing new. This ongoing feud over numerous issues between Cuomo and de Blasio is now into the fourth year. It...

Monday, October 23, 2017, 5:00 AM