Letter to Deputy Mayor Doctoroff, MTA, Port Authority and LMDC RE: Downtown-to-Long Island/JFK Airport Link
February 9, 2004
Dear Mssrs. Kalikow, Seymour, Doctoroff and Rampe:
We write to offer several guiding principles as your joint study of options for a possible downtown-to-Long Island Rail Road/John F. Kennedy International Airport link move forward,.
In our view, any proposal for a downtown-to-LIRR/JFK link should:
1. Not degrade or disrupt existing subway service. This principle would rule out any proposals that would result in significant negative impacts on transit riders, such as having to make additional transfers, receiving reduced service, experiencing more crowding or suffering less reliable service due to operational impacts, or having their line re-routed;
2. Be cost-effective, moving enough people to justify a $3 billion to $7 billion-plus price tag. Clearly, the viability of a downtown-to-LIRR/JFK link will turn on projections of both costs and ridership.
3. Not take away funding from important projects already well underway, such
as the Second Avenue Subway and the link between the Long Island Rail Road and
Grand Central Terminal. All of us are keenly aware of both the scope of current
ambitions for new system expansions and the finite limits of funding. In this
regard, we were concerned by recent comments that the Metropolitan
Transportation Authority would consider making a "significant contribution"
toward a downtown-to-LIRR/JFK link. Such support would raise a direct
competition with the current MTA expansion projects — as well as basic state of
good repair funding for the subways and commuter railroads operated by the MTA —
unless new sources of revenues can be found.
With these principles in mind, we are enclosing a non-exhaustive list of questions we ask that your study address. Our groups look forward to being kept informed of your on-going study and stand ready to assist in your analysis.
cc: Hon. Charles Schumer Susan Kupferman
QUESTIONS TO ADDRESS: