ALBANY — New York’s congressional delegation on Monday echoed Gov. Cuomo’s call for President Trump to provide emergency funding for expedited repairs at Penn Station.
Following a conference call with Cuomo, more than a dozen members of Congress from New York issued a statement calling on the Trump administration to provide funds and take other measures that would alleviate the headaches for commuters.
The statement came a day after Cuomo sent a letter to Trump urging that he provide funds to alleviate the “intolerable” situation at Penn Station.
“The near crisis situation at Penn Station is a nonpartisan issue that demands we speak as one voice on behalf of the people of New York,” the delegation members said in the statement.
“The current dysfunction has put a sharp focus on the chronic issues plaguing our already stretched, overburdened and historically underfunded transportation infrastructure and the ripple effect it creates all along the Northeast Corridor,” the group continued. “We must be united by our civic responsibility to work together and solve this problem.”
A White House spokeswoman on Monday acknowledged receipt of Cuomo’s letter but did not commit to any action regarding Penn Station.
“We look forward to continuing conversations with communities across America about the importance in improving our nation’s infrastructure,” said Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters.
The pleas from Cuomo and the congressional delegation were in response to plans announced earlier this month by Amtrak, which has operational control over the Midtown rail hub, to shut down train tracks for about six weeks in July and August to repair long-neglected infrastructure.
Cuomo has said those plans will result in a nightmarish 20% reduction in service during peak hours.
During an interview with public radio’s “The Capitol Pressroom” Monday, Cuomo described the looming repairs as an “impending disaster” that would overburden the region’s entire transportation network.
“There will be a ripple effect that will be like a tidal wave,” Cuomo said on the program, which is aired primarily in upstate markets.
The governor said the state is considering adding bus-only lanes to the Long Island Expressway as one possible response to the situation at Penn Station
Cuomo said expedited repairs to Penn Station and money for the Gateway Tunnel, which will replace the aging tubes between New York and New Jersey, should be at the top of Trump’s infrastructure plans.
“If you are looking for one infrastructure plan, this should be it,” Cuomo said.