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Long Island Rail Road
BY PHILLIP ENG
It is fair to say
that there’s no
Long Island without
Island Rail Road.
It’s no secret
that we keep
Long Island moving
— and not
just to the worldclass
moved — and continue to move — the
frontline workers of this pandemic that
helped New York weather some of our darkest
But federal government inaction — in
failing to allocate $12 billion in emergency
funds to the MTA — is showing New
Yorkers that our economic viability doesn’t
matter. Making matters worse, they’ve now
crossed a line no government agency should
cross when we all serve the public: FEMA
is set to cut critical funding that helps keep
our system clean and disinfected amid this
ongoing global pandemic.
Denying help is one thing. But it’s unconscionable
to take steps that intentionally
hurt the public.
It’s because of the leadership of Governor
Andrew M. Cuomo, and the heroic eff orts
of the frontline workers, including the LIRR
and entire MTA workforce, and the public
for doing their part in staying home and
wearing masks, that New York crushed the
We’ve been doing our part: cleaning and
disinfecting our trains and stations at a rate
and level never before seen in our history.
We’ve set up hand sanitizer dispensers as
our ambassadors hand out free masks at stations.
We have one of the most robust public
health campaigns currently out there. We’re
keeping up these eff orts in anticipation of a
possible second wave. We need to be prepared.
Th e latest cleaning funding cuts from
the federal government put us all at risk.
New York is and will continue to be resilient.
Because of all our eff orts, I’m grateful
now to see a slow and steady resurgence of
the great state we call home. And I remain
hopeful as we welcome customers back to
We need to keep this momentum and we
need to keep going. And we need to make
sure our employees and customers remain
safe. We know the value of public transportation
in our densely populated corner of
the world. It cannot be underestimated what
commuter rail — that served more than 91
million trips last year — means to a metropolis
like ours. And we wouldn’t be what
the governor rightly calls New York Tough
without fi ghting for what’s right.
Washington: We need major federal funding.
Now. Our future, New York’s future and,
quite frankly, the nation’s future, lies in the
Phillip Eng is president of the Long Island
CITY HALL, ALBANY
MUST FIGHT TO
MTA Chairman Pat Foye claims
his agency is facing a fi nancial “fi vealarm
fi re.” Putting it out requires not
only federal assistance, but also farebox,
City Hall and Albany revenues.
First, the MTA requested $3.9 billion
in additional funding. Aft er
receipt of $3.9 billion in CARES Act
funding, the MTA announced they
needed another $3.9 billion. Today, it
is $12 billion. What will it be tomorrow?
Weeks ago, it was a four-alarm fi re.
Now it is a fi ve alarm fi re. What will
it be tomorrow? MTA Chairman Foye
reminds me of Pinocchio.
Riders and Washington are already
fi ghting the fi nancial fi re. City Hall
and Albany must do likewise. MTA
Chairman Foye recently blamed
Washington for a loss of $1 billion.
Th is was based on the Federal
Highway Administration not working
fast enough with the MTA in completion
of the NEPA environmental
Th is is necessary to implement
Congestion Pricing. It is supposed
to raise $15 billion for the MTA $51
billion 2020-2024 Five-Year Capital
Plan. Even if FHWA made a NEPA
fi nding tomorrow, tolling could never
be implemented on Jan. 1, 2021.
For nine months, Governor
Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio never
announced their appointments to the
MTA Traffi c Mobility Review Board.
Details of who will pay what can
never be resolved and made public
until this board is established and
completes its mission. Th is process
is politically sensitive. It could take
many months to a year before congestion
pricing is set.
I will not hold my breath waiting
for MTA Chairman Foye’s future
guest op ed holding Mayor de Blasio
and Governor Cuomo accountable
for their inaction delaying implementation.
Th is $15 billion could have
solved the fi nancial crises.
Larry Penner, Great Neck
A METS LEGEND IS
GONE TOO SOON
It was with most sadness to learn that
Tom Seaver died at age 75.
As a lifelong Mets fan, I remember the
amazing Mets winning the World Series
in 1969 with Tom Seaver as their ace.
I felt it was a most proud moment for
myself and others.
Tom Seaver truly gave Queens and
New York a reason to believe in our
miracle Mets. As was said by commissioner
Rob Manfred, “Tom Seaver
is one of the greatest pitchers of all
time.” Well, I totally agree! Baseball will
remember Tom Seaver as one of its alltime
My heartfelt prayers goes out to Tom
Seaver’s family, friends and fans.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr., Bellerose