Biden Infrastructure Plan Could Fund Second Avenue Subway Extension in Manhattan

First riders aboard the Second Avenue Subway on January 1, 2017. (Patrick Cashin/Metropolitan Transportation Authority)

(The Center Square) – President Joe Biden’s proposed $2 trillion infrastructure plan could allocate money for an extension of the Second Avenue Subway in Manhattan, according to published reports.

The American Jobs Plan includes $85 billion “to modernize existing transit and help agencies expand their systems to meet rider demand,” according to a fact sheet on the White House’s website.

According to the New York Post, Angelo Roefaro, a spokesperson for U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., cited the Second Avenue Subway extension as a priority project. Other potential projects that could see federal dollars from the American Jobs Plan are the LaGuardia AirTrain in Queens, Penn Station upgrades in Manhattan and a new tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan on the Northeast Corridor, the newspaper reported.

“The American Jobs Plan will build new rail corridors and transit lines, easing congestion, cutting pollution, slashing commute times, and opening up investment in communities that can be connected to the cities, and cities to the outskirts, where a lot of jobs are these days,” Biden said in remarks in Pittsburgh. “It’ll reduce the bottlenecks of commerce at our ports and our airports.”

The subway’s first phase opened in 2017.

“The MTA region contributes nearly 10 percent of the national GDP and carries 40 percent of the country’s mass transit customers,” the New York Daily News quoted MTA chairman Pat Foye as saying in a statement. “We look forward to working with Senate Majority Leader (Chuck) Schumer and the entire New York Congressional Delegation to secure as much funding as possible for the MTA to help lead New York’s recovery.”

Earlier this year, embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo indicated an extension of the Second Avenue Subway from its current terminus at 96th Street was in the works.

“We will further extend the Second Avenue Subway from 96th Street to 125th Street,” Cuomo said in his January State of the State address. “That will open up the East side all the way up to Harlem for new, exciting possibilities.”

Meanwhile, the two-mile-long AirTrain would run from LaGuardia Airport to Willets Point and connect with the New York City Subway and the Long Island Rail Road. Last month, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released its final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project.

Cuomo’s office and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office declined to comment to the New York Post.

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