Four legislators – including representatives of Southwest Brooklyn and Staten Island at the local, state, as well as federal levels – would like to convince Governor Cuomo to make local travel more affordable before expanding the 7 train to New Jersey.
State Sen. Diane Savino, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, Councilman James Oddo and U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, who represent both boroughs, along with three additional Staten Island officials, are leading a bi-partisan response to a New York Post article that has the city and state considering a proposal to expand the 7 train – which currently runs between Queens and Manhattan – to Secaucus, N.J.
A letter from the group of pols states that funding for the project, which will come from an abandoned cross-Hudson rail project, should instead be used to prevent further toll increases on the already pricey Verrazano Bridge.
“We ask that your office look into the reports that the city and state would ask Staten Islanders to pay more at the tolls in order to make commuting into Manhattan easier,” said the letter.
“Secaucus, N.J., residents already have access to a train via NJIT into Penn Station in Manhattan, ferries to West 39th Street, and buses to the Port Authority Bus Terminal at 34th (sic) and Eighth. This is a project that is worthy of consideration in the future. Now is not the time to explore more ways to get from New Jersey to Manhattan when it’s our toll money paying for it.”
The Eagle also points out that any plans for the Verrazano also concerns Brooklyn, as New Jersey and Staten Island traffic taking Interstate 278 over the bridge also uses the Gowanus Expressway, and possibly the BQE, on the way to Manhattan.
What do you think?
Do you favor more interstate mass transit or more reasonable toll prices for drivers?
And do we really need more people from a place where Turnpike exit number trumps both God and country?
State Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis represents Assembly District 60, which includes parts of Eastern Staten Island, as well as Bay Ridge