As New Yorkers prepare for the nightmare that will be Penn Station this summer, Governor Andrew Cuomo is hoping that the federal government, particularly President Donald Trump, will alleviate some of those troubles. Over the weekend, the Governor’s office released a letter, from Cuomo to Trump, requesting emergency funds to carry out short-term repairs at Penn Station.
Earlier this month, Amtrak announced that it would have to carry out 21 repairs at the beleaguered train station, which would take place over a period of 44 days in July and August. Following that announcement, Amtrak revealed that another set of repairs might have to take place next summer if the work doesn’t wrap this year.
We know that the repair work will reduce service at the station, with some speculating that service will reduce by up to 20 percent during rush hour. Amtrak is currently working with the Long Island Railroad and New Jersey Transit to come up with schedules during the repairs, and those are likely to be unveiled this coming week, according to the New York Times.
Cuomo’s letter to Trump wasn’t just asking for assistance with short term repairs, but also talked about the need for a long-term fix at Penn Station and to accelerate the conversion of the James A. Farley Post Office building.
“I request that the federal government treat this as an emergency situation and provide funding for the short-term Penn construction and transportation alternatives and facilitation of a long-term resolution for Penn Station,” part of Cuomo’s letter to Trump read. “While this is not a hurricane or flood it will affect as many people and businesses with dire consequences.”
In his letter, Cuomo also stressed that the management of Penn Station should either be taken over by the Port Authority or a private contractor to speed up construction work. Cuomo also decided to mention the MTA’s troubles, just for good measure.
Last week, Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio were bickering over the subway’s sorry state of affairs yet again. Following the release of an action plan last week to combat the subway’s woes, Cuomo also stressed in his letter to Trump that he was urging the MTA to speed up work on capital projects , and calling on the city government to meet its financial obligations towards the MTA.