May
23

Staten Island, good governing groups annoyed at Yankee Stadium Metro-North deal

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This new stop sure is creating an uproar in certain parts of the city. (Courtesy of the MTA)

Staten Island, the lone borough in which this New York City native has only traveled through and never to, is mad at the city and the MTA. Two councilmen from this oft-neglected borough feel the $91 million spent on the Yankee Stadium Metro-North stop would be better spent in their own backyard.

Councilmen Vincent Ignizio and James Oddo, two Republican representatives from our red borough (the only one with a majority of Republican representatives), announced that Staten Island sure could use $91 million to beef up its wimpy public transportation network. The Staten Island Advance had more:

If Ignizio and Oddo had their way, they would use it to speed the long-awaited third bus depot in Charleston, or add express buses, or pay for bus service over the Bayonne Bridge. “I see the benefit of this project for those who ride Metro-North; however, we’ve been promised a third bus depot for decades, and seeing the way the MTA can expedite projects according to when the ballpark is set to open, they should expedite our projects, so people can get to work,” said Ignizio.

After decades of pushed-back plans, the Charleston depot is slated to open in 2009, and MTA officials have already broached the possibility of a fourth depot. But, “to see (the Yankee Stadium station) get done and fast-tracked, compared to the bus depot, which is constantly being delayed, is frustrating,” said Oddo. “This is essentially a luxury, and we’re crying for a necessity.”

In the article, Oddo and Ignizio question the MTA’s ignoring Staten Island’s transportation needs. “Isn’t it more important that a Wall Street worker from New Springville make it home every night in under an hour and a half?” they wrote in a letter to outgoing MTA Chair Peter Kalikow (who, at this point, could probably care less).

Now, I’m sure Staten Island could use the transportation help. Their one rapid transit line – the Staten Island Railway – is kind of a disaster. Since riders who board only at the ferry stop have to pay, the Railway attracts a high number of undesirable elements and has the lowest farebox recovery rate of any MTA agency.

I’m sure the Bayonee Bus service would be nice, but the MTA doesn’t pay for service into New Jersey. That is squarely in the realm of New Jersey Transit or Port Authority. While I like to see viable public transportation options through the city, I am definitely not in favor of the MTA’s footing the bill for Bayonne Bridge service.

In other Metro-North/Yankee Stadium news, Neil deMause, that tireless opponent of public funding for very wealthy sports clubs, chimed in with his take on the $91 million outlay for this stadium. Nothing new there from deMause, but his post serves as an excellent clearing house for Yankee Stadium-related articles.



One Response to “Staten Island, good governing groups annoyed at Yankee Stadium Metro-North deal”

  1. Oddo and Ignizio should worry about trying to rezone all of the land Staten Island so that it could begin to end the overall mess of congestion on the island.

    Without proper zoning Staten Island will continue to be overpopulated as it is now for it’s road system. They can ad a dozen bus depots without making a ding to their transportation problem.

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