NYCTRC Statement – November 13, 2018 – Urging Amazon to Fund Transit Improvements in Long Island City

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Statement by Lisa Daglian, PCAC Executive Director,
Urging Amazon to Fund Transit Improvements in Long Island City
At the
MTA-New York City Transit Subway and Bus Committee Meeting
MTA Headquarters, 2 Broadway, New York, NY 10004

November 13, 2018

Good morning, I’m Lisa Daglian, Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA.
It’s official: Amazon will locate HQ2 in Long Island City – initially at the Citi building, and then constructing its new facilities at Anable Basin.

This will mean 25,000 jobs will be created, with hiring to commence next year. Hopefully a number of those jobs will go to local residents. Billions of dollars in construction and other investments will come as well.

This investment in the city presents a unique opportunity for transit infrastructure investment. In its announcement, Amazon touted Long Island City’s eight subway lines, 13 bus lines, commuter rail and other robust transportation options. As negotiations continue, we urge the MTA to ensure that there is a requirement that Amazon fund investments in the transit system that will bring its employees to their new jobs. The current MTA Capital Program does not include any station improvements in the area, save transfer improvements at Court Square related to the L-train shutdown, and many of the nearby stations – particularly on the 7 line – could surely use help. An investment by Amazon in transit infrastructure would be a good indication that they want to be good neighbors. In other words: what’s good for Amazon should be good for transit in Long Island City and New York.

Long Island City faces unprecedented growth – even before Amazon. Court Square, already crowded, will be bursting at the seams with added L train riders and new residents from new developments. The Hunterspoint Avenue stations – both the Long Island Rail Road and 7 train – will likely be flooded with Amazon employees, and the Vernon-Jackson station will likewise be inundated. Since this is my station, I know that it’s already overcrowded and at times I have had to wait for two or three stations to go by before I can board. And this is before the L-train shutdown and Amazon. Hopefully CBTC will help, but it can’t address the total estimated influx of riders.

Billions of dollars will be invested by and for Amazon’s New York LIC campus. It is imperative that a good proportion of that money be invested in local transit infrastructure.

Download here: 111318 NYCTRC Amazon-LIC improvements

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