Moynihan Station Is the First Big TIGER Stimulus Winner
New York City's Moynihan Station project has snagged $83 million in grant money from the stimulus law's Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) announced today.
The grant makes the intended successor to the current Penn Station, a longstanding priority for New York's congressional delegation, the first winner in a highly competitive chase for $1.5 billion in federal transport funding aimed at moving the U.S. DOT towards a more merit-based decision-making process.
The TIGER funding will allow the project to begin its Phase I of construction, which includes building vertical access points from the street to the new transit hub. Work should begin by the end of the year, according to Friends of Moynihan Station, a private-sector advocacy group founded by the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan's (D-NY) daughter.
"Moynihan Station is the poster child for the best way to use federal funding -- it creates jobs, upgrades aging transportation infrastructure, and leaves behind an economic engine for the entire region," Schumer said in a statement.
Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer also hailed the federal grant through his spokeswoman: "For too long, Moynihan Station has been stopped dead in its tracks. Now that our congressional delegation has been able to secure a down payment, we can begin moving forward on this project, which will create jobs, ease congestion, boost tourism, and right the wrongs of half a century ago" -- a reference to the destruction of the original, above-ground Penn Station, which urbanist pioneer Jane Jacobs fought to preserve.
The rest of the Obama administration's TIGER grants are expected to reach public view starting tomorrow, with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood slated to visit Tuscon (hoping for streetcar aid) and Kansas City (home to the ambitious Green Impact Zone).