Cuomo, De Blasio Tout MTA Funding Pact
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Ending months of public and private bickering, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have struck a deal to add billions of dollars to mass transit for widespread upgrades.
As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, Cuomo and de Blasio did not march together at Monday's Columbus Day Parade on Fifth Avenue, but they were on the same page about the $26 billion plan to maintain and improve the city's transit system.
The city is quadrupling its contribution to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in exchange for assurances that the $2.5 billion will go directly to capital improvements, WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reported.
PHOTOS: Columbus Day Parade 2015
"I think this plan gives the city the opportunity to have a lot more say in the decisions of the MTA," de Blasio said.
The state will contribute a little more than $8 billion.
"This is going to be the largest investment in the MTA in modern political history," Cuomo said.
<a href="http://cbsloc.al/1LkHvPo"Cuomo had been quarreling with de Blasio for months over how much the city would contribute.
But with the agreement now in place, Cuomo said subway riders will benefit.
"It means literally, to keep it simple -- new subway cars, new buses, and rebuilt subway stations,' Cuomo said.
But actually, there is a whole lot more to the plan than that, Kramer reported.
There will be 1,000 new subway cars and 1,400 new buses, but there will also be a new MetroCard system, 800 miles of new track, and an extension of the Second Avenue Subway into East Harlem.
"The system is not as clean. It's not as reliable, let's be honest. And we said enough is enough," Cuomo said. "We wanted to do the investment we needed to do."
Marching a block behind the governor in the parade Monday, de Blasio said he did the deal because he got the commitment that the state would not divert money from the MTA for other purposes.
"I want the MTA to spend money on things that really help straphangers; that help make the trains come more frequently; that make the ride better for everyday New Yorkers," de Blasio said.
Riders did not have good reviews of the subway in its current state.
"Our service is horrible," said Sarah Peralta of the Bronx. When Kramer noted that the plan now in place is supposed to improve the subway, Peralta replied, "I'll wait to see if that actually happens."
Jacqueline Leak of the Upper West Side was no more forgiving.
"Saturday, I was trying to go downtown on Lexington Avenue, and the train got stuck in the tunnel for about 20 minutes – packed," Deak said. "We need some fixing."
Also slated for upgrades are signals and other devices that make the trains run on time.
The money is expected to come from the state and city budgets, the sale of bonds, and the sale of development rights.
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