FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2007
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG THANKS THE PRESIDENT FOR ALLOCATING $2 BILLION TO LOWER MANHATTAN RAIL LINK
Bloomberg Administration’s Priority a Step Closer
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today applauded President Bush's decision to direct $2 billion in unused Liberty Zone tax benefits toward the construction of a new rail link from Long Island, Downtown Brooklyn and JFK International Airport into Lower Manhattan. The Mayor has spearheaded efforts to build the link, working with the New York Congressional Delegation, former Governor George Pataki and several civic organizations. The link will increase Lower Manhattan's global competitiveness and spur the creation of tens of thousands of jobs.
"I want to thank the President for his ongoing support for this vital project and for including this $2 billion in his budget, as well as our Congressional Delegation for their continued leadership as this project moves closer to fruition. I want to especially thank Senators Schumer and Clinton, Congressmen Rangel, Reynolds, King and Fossella and former Governor Pataki for their tireless efforts on behalf of this project," said Mayor Bloomberg. "We have demonstrated bipartisan unity in pursuing this allocation, which could have an enormous economic impact on New York City, particularly Lower Manhattan. In conjunction with all the improvements now going on in Lower Manhattan, a new rail link from Long Island and JFK International Airport into Lower Manhattan will create 80,000 permanent jobs in Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn, and will add about $9 - $12 billion in economic output annually."
"New York City is one of the few premier global centers without a direct transit link from its international airport to its business district. This allocation will go a long way towards correcting that - and toward ensuring that that New York City remains the financial capital of the world," said Mayor Bloomberg. "It will also make it much easier for commuters from Long Island and Queens to get to Lower Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn, and Jamaica, which will help spur job growth in all three business districts and ease crowding on subways."
In April 2006, the Mayor announced a public information campaign to provide New York City's political donor community with information to advance the City's State and Federal priorities. At the announcement the Mayor also presented "The New York City Card," which contained a list of the top State and Federal issues facing New York City, including gaining approval of the trade-in of Federal tax benefits. The support of the City's business community was crucial in this endeavor. In addition, the Mayor made it a priority to persuade the Congressional leadership of the critical role the rail link will play in the revitalization of Lower Manhattan.
"The effort to secure funding to build this critical rail link has been a real team effort, and I want to thank all of our partners, including ABNY, REBNY, the Partnership for New York City and the Downtown Alliance," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Without their assistance, the progress we have made would not have been possible."
"We are pleased that the President has recognized how vital the Lower Manhattan-JFK Rail Link is to the future of Downtown as the nation's premier business district," said William C. Rudin, Chairman of the Association for a Better New York. "The rail link will improve access and increase the global competitiveness and sustainability of New York City."
Stu Loeser / John Gallagher / Evelyn Erskine (212) 788-2958