It would be very helpful if Larry Penner would explain himself more clearly in his opinion piece on the LIRR (“Third Track Still Faces Big Challenges”).
The author states how the lawsuit between the MTA and Garden City could increase the cost of the $2.6 billion project. Would the author be so kind as to explain how?
Paragraph 3: “Contracts, totaling $1.95 billion toward the $2.6 billion project cost were part of a $3 billion MTA 2015-2019 Five Year Capital Program Amendment. This action increased the budget from $29 billion to $32 billion.” What was this amendment? What was this action? How does a $1.95 billion contract add $3 billion to the project cost?
Paragraph 5: “Former Gov. Cuomo, the MTA Board and other project supporters never questioned why the federal process was not followed. Without compliance with National Environmental Protection Act, the MTA forfeited opportunity to access FTA or Federal Highway Administration funding.” Who are these “project supporters?” Who in the MTA is responsible for attempting to obtain funds from FTA or FHA?”
“Will delivery and acceptance for the ongoing LIRR $734 million procurement of 202 new M9 electric replacement cars be completed prior to December 2022?… the oldest M3 cars may have to stay around longer than planned before all new cars arrive. How reliable will this older equipment be?” As important as newer LIRR cars may be, what precisely does this have to do with completing the Main Line Third Track? And would the author be so kind as to provide approximate ages and number of miles travelled by the M3s? It would be easier to make an intelligent determination as to how reliable the M3s are if I knew how old they are and how miles they have on them.
“Was investing $2.6 billion for Third Track…worth it?” But didn’t the author state earlier in his opinion piece “[t]his action” (which the author does not elaborate on) “increased the budget from $29 billion to $32 billion.” So is the cost $2.6 billion or $3 billion?”
Can’t the author slow down long enough to write an opinion piece that those of us of moderate intelligence who don’t understand transit as well as he does can understand? Is it that important to him to see his name in print in as many places as possible that he cares about quantity as opposed to quality?

Nat Weiner

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