I am Teresa Toro, NYC Coordinator for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. The Campaign’s mission is to achieve an environmentally sound, economically efficient and socially just transportation network.
I come here today to ask the Board to approve funding for the Yankee Stadium Metro-North station provided the Yankees also make a significant contribution toward the project’s capital cost -- and condition approval of the station on the scaling back of parking at the site.
While the Campaign strongly supports a Metro-North station at the stadium site – and considers its construction a crucial step in lessening the traffic impacts on game days – we also know that MTA capital resources are finite and scarce. If the MTA is forced to undertake the project with its own resources, it is likely that its funding will come from other essential Metro-North or NYC Transit projects. The project itself may be jeopardized if the next state administration is forced to reconsider capital projects due to shortfalls in your 2005-2009 capital program.
And then there is all the parking the Yankees want to build and the state is going to fund. Eliminating the four new parking garages would free up $70 million in state funds – more than enough to pay for the station – and maximize the benefits of the Metro-North station. Otherwise, the thousands of additional parking spaces at the stadium will entice patrons to drive. The more parking available at a site, the more likely people are to choose driving over transit. With the construction of thousands more parking spaces near the Yankees stadium, the Metro-North station, even if constructed, will not do as much as it could to reduce game-day traffic in the South Bronx.