STATEMENT OF THE ALLIANCE FOR DOWNTOWN NEW YORK REGARDING THE FULTON TRANSIT CENTER
Good evening, members of the World Trade Center Redevelopment Committee.
I am Elizabeth H. Berger, president of the Alliance for Downtown New York, the business improvement district representing Lower Manhattan, the nation’s oldest and fourth largest central business district. Thank you for allowing me to speak today.
On behalf of Lower Manhattan’s 318,000 workers, 54,000 residents and millions of annual tourists, let there be no mistake: An above-ground, architecturally significant Fulton Transit Center with significant retail is more important to our community than ever before.
Over the past seven years, Lower Manhattan has become a location of choice for all industry sectors as well as the fastest growing residential neighborhood in New York City. It must stay that way, and be ready for the next wave of investment and prosperity. That’s why major infrastructure projects like the Fulton Transit Center just can’t wait. No part of New York City is more connected to the entire metropolitan area: 14 subway lines and 12 stations, 8 local and 25 express bus routes, multiple ferry routes, a heliport and PATH train service to New Jersey. Total transit ridership in 2007 was 123 million people.
The Fulton Transit Center will provide additional capacity, commuting options and shopping and dining opportunities for Lower Manhattan’s residents, tourists and workers and better connect Lower Manhattan to the regional work force. It is what Lower Manhattan needs and what Lower Manhattan was promised, a vitally important project that will help ensure that Lower Manhattan and New York City remain a world financial capital and competitive in the global marketplace.
I am so pleased by the news from Washington, the recent announcement that $497 million – nearly a quarter of the money the MTA expects to receive from the federal stimulus bill – has been set aside to complete the Fulton Transit Center. This is great news for Lower Manhattan workers, residents and tourists, great news for Lower Manhattan’s entire future.
The Downtown Alliance applauds Governor Patterson, Speaker Silver, Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, Mayor Bloomberg, Congressman Nadler, State Senator Squadron, MTA Executive Director Lee Sander and Community Board 1 for making the Fulton Transit Center a “shovel-ready” priority.
Now, let’s all work together to make sure that Lower Manhattan’s business community, residents and visitors get what they have demanded and deserve: an above-ground, architecturally significant Fulton Transit Center with significant retail.