August 18, 2009
MTA: no legal advice (beyond checkoff on Staff Summary) justified Vanderbilt Yard deal; also, smaller railyard may be OK for East Side Access
Atlantic Yards Report
The MTA has stated that it doesn't have a document that justifies the legality of the revised deal with Forest City Ratner, but it provided a document that explains why a smaller railyard may suffice
OK, I've gotten a closer-to-final answer to my effort to find out how exactly the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's "legal department has advised us that this is a legal transaction," as MTA board member Jeffrey Kay told fellow board members on June 24 regarding a more generous deal with developer Forest City Ratner for the Vanderbilt Yard.
No document justifies the deal.
Also, though the original 2005 RFP for the Vanderbilt Yard stated that the revised yard should anticipate a 40 percent fleet-wide expansion, the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) is taking a wait-and-see posture toward what's necessary to support East Side Access (ESA) service to Grand Central Terminal (GCT).
Remember, the permanent railyard, instead of having nine tracks with capacity for 76 cars as originally planned, would have seven tracks with capacity for 56 cars. While there would be several improvements, including a western portal--allowing a more direct entrance to the LIRR hub than the current convoluted route--it still would be less capacity than the longstanding iteration of 72 cars.
Posted by lumi at August 18, 2009 5:56 AM