Rose Leads Call for Federal Infrastructure Investment to Improve Staten Island Commutes
Congressman, State Senator Savino, Assemblymember Cusick, Councilmember Rose joined together to call all levels of government to address the commuting nightmare facing Staten Islanders
Staten Island, August 1, 2019
Photos from the press conference HERE.
Congressman Max Rose held a press conference on Staten Island today to call on all levels of government to do more to improve transportation, invest in infrastructure, and end the commuting nightmare Staten Islanders face on a daily basis. Rose was joined by State Senator Diane Savino, Assemblymember Michael Cusick, and Councilmember Debi Rose.
“In the past eight months, the House of Representatives has passed bill after bill after bill—many of which are great—but what it has not done is pass a substantive and comprehensive infrastructure bill,” Congressman Rose said. “This is something I put at the feet of the Democratic House leadership, the Republican Senate leadership, and certainly the President of the United States. Because election after election after election, we promise the American people we’re going to do something about infrastructure to meet the needs of the 21st century, and we keep on failing. Our failure to do so is why the American people hate politics, it’s why they hate government. We have to stop playing politics with this, we have to stop worrying about giving the other side a win, and we have to start worrying about the daily trials and tribulations of working people. Because for too long, Staten Island has been an afterthought for every major investment plan that’s been announced. Well that is no longer. We’re going to make sure that Staten Island is on the map and is no longer ignored or ripped off.”
“It has been a pleasure to work with Congressman Rose on these very complicated issues, because for years we in state government been trying to find solutions to the hellish commutes that our residents deal with on a daily basis,” State Senator Savino said. “We all want to get people to work faster, we want to get them there safer, we want to reduce our carbon footprint, we want to expand mass transit options—but we cannot do it alone. We need Congress to step up, and we need Congress to do what they were elected to do, which is provide commonsense solutions like those presented by Congressman Rose, so we can all get somewhere faster, safer, and be more productive.”
“Congressman Rose is a man of his word, because he said he was going to focus like a laser beam on our transportation issues, and he hasn’t stopped since the day he said that,” Assemblymember Cusick said. “And by doing that, he’s worked with city and state elected leaders, and with the agencies at the state and the city, to get these things moving. We’re working on the state level with Congressman Rose to expand the HOV lane, to get a study done to start the process to either expand the HOV lane or expand the lanes on the Expressway. But we need to start it now. That’s why we urge, as local elected officials, come to our rescue. Help us here, help us get through this nightmare of a transportation issue we face every day. And we need to address it, but we need your help.”
“We are long overdue for new roads and bridges, transportation tunnels under our harbor and under the Hudson River, a forward-thinking green energy grid, and more,” Councilmember Rose said. “On the North Shore, our much-needed North Shore rapid transit line remains in the “study” phase, leaving a huge swath of Staten Islanders in a transportation desert, hardly able to reach the economic opportunities that the region has to offer. In the meantime, we pay $19 to cross the Verrazzano Bridge, $16 to cross our bridges to New Jersey, $2.75 to take a bus, even just for a few blocks — and we have congestion pricing on the way. We are paying dearly, with nothing to show for it but gridlock, long commutes, and empty wallets. Today I join Congressman Max Rose in calling on all of our leaders in Washington to make infrastructure a priority. This isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue. It’s about our collective future.”
Congressman Rose concluded, “I’m tired of walking around Staten Island and talking to people who just want to do the right thing, go about their lives, and are significantly prevented from doing so because of these hellish commutes. We can do better. The American people deserve better. Congress has one month to get its act together. And if necessary, I’ll sit down with President Trump myself to negotiate this.”
Rose has made improving infrastructure and commuting times for Staten Island and South Brooklyn a top priority. As the House of Representatives wrapped up legislative business before the August district work period last week, Rose delivered a scathing speech on the House floor admonishing leaders in both parties for failing to pass a substantive infrastructure bill.
Rose passed legislation through the House to bring split tolling to the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, which would cut the current fares in half to be paid in both directions, leading to less congestion from out-of-state toll shoppers while increasing transportation investments on Staten Island and in South Brooklyn. Additionally, Rose led an effort with local elected officials in urging the Governor to implement a microtransit pilot program on Staten Island to address transit deserts and increase access to public transportation options.
Last week, Rose joined more than 70 Members of Congress in calling for an infrastructure plan that would: modernize America’s infrastructure funding, revenue sources, and cost analysis; create an infrastructure bank to finance projects; create incentives for communities most in need of building and maintaining their infrastructure, including through grant programs; and encourage innovation and reform, including responsible regulatory streamlining and private public partnerships, and the adoption of new innovative technologies.