The New York Metropolitan Transportation Council quietly held a special meeting on Oct. 29 and passed the 2008-2012 Transportation Improvement Plan, one month after its planned ratification. The TIP identifies $35 billion worth of priority projects in New York City, Long Island, and Rockland, Westchester, and Putnam counties as eligible for federal funding.
Its passage is typically routine, but was held up this year by Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy when the NY State Assembly refused to extend a Suffolk County sales tax after members of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Caucus took issue with Levy’s opposition to day laborer hiring halls (see MTR #s 565 and 564 for details). The TIP must be ratified unanimously by the nine voting members of NYMTC—Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Westchester, and Putnam counties; NYC DOT and City Planning, NYSDOT, and the MTA.
Last week, the Assembly passed the Suffolk tax extension, presumably causing Levy to relent and finally allowing federal money to enter the region for bus rapid transit, bridge repair, bike lanes, and hundreds of other projects. You can read the 2008-2012 TIP here. .