Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Entire Transit Center was built for *$5.4 Million* Five Years Ago

The existing five-year old Eltingville Park and Ride transit center, replete with 225 parking spaces, bus loading and storage areas, and transit center building with restrooms and inside all-weather waiting area cost taxpayers $5.4 million, just $2.6 million more than what tacking on an extra 160 open-air asphalt parking spots will cost.

This is information I've been wanting for awhile and I found in a PPT slide online from a presentation made in Miami by a group consisting of Robert Newhouser, Senior Director of NYC Transit Bus Service & Operations Planning, Paul Gawkowski, Director and Darnell Tyson, Principal Transportation Planner.

According to this 2008 presentation, 9 express bus routes and local buses frequent the Elingville station, serving 40,100 customers daily. At that point, the lot was reportedly already filled to capacity and there were already plans to expand to 375 cars (ten short of the 160 being added) by October 2009.

How adding some spots to such a new park and ride cost to much money? Why weren't there more spots put in in the first place?

And why is it costing $3 million when in July 2008, when New York State DoT was paying for the expansion of the lot, it was a $2.8 million project. This was at the height of costs in terms of materials (remember gas was $150 a barrell?), and now we're in a recession - construction projects are scarce (cheap labor) and commodities are cheap. Why is this a $3 million project a year later?

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