The Trump administration blocked an Obama-era agreement with New York and New Jersey that would have seen the federal government funding half of a $13 billion New York City-area Amtrak renewal project. The plan was to have rebuilt a tunnel that brings 600,000 commuters to the city from New Jersey each day.
Crain’s New York Business broke the story after obtaining a letter in which an official declared the deal “nonexistent:”
“Your letter also references a non-existent ’50/50′ agreement between USDOT, New York, and New Jersey. There is no such agreement,” wrote FTA Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams. “We consider it unhelpful to reference a non-existent ‘agreement’ rather than directly address the responsibility for funding a local project where nine out of 10 passengers are local transit riders.”
When Crain’s inquired if that meant DOT regards the 2015 plan as not having standing, a spokesperson replied, simply, “correct.”
Trump is expected to introduce his own infrastructure plan in 2018.
Two weeks ago, after an Amtrak train derailed, injuring 100 people and killing 3 in Washington state, the president tweeted about the importance of infrastructure spending: