Trump Blocked a $13 Billion Railway Plan

So much for all that stuff about rebuilding the infrastructure.


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:

The train accident that just occurred in DuPont, WA shows more than ever why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly. Seven trillion dollars spent in the Middle East while our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble! Not for long!