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State to fund half of NYC subway plan: Cuomo

Meanwhile, Governor Cuomo is in Washington D.C. Wednesday to appeal to a higher authority – he is expected to ask Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao for federal funding to help fix the city’s deteriorating transit infrastructure as well as push for more federal projects, like a new rail tunnel between NY and New Jersey in order to help alleviate the stress on the region’s taxed system.”The mayor can’t run and he can’t hide from his responsibility”, union president John Samuelsen said. “This is our transit system”, Cuomo said.The initiative was packaged with a new subway partnership council, which businesses and civic organizations will be able to join at the tune of $250,000 to revamp stations, the governor said.The second phase, which will be outlined in the coming weeks, will consist of long-term improvements, including better subway cars, a new signal system and more modern communications technology. “I’m optimistic that something can happen from that”, Lhota said. The ad campaign is set to launch Thursday with a commercial featuring commuters demanding de Blasio pay his fair share. “The fundamental responsibility of government is to respond in a timely and effective way when people need help”.The MTA board will held its monthly meeting Wednesday, one day after MTA Chairman Joe Lhota revealed his plan to fix the subway system – a plan that has pitted Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo in an escalating battle over who will pay. The riders, who are the mayor’s constituents, are suffering.Less than an hour after Cuomo gave his speech, de Blasio released a missive to the media with an all-caps headline – “THE MONEY FOR THE MTA’S SUBWAY CRISIS PLAN IS IN GOVERNOR CUOMO’S BUDGET” – that also included links to various articles to back up his points.De Blasio criticized Lhota’s call for more funding, saying the city has already committed $2.5 billion to the MTA’s five-year capital plan, adding that the MTA has only spent a portion of that money.He also called on Cuomo to shift more than $200 million for the light show on the MTA bridges and wondered how much of the $1 billion that Cuomo said the state would contribute to the MTA capital plan would go toward Lhota’s plan.”Without financial support from the state -and the city- riders will be forced to suffer through more delays, more breakdowns and more misery”, he said.”Today was a step in the right direction”, de Blasio said, as he reiterated his stance that the city shouldn’t be burdened with the bulk of the costs to fix the system.Mayor de Blasio speaks to reporters while riding the subway on Sunday..He added, “I haven’t seen any directive given, and if it was given, it shouldn’t have been”.