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Thank the FTA

Dear Editor,
How disappointing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) forgot to acknowledge the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for providing the funding to pay for the new subway cars purchased on behalf of New York City Transit during a recent ceremony held in Brooklyn marking delivery of the first five cars.
A series of FTA grants to the MTA over several years will pay for most of the base bid of $1.44 billion awarded to Kawasaki to purchase 535 new state-of-the-art R211 subway cars.
They will primarily replace a similar number of subway cars currently operating on the A & C lines that have reached their useful life.
There are also option clauses to the contract that afford the MTA opportunities to purchase up to 1,077 additional cars at a cost of $3.7 billion. FTA funding will also pay for many of these cars, as well.
Sincerely,
Larry Penner
Great Neck

Wrong address

Dear Editor,
Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato’s recent letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Peter Buttigieg on behalf of restoring Long Island Rail Road service on the old Rockaway Beach branch was addressed to the wrong person.
She should have sent her letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Governor Andrew Cuomo, MTA Chairman Pat Foye, and senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.
None of them to date have expressed any serious interest in support of this $8 billion project. They all have other higher priorities.
You also need a transportation agency to serve as the project sponsor, which is necessary to apply for federal funding. Both the MTA and DOT have indicated no interest in sponsoring or pursuing funding from City Hall, Albany or Washington.
Either agency would have to ask the Federal Transit Administration for permission to enter the project into the New Starts/Core Capacity national discretionary grant program.
No one has offered millions to pay for the next step, which is a formal Environmental Review. Without this, the project will continue to be dead and buried.
The environmental review process would also have to follow the National Environmental Protection Act. This would be part of the formal process to become eligible for Federal Transit Administration funding.
Sincerely,
Larry Penner
Great Neck

Cop roles

Dear Editor,
MTA Chairman Pat Foye has a clear conflict by saying that the role of hundreds of new police officers would not be deterring fare beaters.
Didn’t he previously announce a crack down on fare beaters as a method to significantly reduce the loss of several hundred million in annual pre-COVID-19 revenue losses attributed to a growing number of riders who would not pay their fare?
And while Mayor Bill de Blasio and the MTA fought over the number of new police, it was interesting that no one asked Governor Andrew Cuomo to increase the number of state troopers assigned to the city.
They could used to patrol Penn Station, Grand Central Terminal, Atlantic Terminal and Jamaica Station. This would free up both city and MTA police officers to patrol many of the other subway stations and subway trains.
Sincerely,
Larry Penner
Great Neck

Serve your server

Dear Editor,
In these difficult economic times, it is especially important to patronize your favorite restaurants and honor the employees who make them a success.
Now that more of us have received our COVID-19 vaccine, why not join me in celebrating National Waiter and Waitress Day on May 21.
As regular patrons of several local restaurants, including Aunt Bella’s, Joe’s Marathon Food Shop and King Wok in Little Neck and Fontana Famous Gyro and Pizza in Bayside, there are several ways to say thank you.
Let your servers, cooks and owners know how much you appreciate the excellent food and service.
We try to tip 20 percent against the total bill, including taxes. If it is an odd amount, round up to the next dollar. Why not leave a 25 percent tip in honor of this day?
If you can afford to eat out, you can afford an extra dollar tip. When ordering take out, don’t forget to leave a dollar or two for the waiter or cook. Trust us, it is appreciated.
The people who work at your favorite restaurant are our neighbors. They work long hours for little pay and count on tips, which make up a significant portion of their income.
If we don’t patronize our local restaurants, they don’t eat either. Your purchases keep our neighbors employed and the local economy growing.
As a show of appreciation, drop off a box of candy, cookies or some other treat for your favorite waiter or restaurant staff to celebrate this day.
Sincerely,
Larry Penner
Great Neck

Station neglect

Dear Editor,
There are ongoing problems at the Bayside Long Island Rail Road Station that impact several thousand dally riders.
I give the LIRR credit for installation of new concrete ties and ballast that will insure a safer and more comfortable ride. They have also recently completed repairs to sections of the westbound platform edge, but there is still other significant outstanding maintenance and repair work to be done.
The original wooden support beams for various sections of the canopy have deteriorated, and pigeons have moved into the rotting bottom section of the westbound canopy stairs roof.
Other portions of the canopy roof are also in need of repair. Pigeons droppings can be seen at the bottom of the westbound stairs and second set of stairs for the eastbound platform.
The metal structure supporting the overpass connecting the east and westbound platforms is accumulating rust. There is also a hole in one of the eastbound steel staircases.
Pigeons have also found a second home in the hole on the roof over the ticket office facing the platform.
Why has the LIRR waited so long to allow these issues to grow even worse?
Sincerely,
Larry Penner
Great Neck

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