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Busy Bee Dec 31, 2017 6:48 PM

Wait, you mean to tell me that unionized workers and non-unionized workers are all human beings and prone to making mistakes?

mrnyc Jan 2, 2018 4:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by antinimby (Post 8032509)
You should read that NYT article link by CIA above. You might learn something.

did you learn the costs of these projects has little to do with what they pay the labor.

C. Jan 2, 2018 3:43 PM

Surprised there isn't more fallout about the Gateway project being dead. This is vitally important to the economy of the region.

C. Jan 2, 2018 3:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrnyc (Post 8033596)
did you learn the costs of these projects has little to do with what they pay the labor.

Well, it's not all materials, so I'm not sure what you're suggesting here. Of course labor, much of it mandated by local, state and federal regulations, make up a big component of the project budget.

It doesn't matter if it's union or non-union as NY state law requires payment of prevailing wages on public projects...

Did you read the article?

k1052 Jan 2, 2018 3:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CIA (Post 8033769)
Surprised there isn't more fallout about the Gateway project being dead. This is vitally important to the economy of the region.

Wait till Amtrak starts shutting the North River tunnels and locks NJT out of Penn for (at least) two years.

ardecila Jan 2, 2018 4:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CIA (Post 8033775)
It doesn't matter if it's union or non-union as NY state law requires payment of prevailing wages on public projects...

Of course it matters. Prevailing wage is only a fraction of the cost driver. Prevailing wage laws (and the Federal Davis-Bacon Act) say nothing about work rules that mandate a certain number of workers, or about worker productivity in general. They only require 1.5x prevailing wage for any overtime, including nights or weekends.

If anything, in the absence of union labor agreements and prescriptive work rules, prevailing wage actually encourages contractors to hire fewer people and get more productivity out of each employee, using both new technologies and good old-fashioned discipline.

To be honest, as the article points out, this abuse and waste is only possible because of the extremely cozy relationship between MTA and its contractors and consultants. A fairer, more impartial MTA would be able to open the bidding to more competitors, bringing more efficiency to construction, and keep scope changes to a minimum.

mrnyc Jan 2, 2018 4:39 PM

the tunnels will be shut down or there will be a serious problem, if not a disaster.

unfortunately trump or perhaps his people, he may not have control over them, have stalled gateway out for now.

hopefully this year we get progress and agreement on that before the tunnels give out.

its obvious the tri-state is being punished by the tax reform and now this attempt at reneging on the gateway deal.

mrnyc Jan 2, 2018 4:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 8033816)
A fairer, more impartial MTA would be able to open the bidding to more competitors, bringing more efficiency to construction, and keep scope changes to a minimum.

mta should not be charged with capital projects at all outside of upkeep.

k1052 Jan 2, 2018 5:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrnyc (Post 8033822)
the tunnels will be shut down or there will be a serious problem, if not a disaster.

unfortunately trump or perhaps his people, he may not have control over them, have stalled gateway out for now.

hopefully this year we get progress and agreement on that before the tunnels give out.

its obvious the tri-state is being punished by the tax reform and now this attempt at reneging on the gateway deal.

Such an agreement will almost certainly be predicated on Schumer supporting whatever half baked infrastructure plan Trump eventually proposes, which isn't going to happen. Even if funding was green lit this year I doubt new tunnels would be completed before a catastrophic accident in the decaying ones cuts service.

NJ better buy a crapload of canoes.

mrnyc Jan 2, 2018 5:24 PM

we'll see, but yeah a guess is trump's infrastructure plan will be crap like new toll roads. hopefully the ny'er in him kicks in.

yankeesfan1000 Jan 2, 2018 9:51 PM

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but in regards to Gateway, but wasn't just the 50/50 funding framework shot down by the Feds because a formal request for funding has yet to be submitted?

I'm not hopeful of Trumps infrastructure package, but I wouldn't call this thing dead yet until the details of that are released.

ardecila Jan 2, 2018 10:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by yankeesfan1000 (Post 8034153)
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but in regards to Gateway, but wasn't just the 50/50 funding framework shot down by the Feds because a formal request for funding has yet to be submitted?

I'm not hopeful of Trumps infrastructure package, but I wouldn't call this thing dead yet until the details of that are released.

Yeah, Crain's spun this as a huge diss from the Trump administration (typical wounded pride from New Yorkers ;)) but it could be that this is just a minor procedural hangup.

Despite the importance of this project, it should play by the same rules as any other transit project. A verbal agreement from former Transportation Secretary Foxx is not binding. Either it's that, or Trump's team really does want to use this as leverage with Schumer...

What Trump's team should be doing is rebuking New York for its irresponsibility on past capital projects, as the recent NYTimes expose showed. I wouldn't want to keep throwing scarce Federal money down a hole in New York when Denver, Seattle, Los Angeles are able to make big moves in a (relatively) responsible way... If Gateway turned into even half the debacle that East Side Access is, then NY needs to massively tighten its belt before going begging in Washington. Even the design of Gateway is wasteful and boneheaded, with the whole Penn South thing.

yankeesfan1000 Jan 3, 2018 1:13 PM

^ Thanks for confirming.

I agree, costs are a major concern, but addressing those issues would take years, if not more, which unfortunately we don't have for this project. If one of these tunnels needs to get shut down for repairs, you cut Penn Stations capacity by 75%, that just is not an option.

And Penn Station South is a vital to this. There is zero platform capacity for new trains, so with the new tunnels, come new trains, but again as it stands now, there aren't any platforms for them to use, hence, Penn South.

k1052 Jan 3, 2018 1:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by yankeesfan1000 (Post 8034743)

And Penn Station South is a vital to this. There is zero platform capacity for new trains, so with the new tunnels, come new trains, but again as it stands now, there aren't any platforms for them to use, hence, Penn South.

Mostly due to Penn's horrific passenger circulation, which can be addressed without buying and leveling a couple blocks of midtown. MSG and the office tower need to go elsewhere and away.

yankeesfan1000 Jan 3, 2018 3:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 8034763)
Mostly due to Penn's horrific passenger circulation, which can be addressed without buying and leveling a couple blocks of midtown. MSG and the office tower need to go elsewhere and away.

Agree on all fronts, but the option of getting rid of MSG wasn't specified.

Interesting read, more about Penn though.

mrnyc Jan 3, 2018 10:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 8034221)
Yeah, Crain's spun this as a huge diss from the Trump administration (typical wounded pride from New Yorkers ;)) but it could be that this is just a minor procedural hangup.

Despite the importance of this project, it should play by the same rules as any other transit project. A verbal agreement from former Transportation Secretary Foxx is not binding. Either it's that, or Trump's team really does want to use this as leverage with Schumer...

What Trump's team should be doing is rebuking New York for its irresponsibility on past capital projects, as the recent NYTimes expose showed. I wouldn't want to keep throwing scarce Federal money down a hole in New York when Denver, Seattle, Los Angeles are able to make big moves in a (relatively) responsible way... If Gateway turned into even half the debacle that East Side Access is, then NY needs to massively tighten its belt before going begging in Washington. Even the design of Gateway is wasteful and boneheaded, with the whole Penn South thing.


no its more than that. trump's people spun it back like there never was an agreement of any kind, its just a local project and they don't want to pay anything for it at all.

so they are definitely punishing the region, but both sides really need to just grow up and hammer something out. the old tunnels will not hold out and that will be a disaster. anyway, here is what was said, via curbed:


In a letter drafted to the governors, acting Federal Transit Administration administrator K. Jane Williams alleges that there was never an agreement between the two states and the federal government to split the cost of the project, reports Crain’s.

Referencing a recent letter sent to the U.S. Department of Transportation, in which the governors outlined a plan to underwrite their portion of the project’s cost, Williams responded by stating the following:

“Your letter also references a nonexistent ‘50-50’ agreement between USDOT, New York, and New Jersey. There is no such agreement. We consider it unhelpful to reference a nonexistent ‘agreement’ rather than directly address the responsibility for funding a local project where nine out of 10 passengers are local transit riders.”

:shrug:

yankeesfan1000 Jan 4, 2018 5:07 PM

So if because the majority of users are local users, that allows the Feds to wipe their hands clean of this, does that mean the Feds will hand over Penn Station and the tunnels themselves to local agencies, since those are mostly trafficked by local users? What a dumb argument.

Meanwhile, the New York Building Congress is planning a big lobbying push to get the Feds to address this.

mrnyc Jan 4, 2018 6:24 PM

^ exactly. thats why both sides need to grow up and get a deal done. it seems some of the massive gateway project can be scaled back, like the bridges and the like in nj. so maybe there is some give, but the new tunnels need built and the old ones fixed, there is no way around that.

that link is funny to see as its about real estate lobbying trump for gateway. at least he knows them well and will listen -- as long as his adhd allows. we can only hope that affecting at least 20% of the gdp is nothing to be casually brushed off.

yankeesfan1000 Jan 4, 2018 6:45 PM

The bridges on the NJ side being replaced are also about 100 years old and are major bottlenecks on the NEC. I think the R's objections to this revolve around the fact that it's a rail project, and a project in two blue states, and not so much price tag.

Marv95 Jan 5, 2018 8:16 AM

The original plan was supposed to be 2 corrupt states kicking in the actual money. Now all of a sudden they can't afford it(BS) and instead need to rely on a federal loan from an administration they referred to or condoned its leader as Hitler, and anyone affiliated with him as scum of the earth. What did you people expect? If I was part of the Trump admin why would I toss money in a black hole known as the tri-state area when I keep getting demonized? It's not a "blue state issue" when they granted $650 million for Caltrain's electrification project.

"B-but 20% of GDP! Itz not a locale project omg" About 2% of the population uses Amtrak. The vast majority of people crossing the Hudson have and will still use automobiles. It makes no sense to keep an unprofitable, unreliable cross country Amtrak as is when you got airplanes that get folks to their destinations much faster or Greyhound that does it cheaper. NJ employees who have to waltz into NYC while paying income taxes to NYC can use ferries, PATH or deal with one of the 3 crossings. Or find jobs in their own state/cities and pour money there.


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