Senator Schumer demands Amtrak, MTA finalize plan for Penn Station repairs

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The tunnels that head under the East River are in critical need of repair, lawmakers say. They accuse the MTA of not using federal money to make repairs.

"We will again be getting pain with no gain. I continue to play rider roulette," says Mark Epstein of the LIRR commuter council.

"No more 'he said, she said' nonsense - Long Island Railroad riders want action," says Senator Charles Schumer.

As a bi-partisan voice, they are urging the MTA, along with Amtrak to use $432 million in federal money to make critical repairs to the East River Tunnels damaged five years ago by Superstorm Sandy.

It comes just two days after Long Island Rail Road commuters saw major delays during the morning rush hour because of an electrical failure.

"The money is sitting there for the East River tunnels, and the East River tunnels only, but a year has gone by, and they don't even have a detailed plan," Senator Schumer adds.

Senator Schumer obtained the money, and others grow more concerned. When they see incidents like this one, where trains were stranded in the tunnels because of an electrial problem, there are also security concerns.

"Thinking about those commuters down there, I'm thinking about potential hazards that preesents, so this has risen to a critial level," says Assemblyman Tom Croci.

The MTA reports that Superstorm Sandy caused $5 billion in damages to the MTA system and flooded the East River Tunnels with more than 13 million gallons of saltwater, saying that 'Senator Schumer's leadership was critical to securing the largest disaster allocation ever for mass transit agencies, with the MTA receiving $3.7 billion in repair funding and more than $1 billion in resiliency funding to build back better.'
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