President Trump’s ‘anarchist’ statement could cost New York and others transit funds – Streetsblog New York City

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Trump’s “anarchist jurisdiction” = more viral spread.

New York City and two other progressive cities could lose a multimillion-dollar research grant to aid recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and stop the spread of the deadly disease on public transportation — all because the President Trump said cities were overrun with anarchy.

Transit advocates accuse the president of being “do politics” with people’s lives.

[The Trump administration’s] the drive to expose innocent transit riders and essential transit workers to heightened COVID risk simply because of Donald Trump’s unrelated personal vendetta against some local elected officials is both reckless and anti- American,” said David Bragdon of TransitCenter. “No American, in any city or state, should be sacrificed to a pandemic because of the petty whims of a president.”

Last month, the Trump administration designated New York, along with Seattle and Portland, “anarchist courts” because – he claims – their leaders failed to stop the anti-police protests that erupted after Minneapolis cops killed George Floyd in May.

The president threatened to cut funding to those cities — and, apparently, his agencies got the memo.

On October 8, the Federal Public Transport Administration issued a notice stating that consideration of a $10 million grant to fund programs to curb the spread of the coronavirus on buses and trains should exclude the trio of cities “in accordance with the President’s memorandum dated September 2, 2020 , entitled Funding Review Memorandum on State and Local Government Recipients of Federal Funds that Enable Lawlessness, Violence, and Destruction in American Cities.

It’s the first tangible result of Trump’s attacks on the three liberal cities since they were designated “anarchist jurisdictions.”

Projects eligible for the grant include solutions to help reduce the spread of the disease, such as improving infrastructure cleaning and disinfection; exposure mitigation measures; new multimodal payment systems for contactless payments; and measures that build public confidence in public transit, according to the note of the FTA, a department within the US Department of Transportation.

The three cities together serve nearly half of the nation’s transit ridership through the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York, TriMet in Portland and King County Metro and Sound Transit in Seattle, and restricting potentially life-saving projects is not only petty and dangerous, but undemocratic, say supporters.

“Cities and transit agencies serve the public regardless of political or party affiliation. Withholding funds from jurisdictions in an attempt for political gain puts cities, transit agencies and our democracy at risk,” said Corinne Kisner, executive director of NACTO, the National Coordinating Group of Transportation Department Leaders. the city. “This decision puts millions of transit riders and operators across our country at risk and prevents the most equipped from exploring new ways to make public transit even safer.”

A grant to do more to build public confidence in public transit and effectively slow the spread, would go a long way in New York, where despite studies assuring straps that lock the subways are safe, traffic is still only around 30 percent of normal.

Still, a $10 million grant would be a drop in the bucket compared to the MTA’s growing $3.9 billion debt, which agency bosses say they desperately need help for. federal aid.

Photo montage: Riders Alliance
Photo montage: Riders Alliance

An MTA spokesperson declined to comment on whether the agency planned to apply for the grant, and said it was “reviewing the administration’s announcement.”

The Biden campaign declined to comment.

After this story was initially published, an FTA spokesperson said the MTA had already received over $4 billion in COVID relief funds provided, and sent the following statement:

“The Department provided $25 billion in COVID-19 relief funding in a record 6 days (before the legislative deadline) to transit agencies and distributed more than 100 million masks for workers and residents. transport users across the country. The Notice of COVID-19 Funding Opportunity (NOFO) was issued quickly so that these funds can be distributed to transit agencies as soon as possible during this public health emergency. Presidential directives are non-discretionary, complying with all applicable legal requirements. »

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