“We’re coming,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday after announcing a “major upgrade” to the city’s subway system.
The $4.4 billion upgrade includes new stations, new elevators, a new subway car, and the opening of the first subway cars since 2015.
“I think we are coming,” de Blasio told a crowd of 1,200.
“We’ve been here a long time.
We’re going to be here.”
The $2.7 billion project has been a controversial one for several years, and even some of the most conservative of Democrats have said the city shouldn’t get any new subway cars.
But de Blasio, who is backed by the Democratic mayor of the city of New York, Bill deBlasio, and former mayor Michael Bloomberg, is moving forward with the project.
The mayor said he had to be a little cautious.
“It’s not the easy thing to do,” he said.
“You don’t want to overcommit.
I’m not going to do that, but we’re going.” de Blasio promised to invest $2 billion in new stations and other improvements.
“As we’re getting closer to our goal, we’re moving ahead,” deBlasias spokesman, Kevin Johnson, told the Associated Press.
The project has received bipartisan support.
Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has championed the project, said the mayor had done a good job in keeping up with the public and in negotiating with the private sector.
Cuomo said de Blasio has been “really helpful in negotiating” with the railroads, adding that the mayor’s administration had been “a tremendous help.”
The governor added that de Blasio’s administration has also been “constructive in working with the New York State Transit Authority and the Port Authority of New Jersey to get the new trains rolling.”
New York’s subway is in the middle of a lengthy reconstruction effort after it was plagued by delays and major fires.
The subway was also damaged by a massive subway collapse in January 2016, which killed 11 people and injured nearly 300 others.
Cuomo has promised to keep up the project and has been working to improve the system.
He also pledged that the city would invest $4 billion in the project over a decade, with the first car coming online by 2023.
“New York City has one of the best subway systems in the world, and I believe it will continue to be one of our great engines of economic growth,” de Blasio said in a statement Monday.
“In just three years, I’ve seen the number of new jobs grow more than 20 times, and we have the strongest economy in the country.
I have faith in the city that we will be able to take on this challenge together.” deBlasos administration also announced plans to make the new cars available to low-income residents and students, and to open more of the system to people with disabilities.
The city’s Department of Transportation will offer discounts on subway tickets for residents of low- and moderate-income households.