Big year ahead for NYC commuters

- 2017 is shaping up to be a big year for New Yorkers, especially those who commute. 

The first phase of the 2nd Avenue subway is complete, work is underway to revitalize LaGuardia Airport, there's a proposal to revamp JFK, and that's just some of what's going on. 

But will we actually see any significant progress this year?

Veronica Vanterpool is the executive director of the nonprofit "Tri-State Transportation Campaign." We met at her Midtown office, where she told us that our region needs more than a trillion dollars to finish all the infrastructure projects that are currently in the pipeline. The problem, in her opinion, is that so many new projects start before others are finished.

According to Vanterpool, the U.S. invests far less in infrastructure than many other developing nations. She also feels like here in New York our money could be put to better use. Instead of expanding airports and roadways, she says public transportation should be our number one priority.

"While many people would not doubt that airports need an overhaul, with our limited resources in this region, how do we start applying that funding? so the port authority bus terminal for example annually serves 2.5 more people than the airports do," said Vanterpool.

Councilman Dan Garodnick is on the City Council transportation committee. He claims the biggest challenge is convincing federal and local governments to allocate more funding for infrastructure.

"I think historically we have not significantly invested in our area's infrastructure. It's not always the sexiest topic, people don't always think about it until we have an emergency situation, but it's something we need to be thinking about, engaging on and delivering funds to so that our local economy can grow, can continue to function," said Garodnick.

Garodnick says President Trump appears to be a big supporter of infrastructure projects and for that reason the councilman plans to use this opportunity to lobby harder for funding this year than ever before.

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