Schumer slams Amtrak, MTA over tunnel disrepair

- Fed up with the bureaucratic finger-pointing, Sen. Chuck Schumer slammed Amtrak and the MTA Thursday. A bipartisan group of elected officials lined up at the Hicksville train station to demand repairs be made to the East River tunnels.

Schumer said $432 million have been sitting aside for more than a year now. It's just some of the federal funds he worked to put aside for Hurricane Sandy repairs.

"The erosion continues, the repairs stand stalled, and so do thousands of commuters and thousands more in the future," Schumer said.

The meeting comes on the heels of Tuesday's commuting nightmare. Two LIRR trains were stuck in an East River tunnel for more than an hour. That happened less than a week after Amtrak announced three tracks will be closed for repairs at Penn Station this summer. The repairs will cause massive delays. 

Amtrak responded in a statement which reads in part: "Amtrak is already progressing the design work for this multi-year project and we are anxious to work with the MTA to solidify the funding and overall plan for these essential repairs."

MTA responded in a statement which reads in part: "Amtrak was not eligible to directly receive Sandy Emergency Relief Funds for these repairs, but while Amtrak continues to develop cost estimates for the East River tunnel repairs, the MTA is fully committed to funding its share and will advance our efforts with Amtrak to reach an agreement."

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