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Partnership Statement on Cost & Benefit of East Side Access

“Although the costs of bringing the Long Island Railroad into Grand Central Station have escalated to $11.2 billion, the East Side Access project will create economic development benefits for the city and region that exceed $18 billion.  Using methodology developed by Boston Consulting Group for a study published by the Partnership for New York City in 2004, we can project that East Side Access will generate economic development benefits at least 1.61 times its cost. The project will significantly enhance utilization and access to the midtown transit hub, resulting in new development, increased employment and expanded commercial activity in the city and, potentially, in Long Island as well.  There are also clear transportation benefits of the project, which will increase the capacity of the LIRR and reduce commuting time for thousands of passengers. Reform of MTA procurement and contracting procedures is certainly necessary to reduce construction costs of major projects—and the MTA has already demonstrated a commitment to begin this process. But it is clear that the value generated by investments in transit are enormous and need to be factored into any cost-benefit analysis, said Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City.