TWU blasts MTA for plan to give up Brooklyn space to NYU
The union representing MTA employees blasted the transit agency Wednesday for its decision to move out of the old NYC transit headquarters in Brooklyn and let NYU build a new tech campus on the site.
Transport Workers Union President John Samuelsen said giving away the building, for which the MTA pays the city $1 in rent, "incomprehensible." Employees now work at 2 Broadway in the financial district at a cost of $23.2 million in annual rent.
"Tens of millions of dollars in rider-generated funds are going to the owners of 2 Broadway every year, which is truly money thrown away,” Samuelsen told the board Wednesday morning. He said the money saved in rent could restore massive service cuts made in 2010.
The MTA decided last year that it was more cost-efficient to leave the Brooklyn space, which it says needs about $200 million in renovations. It also plans to sell or lease its main headquarters in midtown, and move more employees to 2 Broadway. The MTA signed a 50-year lease at 2 Broadway in 1998, and paid to renovate the space.
“There is a lot to be saved by having everyone together, physically in one place. That’s my ultimate goal,” MTA chairman Joseph Lhota said Wednesday. He added that “not one day” passes when the agency doesn’t think of ways to add service, should it get additional money.