Funding Announcement for Transit Hub in Syracuse, NY

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7/8/2010

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Well thank you congressman.

Let me say a warm and hearty congratulations from President Obama and Secretary LaHood on this $8.5 million announcement.

This, actually, is one of the largest grants we are making out of $300 million in grants today and were making it here for the transit hub in Syracuse, because you all have really gotten your work done.

As was pointed out this project has had a number of stutter steps.

But todays announcement is good news for Syracuse.

Its good news for transit riders all across Onondaga County and surrounding areas.

Its good news for the people of Centro who have worked so hard on this. Its really good news just for job creation in downtown Syracuse.

The development that you are going to see here as a result of this transit hub is going to be a more prosperous downtown that is going to yield even more jobs in the future.

Let me just say, this project is one that weve heard a lot about. But this was not a project that was a creation of the Obama administration.

It was the creation of the leaders of Greater Syracuse and Onondaga County and Centro.

This is not our idea.

This is your idea.

What the Obama administration has done is listen.

Weve been listening to people like Mayor Miner, weve been listening to people like Senator Chuck Schumer, weve been listening seemingly repeatedly to Dan Muffei.

Dan Muffei has been talking to us about this project, since maybe his third day in office.

Im not sure he even had office space before he started calling the White House and the Department of Transportation about this project --about the need to get it over the finish line --about the fact that it had money, then it lost some money, it made some steps forward, it took some steps back.

Finally with todays announcement this project takes one final step forward.

The talk is over.

The stutter steps are over.

Were going to start building this project in the fall.

It's going to bring needed jobs to Downtown, its going to bring needed jobs to the county and its going to leave a more prosperous Downtown when its done.

One thing I want to emphasize is that Centro did a lot of things right.

I was talking to your executive director.

He told me that people had been debating the location of this project for a great many months and years.

Maybe even a dozen years.

I think if we chart back to the very first time that paperwork came into the Federal Transit Administration about this project, it may have been as many as a dozen years ago.

One of the things that Centro has done right, among many, is when they put in their application, they talked about inclement weather.

Now, many of you know this, but, DC just had the most snow-bound inclement winter that it has had in decades.

Centro took the extra effort to put in its application, pictures of every uncovered, unsheltered bus stop and bus passengers waiting in line in driving snowstorms.

That means a lot more to people in Washington, DC this year than it ever has before.

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