Ward: If the M.T.A. withers, so will Manhattan and the whole regional economy

Chris Ward on NY1. (via NY1.)
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Former Port Authority executive director Chris Ward said that without adequate investment in the M.T.A., "the lifeblood of the city is just gonna slip away from us."

Last night, Ward appeared on "Inside City Hall" and, much as he has done in the past, warned against the perils of inadequate investment in the infrastructure that undergirds the metropolitan region's economy, like, for example, the cross-Hudson rail tunnel called ARC, which New Jersey governor Chris Christie unexpectedly cancelled upon taking office.

"By not building that capacity into the lifeblood of this region, which is, for better or for worse, Manhattan—this is where the jobs are, Northern New Jersey is a residential community—we're gonna get sprawl, you're gonna be seeing the city moving away from its core, you're gonna get inefficient development and the west side of Manhattan won't get that strong demand for commuters to fill up the office space that hopefully Related will be building very quickly," Ward said.

Asked what should be at the top of the next mayor's agenda, he said, "I think it has to be the M.T.A."

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"The people who rely on the M.T.A., the men and women who are coming into their job or going out to their job, they're not taking a car, they're not taking a limousine, they're not taking a taxi," he said. "They're taking the M.T.A."

Errol Louis, the show's host, asked about rumors that Ward might one day consider running for mayor himself.

"Never say never," Ward said.

Here's the whole interview.