MTA’s five-year spending plan could double to $60B

October 26, 2018

Via Roman Kruglov Flickr

Fixing the Metro Area’s mass transit system may cost $60 billion in a five-year spending plan, Politico New York reported this week. The capital spending plan includes system-wide repairs for the subway, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North, and the bridges and tunnels overseen by the authority. This updated price tag is nearly double the MTA’s existing five-year plan of roughly $33 billion.

The plan’s estimated cost, which was shared with reporters by a specially convened task force, includes the first half of the MTA’s Fast Forward plan, a ten-year plan released in May aimed at improving the NYC subway system.

Out of the whopping $60 billion, $19 billion would be set aside for the Fast Forward plan, $20 billion for repairs and maintenance, and another $21 billion for the LIRR and Metro-North systems.

But the MTA has not yet confirmed a price tag for the system-wide repair work. Jon Weinstein, a spokesperson for the agency, said its too early to release final estimates.

“There are lots of numbers being thrown around, nothing is final, “Weinstein said in a statement. “As we’ve said we need reliable, sustainable, predictable sources of funding.”

The MTA is facing a steep deficit of $634 million in 2022, expecting a loss of $376 million over the next four years. New sources of funding could come in the form of four percent fare hikes next year and in 2021. The deficit could also mean service reductions (which could mean the total elimination of some bus routes), reduced training and track inspections, and toll increases.

In August, the MTA announced it is delaying the rollout of the plan to expand select bus service over the next few years to cut costs. Temporarily postponing the expansion will save just $28 million through 2022.

Congestion pricing has been pushed by officials and transit advocates, but Joe Lhota, who leads the MTA, has said it won’t be enough. If the state passes a congestion pricing plan, it’s estimated to bring in just $1.5 billion annually for the MTA.

The Metropolitan Transportation Sustainability Advisory Workgroup is coming up with its own recommendations for a capital plan and new revenue sources for the MTA.

[Via Politico NY]


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