Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New York MTA capital funds secured in deal

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From the editors at Railway Age

New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo reportedly has brokered a deal with Republican state legislative leaders to fully fund the last three years of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's five-year capital plan.

Legislators, mostly from upstate, had signaled an intent to slash capital support, which would have jeopardized federal matching funds for ongoing projects in Manhattan, including work on the Second Avenue subway, Long Island Rail Road's Eastside Access to Grand Central Terminal, the Fulton Street Transit Center (downtown), and the extension of the No. 7 subway line to the far West Side.

Curtailing such funding also would have undercut employment at numerous rail supplier locations throughout upstate New York, making the legislators' actions more complicated-and politically risky--than simply upstate-highways/downstate rail transit needs might suggest.

Should the agreement hold per passage of the state's fiscal year 2013 budget, $13.1 billion will be available for the projects. A vote could come by Wednesday. The deal reportedly also provides money for new subway and rail cars, new energy-efficient buses, station rehabilitation, enhanced communications and signals, and other items.

MTA's $22.2 billion capital plan initially provided $9.1 billion for the first two years of the current five-year program. The capital program is expected to generate 20,000 jobs annually and have an overall economic impact of $37 billion.

"The MTA is grateful for Governor Cuomo's leadership and commitment in recognizing the critical importance of funding mass transit," MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said in a statement Monday. "With this funding, the MTA will continue to enhance our riders' experience by investing in the future of our transportation network."

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