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MTA releases draft capital program, capital needs assessment

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New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority released its 2010-2029 Twenty Year Needs and Preliminary 2010-2014 Capital Program for public review and comment. Taken together, these documents identify the MTA's long-term infrastructure needs and a short-term plan to begin addressing them within current budget expectations. The documents are available online at www.mta.info, where the public can also submit comments.

Since 1982, the MTA has
invested more than $75 billion in six successive programs that have restored
the legacy of a system once on the brink of collapse. As a result, ridership
levels are the highest since the 1950s, and our infrastructure is more reliable
than ever: the distance subway traveled between breakdowns has increased 1800%
for subway cars and 670% for buses and more than 500% for commuter rail cars.

 

The proposed 2010-2029
Twenty Year Needs and Preliminary 2010-2014 Capital Program are based on two
guiding principles – rebuild the MTA’s infrastructure and expand its system to
accommodate growing demand. The $25.5-billion Proposed Draft 2010-2014 program
focuses first and foremost on rebuilding the MTA’s core infrastructure, which
makes up 73 percent of the total program. Many of the proposed investments
repair and replace fundamental components of the transit system:

 

• More than 500 new
subway cars, 2,800 buses and 410 rail cars;

 

• Signal
improvements and upgrades for the commuter railroads and subways;

 

• Station
renovations, including the introduction of a new program that targets necessary
component improvements; and,

 

• Improved access
for the disabled including audio-visual screens, low-floor buses, elevators,
paratransit vehicles and ADA-compliant stations.

 

Wherever possible,
obsolete or inefficient infrastructure will be replaced with smart investments,
such as new technologies and innovative services including:

 

• A new contactless
fare payment system to more fully integrate regional travel;

 

• Real-time customer
information to allow customers to optimize trip planning;

 

• New train control
systems to increase capacity and safety on subways and commuter railroads; and,

 

• New subway
transfers and strategic commuter rail investments to make the existing system
work better for customers.

 

These rebuilding
investments are complemented by investments to expand the system to meet
growing regional demand. The MTA’s expansion plan includes the completion of
its three critical, ongoing projects and the analysis of a number of new
initiatives:

 

• First phase of the
Second Avenue Subway, which will relieve overcrowding on the Lexington Avenue
subway lines and carry more than 200,000 customers;

 

• East Side Access,
which will save 76,000 daily customers up to 40 minutes a day by bringing LIRR
trains to Grand Central;

 

• Extension of the 7
subway line to 34th Street and 11th Avenue, which will support development of
Manhattan’s Far West Side;

 

• Study of Staten
Island’s North and West Shore travel corridors, which will identify ways to
support faster and more reliable transit service on Staten Island;

 

• Queens Boulevard
Corridor study, which will evaluate solutions for meeting today’s high demand
and serving projected population and employment growth as well; and

 

• Continued study of
Tappan Zee corridor, which will evaluate alternatives for the Bridge, including
transit, to reduce congestion and improve mobility.

 

 

The $25.5-billion draft
plan includes funding assumptions from local, state and federal partners, but
requires an additional approximately $10 billion to implement the program as
presented. Public input will be incorporated into a revised plan that will be
formally presented to the MTA Board in September, before being submitted for
final approval in Albany in October, as required by law. The MTA hopes to gain
approval of the final plan by January 1, 2010, the effective date of the new
five-year plan.

 

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