NYMTA: $2.5B to Enhance Resiliency, Expand Accessibility

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor, Railway Age
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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced Dec. 19 that $2.5 billion through 19 procurements will be invested to "combat climate change, expand accessibility and improve service," following MTA Board approval.

The procurements will be awarded in multiple pivotal projects from Bridges & TunnelsLong Island Rail Road (LIRR)Metro-North Railroad and New York City Transit (NYCT), including Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) upgrades and elevator replacements at 12 subway stations across four boroughs; resiliency and rehabilitation efforts on the Rockaway Line in Queens; Fulton Avenue and South Street Bridge repairs on Metro-North’s New Haven Line; and the redevelopment of the Jamaica Bus Depot. Contracts for the Rockway Line, Americans with ADA upgrades, elevator replacements, and the Fulton Avenue and South Street bridges were made possible through federal funding.

The MTA says it is piloting its first-ever local hiring goals for Rockaway Line, ADA projects and the Jamaica Bus Depot to “create job opportunities in the local communities where these projects take place.” For these three projects, the MTA has set a goal that at least 20% of New York State workforce come from neighborhoods surrounding the project–in southeast Queens for the Jamaica Bus Depot and Rockaway Line, and around the station areas planned for ADA upgrades. Through meeting local hiring goals, these projects, MTA adds, “can create over a hundred jobs for residents impacted by the project and ensure that the local communities share in the benefits of project construction and delivery.” 

“These projects will ensure the MTA meets the needs of today’s riders while fighting climate change, expanding accessibility, and making sure our transit infrastructure is kept in condition to keep delivering for the next century and beyond,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “This month, the MTA is proudly investing $2.5 billion to ensure the system continues to be the fastest, greenest and most reliable way for everyone to get around the New York metro region.”

ADA Station Upgrades and Elevator Replacements 

Stations in Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Manhattan will all undergo upgrades to enhance accessibility, including Bay Ridge–95 Street Station (R) in Brooklyn, Northern Boulevard Station (M, R) in Queens, Parkchester E 177 Street 6 Station in the Bronx, and 137 Street–City College Station (1) in Manhattan. The upgrades, executed through two contracts, are expected to cost an estimated $156 million.  

Additionally, multiple elevators will be replaced across seven stations in Manhattan and Queens, including some of the system’s busiest stations such as: 

  • Times Square–42nd Street
  • 14th Street–Union Square
  • 8th Avenue
  • 175th Street
  • 125th Street
  • West 4th Street
  • 74th Street–Broadway
  • Jackson Heights–Roosevelt Avenue
  • Lexington Avenue–53rd Street

According to the MTA, repairs to the 19 elevators at the above seven stations are expected to cost an estimated $92 million to be accomplished through two procurements. The Authority says it is using “its new modernized approach to delivering capital projects deploying every innovative tool at the MTA’s disposal in creative ways to achieve ADA improvements.” 

“The four stations that will be made newly accessible through this project serve a diverse group of riders across four boroughs, from City College students to seniors aging in place in the Bronx,” said MTA Chief Accessibility Officer and Senior Advisor Quemuel Arroyo. “By deepening the commitment to accessibility through these elevator installations and replacement projects, the communities who rely on mass transit the most will directly benefit from this multi-million-dollar investment.”

Rockaway Line 

A contract will be awarded to conduct rehabilitation and resiliency work on the Rockaway Line—a vital link connecting mainland Queens with the Rockaway Peninsula—serving the A and S trains in Queens. This project includes designing, furnishing and installing structure rehabilitation elements, in addition to slope protection and debris shielding to ensure a state of good repair for the line that is over 65 years old. 

“Ensuring the line is resilient to climate change impacts is crucial,” the MTA said. After Superstorm Sandy, service was suspended for more than six months due to damage caused by the extreme weather event. While key efforts have been made, such as flood protection and communications upgrades, “the threat of damage from future storms remains,” the agency added.

Pending board approval, the contract will be awarded for 44 months at an estimated cost of $392 million. While service disruptions will be unavoidable due to the narrow passage of the line, incentives are included for the contract awardee to reduce lengths of outages. Numerous travel alternatives will be provided, including shuttle services and cross-honoring on LIRR with an anticipated completion of the project expected to be by the end of 2026. 

Metro-North Bridge Replacements  

A 27-month, $37 million design-build contract will be awarded following Board approval to replace bridges at Fulton Avenue and South Street in Mount Vernon, N.Y. This work forms part of an effort to bring eight bridges located in Mount Vernon to a state of good repair. Both bridges were first constructed in 1893 and are essential to ferrying passengers along the New Haven line. The 153-foot Fulton Avenue and 73-foot South Street bridges represent the final two bridges to undergo repairs.   

“Keeping our infrastructure up to date, safe and reliable is a vital role of government–and these bridge replacement projects are another sign that all levels of government are focused on quality of life needs for the residents of Mount Vernon,” said Westchester County Executive George Latimer. “Through the jobs they will create and the improved access for commuters and emergency first responders, these projects are great news for our County and the City. I thank Governor Hochul, the MTA and MNR, and all our partners for their continued progress toward our shared goals.” 

The procurements also include an estimated $483 million contract to redevelop the Jamaica Bus Depot to enable a capacity for 60 electric buses with 60 charging stations. Once open in the summer of 2026, the 134,000-square-foot depot will accommodate more than 270 buses. By 2030, the depot is expected to accommodate an all-electric bus fleet. The facility will also receive much-needed quality of life upgrades to enhance the work life of transit and maintenance workers stationed there.  

“As the MTA invests in the region’s infrastructure it’s also investing in a pool of MTA certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) by providing $345.3 million in subcontract opportunities with these critical infrastructure construction projects,” said MTA Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer Michael J. Garner. “As a result of these subcontracts, the MTA continues to drive equity within the disadvantaged business communities, specifically by creating jobs, homeownership, better education opportunities and healthcare options. The MTA is fully committed to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).” 

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