June 2017
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Eyes on the City: The MTA Capital Construction Program

Photo: MTA

Photo: MTA

MAS identified the MTA’s capital budget deficit as one of our 2015 Watchlist items, our annual docket of issues we have identified as posing a significant opportunity for—or challenge to—the city’s success in the year ahead. MAS supports the funding agreement announced this week for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) capital construction program. New York cannot remain a vibrant, livable and economically sound city without a reliable and resilient public transportation system. In fact, the revitalization of the subway system from a state of disrepair in the late 1970s/early 1980s is one of the best urban revitalization success stories in New York’s history, and has allowed the city to flourish. This month, after months of negotiating, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio came to an agreement that will pay for necessary maintenance, repair, and expansions of the subway, bus, and commuter rail system. With $26 billion over five years, the MTA will be able to purchase more than 900 new subway cars and nearly 1,500 buses, as well as fund needed track work, 2nd Avenue subway construction, post-Sandy resiliency projects, and more. The city will be contributing $2.5 billion, a significant increase in funding from previous years, and something transit advocates have long requested. The state will contribute $8.3 billion, with the balance coming from other funding sources or further MTA cost-saving measures. However, the battle to fund our beleaguered public transit system is not yet won: the joint funding agreement still needs approval from the MTA Board and State Capital Program Review Board, so stay tuned to MAS for more developments on this issue in the months ahead.