NEW YORK (PIX11) — Construction work is always going on in the transit system. It takes a lot of planning to get things underway.
State law requires the MTA to create a 20-year proposal. On Wednesday at a briefing, officials called it the “most rigorous needs assessment” in its history.
The president of capital construction and development said the first job is rebuilding the system and taking care of existing structures.
“In order to achieve the on-time performance that everybody is looking for, we need to make sure that our tracks are in good shape so that we have fewer disruptions,” said Jamie Torres-Springer, the president of MTA Construction and Development.
Some projects include new power substations to keep systems running and new signals that allow more trains to run.
Old maintenance yards and facilities need to be rebuilt or else crews can’t get equipment efficiently repaired and back out on the tracks in a timely manner.
Improving the system involves more accessibility and elevators. Resiliency projects prevent flooding and protect the systems.
New trains and buses are needed. The agency estimates that 63% of the rolling stock of trains and buses will need renewed or replaced in the next 20 years.
Expansion is the third item after maintenance and repair.
Continuing the Second Avenue Subway to 125th Street and Lexington Avenue is moving ahead and has some federal funding. The Interborough Express would add public transit to freight lines connecting Brooklyn and Queens.
“At this point, as a New Yorker who has been riding the train my whole life, I don’t think it’s about more money. It’s about getting the job done,” said Samantha Perosiel, who is a daily commuter around the boroughs.
The document outlines a prioritization protocol that includes saving riders’ time, addressing equity issues and serving transit deserts.
“We are trying to make sure everybody has the information so that we can have a much more robust public dialogue about what we are going to invest and what we are going to prioritize,” said MTA Chairman Janno Lieber.
Revenue from congestion pricing would allow for borrowing billions to pay specifically for capital improvement projects. City, state and federal money would also be used.
“Instead of matching needs to some pre-approved budget, this detailed evaluation tells the whole story, laying bare the urgent need for renewal and improvement of the system’s existing infrastructure and to prepare for climate change. This is an essential first step to start the discussion that will shape the 2025-2029 Capital Plan,” Lieber said.
The MTA said it looked at nearly six million component assets:
- 8,747 railcars
- 5,840 buses
- 1,907 miles of track
- 1,092 rail bridges
- 704 passenger stations
- 429 power substations
- 101 maintenance shops
- 68 rail yards
- 7 vehicular bridges
- 2 vehicular tunnels
Officials said the future of the system is contingent on three main factors that drive the need for investment: aging infrastructure, climate change, and evolving rider needs.