On Friday, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) released a revised draft 2010-2014 Capital Program. The $26.3 billion program reflects a nearly $2 billion reduction as the result of a comprehensive review and a new MTA focus on cost effectiveness and efficiency. The plan will be considered by the MTA Board at its monthly meeting, and if approved will be sent to the State's Capital Program Review Board for its approval.
The first two years of the program are funded thanks to last year's rescue legislation, and the MTA is seeking approval to begin work immediately.
"We are overhauling every aspect of our business here at the MTA, and we've taken the same approach with the Capital Program," said MTA Chairman/CEO Jay H. Walder. "The revised program reduces costs, generates operating savings and takes an entirely new approach to our critical investments. The economic crisis dictates that we use every dollar wisely, but it also demands that we move forward as soon as possible to stimulate the economy with the funding available right now."
The revised draft 2010-2014 Capital Program reflects a new approach to maintain service reliability, safety and expand service while maximizing cost effectiveness and efficiency. Projects included in the program will reduce annual operating costs and realize ongoing savings long after each project is completed, according to the MTA.
Elements of this new approach include:
- Subway Stations: NYC Transit will systematically replace, repair, or rehabilitate only components that need it, greatly expanding the number of stations that can be improved. Stations will enter a far more aggressive, responsive, and sustained maintenance program so that investments provide long-lasting benefits.
- Shops, Yards, and Depots: The MTA will invest in facilities that maximize their ability to serve the needs of more than one agency in order to make the best use of capital funds. A good example is Metro-North's Harmon Shop which provides capacity to service locomotives for both Metro-North and LIRR.
- Rolling Stock: The age of the fleet will no longer be enough to justify investments with a new focus on determining the best mix of fleet replacement and component overhaul at a lower price. Specifications will seek to lower rail car weight, reducing the cost of cars, track wear, and energy consumption.
The MTA's capital program, as submitted for CPRB approval, is supported by a combination of local (City, State and MTA) and federal funding sources. Taken together, existing resources are expected to provide $13.9 billion of the $23.8 billion funding need (the $2.5 billion Bridges and Tunnels program is funded directly through tolls), fully funding the first two years ($9.1 billion) of the five-year program. Approval of this resubmission requires no additional funding until 2012.
The MTA will work with its partners in government to identify full funding for the projects scheduled to be done in the last three years ($9.9 billion) of the program in time to contract for this essential work.
The full plan and ongoing progress of the plan can be viewed at MTA's Website.