NEW YORK (WTW) -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders have agreed to fully fund the last three years of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's five-year capital plan, the agency confirmed Monday.
The deal, reached Sunday night, provides $13.1 billion for four massive projects now under way: the Second Avenue subway, the Eastside Access for the Long Island Rail Road, the Fulton Street Transit Center and the extension of No. 7 subway line to the far West Side.
It also provides money for new subway and rail cars, new energy-efficient buses, station rehabilitation, enhanced communications and signals, new rail years and new elevators and escalators. The deal is part of the transportation budget bill.
"This gives the go-ahead to vital projects that mean reliable service, such as bus and subway car purchases, subway station fix-ups and track and signal overhauls," the public transit advocacy group NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign said in a statement. "The challenging news is that the MTA will have to receive new revenues in years to come to meet the ongoing needs of its riders, as MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota has said."
But Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, called the deal "an express train to more MTA debt, higher MetroCard fares and less subway and bus service."
The governor's office declined to comment.
The MTA's $22.2 billion capital plan initially provided $9.1 billion for the first two years.
Under the agreement, the MTA bond cap will be increased by $7 billion and the state will provide $770 million in new funds over three years. It also calls for a $2.2 billion loan request to the federal Rail Road Infrastructure Fund.
The capital program is expected to generate 20,000 jobs annually and have an overall economic impact of $37 billion.
"With this funding, the MTA will continue to enhance our riders' experience by investing in the future of our transportation network, as well as bringing our assets up to a state of good repair," Lhota said.
The Second Avenue Subway is being constructed from 96th Street to 63rd Street in Manhattan and is expected to be in service by September 2016. It is being built to reduce crowding on the Lexington Avenue line.
The Eastside Access Project will provide rail tunnels for the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Terminal on Manhattan's east side. LIRR trains now stop at Penn Station on Manhattan's West Side. Its projected completion date is 2016.
The Fulton Street Transit Center will link 10 subway lines to the PATH and the World Trade Center site and will house 70,000 square feet of retail and office space. It is expected to be completed in June 2014.
The far West Side project, expected to be finished in 2013, will extend the No. 7 subway line from its last stop in Times Square.
Submitted by joseph on March 30, 2012 - 17:40. categories [