MTA unveils 5-year, $51.5 billion plan to improve subways, buses and railroads

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City's subways and buses are about to get a huge boost.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) on Monday released its 2020-2024 Capital Plan, which proposes investing $51.5 billion into the region's subways, buses and railroads over the next five years.

The goal, transit officials said, is to build on the progress of the agency's Subway Action Plan to create a faster, more accessible and more reliable public transportation system.
"I'm ecstatically happy," said MTA President Andy Byford. "This could not be better. This plan, I think, exceeds my wildest expectations."

The proposed level of investment is the highest in the MTA's history, increasing spending on infrastructure by 70% over current levels, thanks in part to congestion pricing, which passed this year.

The program plans to invest more than $40 billion in New York City Transit's subways and buses alone, including crucial signal upgrades, as well as major investment in the Long Island Railroad and Metro-North.

"This plan expands service, increases reliability, speeds up the system, and delivers the world's largest ever investment in accessibility, for both NYC Transit and the MTA's commuter railroads," said MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick J. Foye. "And at the end of this five-year period, New Yorkers will see a revitalized and modern system for the 21st century and beyond."

The plan means big chunks of six separate subway lines will get modern signaling. Seventy stations will become accessible for the disabled.

The 2nd avenue subway will go to 125th street with two new stations. We will even get 2400 new buses, 500 of them electric.

"We think this is a big, ambitious plan," said Daniel Coates of the advocacy group Riders Alliance.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released the following statement Monday:

Last week I laid out my priorities for the MTA Capital Plan, including improving signal technology, increasing accessibility, addressing quality of life concerns, ensuring equity for LIRR and Metro-North Railroad, and upgrading bus service - and I will review the details of the plan to make sure it fulfills those priorities. The Senate Leader, Assembly Speaker and Mayor of New York City must approve the plan in order to move forward as they each have unilateral discretionary veto power.

For decades the MTA was mismanaged and underfunded - that is why in 2017 we invested $836 million for the Subway Action Plan and $8 billion in State capital funds and $2.6 billion in New York City Capital funds. The success of that plan is inarguable - it led to the recent 84% on-time performance rate, a six-year high - but its implementation was delayed, and that cannot be repeated with this new plan.

We have secured $25 billion during this year's legislative session that will go directly towards the MTA's capital needs outlined in this plan, and I support an additional State investment of $3 billion, to be matched by the City, that will go toward making our subways more accessible.

We have an historic opportunity to institutionalize the lessons learned, build on the progress made under the Subway Action Plan and make crucial upgrades so riders get the 21st century transit system they deserve." for LIRR and Metro-North Railroad, and upgrading bus service - and I will review the details of the plan to make sure it fulfills those priorities.

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