Thursday, August 27, 2009

New York MTA’s 20-year-needs assessment: $128.8 billion

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Rail transit vendors have two bulky new documents from the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority available for study as they seek clues to business opportunities over the next couple of decades. Total rail transit capital expenditures exceed $10 billion a year, and more than half of that is spent on in MTA rail systems serving the New York City area.

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In addition to a previously reported draft five-year (2010-2014) capital investment plan totaling $25.5 billion, MTA has a released a 20-year (2010-2029) Capital Needs Assessment “focused on rebuilding the existing system, which includes replacing assets and maintaining those assets already repaired.”

These add up to $128.8 billion, of which $112.304 billion would go to MTA’s three rail operators: NYC Transit, $84.146 billion; Long Island Rail Road, $16.372 billion; and Metro-North Railroad, $11.786 billion. (The remainder would be go to MTA Bus Company, MTA Bridges and Tunnels, and MTA Police and Security.)

“These needs are constrained only by the capacity of the agencies to implement the program while continuing to operate their systems and serve their customers,” said MTA.

“On a fully unconstrained basis, the agencies’ needs are even greater than what is included in this assessment since more backlogged State of Good Repair Needs exist than can be implemented.” These backlogged needs total roughly $50 billion for all agencies.

MTA identified these major rail agency needs:

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NYC Transit. More than half of NYCT needs, $47 billion, focus on signal system investments, subway cars, buses and paratransit vehicles, and stations. Signal systems, $14.5 billion, constitute the single largest category of needs. The next 20 years will see much of the subway system rebuilt with communications-based train control, permitting higher speeds and shorter headways, thus increasing capacity, as well as providing for automated train operation. New subway cars, at $11.278 billion, are the third-largest category of needs, following station improvements, $12.56 billion. Communications improvements will cost an estimated $3.48 billion. Of NYCT's 228 miles of line structures, 76 miles will be rehabilitated. CBTC will be installed on most of the lines to be modernized.

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Long Island Rail Road. Major planned investments over the next 20 years are: rolling stock, $2.299 billion; stations,$1.85 billion; track, $5.67 billion; line structures, $1.088 billion; communications and signals, $2.19 billion; and power, $1.44 billion. Centralized train control will relocate LIRR train dispatching, train supervision, and tower operations to the Jamaica Control Center. As LIRR modernizes the signal system at Jamaica, it will reconfigure a 96-year-old track layout for increased throughput.

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Metro-North Railroad. Rolling stock, at $3.614 billion, is the costliest planned investment. Track and structures will get $2.406 billion; Grand Central Terminal, stations, and parking, $ 2.277 billion; communications/signals, $747 million; power, $615 million; and shops and yards, $1.7 billion. Metro-North plans to increase capacity on its busy Harlem, Hudson, and New Haven lines, through track, signal, and power improvements. These include electrification of the Hudson line between Croxton-Harmon and Peekskill.

Systemwide, MTA says communication investments will see “expansion of real-time transit information in subway and rail stations and on personal handheld devices. New technologies such as Twitter and Instant Messaging will deliver targeted information to customers.”

During the next 10 years, the fare payment infrastructure on all MTA properties will reach the end of its useful life. “The replacement promises the ability to use a single smartcard or a cellphone with a smartchip to ride any and all of the MTA region’s transportation systems.”

New transfer points will be added between intersecting subway lines and between bus and subway or bus and regional rail connections through intermodal terminals.