Monday, April 26, 2010

N.Y. MTA seeks $1.8 billion cut in five-year capital plan

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A “new focus on cost-effectiveness and efficiency” has led the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority to reduce its draft 2010-2014 Capital Program to $23.6 billion, a cut of $1.8 billion. The revised five-year plan will be considered by the MTA Board Wednesday, and if approved will go to the State’s Capital Program Review Board for its approval.

mta_logo.jpg“Thanks to last year’s rescue legislation, the first two years of the program are funded and the MTA is seeking approval to begin work immediately,” the MTA said in a statement Friday. “We are overhauling every aspect of our business here at the MTA, and we’ve taken the sameapproach with the Capital Program,” said MTA Chairman and 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.”


MTA identified these elements of its new approach:


• Subway stations: NYC Transit will replace, repair, or rehabilitate only components that need it, expanding the number of stations that can be improved. A more aggressive and sustained maintenance program will be implemented.

• Shops, yards, and depots: The MTA will invest in facilities that maximize theirability to serve the needs of more than one agency in order to make the bestuse of capital funds. An 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. A new focus will determine the best mix of fleet replacement and component overhauls at a lower price. Specifications will seek to lower railcar weight, reducing the cost of cars, track wear, and energy consumption.


MTA notes that its capital program is supported by a combination of local (city, state, and MTA) and federal funding sources. Taken together, they are expected to provide $13.9 billion of the revised budget, fully funding the first two years ($9.1 billion) of the five-year program, meaning that this resubmission requires no additional funding until 2012. MTA said it “will work with our partners in government” to identify full funding for projects scheduled to be done in the final three years ($9.9 billion) of the program.