MTA has spent a comparable amount during the past 20 years playing a regional game of maintenance catch-up, as well as some modest system expansion. But much remains to be done, according to an Oct. 1, 2013 letter from MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast. The one-page letter coincided with MTA's 120-page report assessing system needs.
Prendergast's letter lists the requirements for "Thosusands of railcars and buses, thousands of miles of track, signals, and rail and roadway structures, hundreds of passenger stations, scores of maintenance and support facilites, and hundreds of pieces of specialized equipment, like pumps, ventilation systems, power substations, and the like."
In terms of expansion, the report notes, "The size of the MTA's rail network has not been significantly increased since its expansion in the first half of the 20th century. The ongoing commitment to maintain and rebuild core assets has enabled the MTA only recently to begin to address long-standing capacity limitations of the existing system through such initiatives as the Phase 1 of the Second Avenue Subway, East Side Access (ESA), and the #7 Line Extension."
In a nod to the damage caused in October 2012 by Superstorm Sandy, and the potential threat of climate change, the MTA report says the agency "established programs in the 2010-2014 Capital Plan to repair assets damaged by the storm and to improve the system's resiliency to withstand similar storms or other disasters and resume service. Therefore, in general, recovery and resiliency work are not reflected in the assessment. However, the storm highlighted system vulnerabilities to such events, and agencies are incorporating lessons learned into project design guidelines and standards, project delivery processes, and prioritization and sequencing of work."