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MTA outlines long-term plan to revamp transit system

October 6, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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The MTA on Wednesday outlined its long-term vision to rebuild, improve, and expand the region’s $1.5 trillion transit system over the next 20 years. “The Future Rides With Us,” the MTA’s 20-Year needs assessment, takes an exhaustive look into the system’s infrastructure needs.

The document differs from previous assessments by providing a comprehensive, unconstrained view of the system’s needs, rather than constraining it to meet an arbitrary budget target.

As a result, it is expected to serve as a strong foundation in determining how to prioritize capital spending in developing the 2025-2029 Capital Plan.

The assessment also debuts a comparative evaluation of potential expansion projects that could be pursued if the system’s rebuilding and improvement needs are met, for the first time analyzing potential projects objectively along a host of criteria to compare their respective benefits and costs.

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“The MTA has never undertaken a 20-Year Needs Assessment fed by this level of comprehensive data and analysis,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “Instead of matching needs to some pre-approved budget, this detailed evaluation tells the whole story, laying bare the urgent need for renewal and improvement of the system’s existing infrastructure and to prepare for climate change.”

“The MTA system is a $1.5 trillion asset, and keeping it running is critical to the New York region,” said MTA Construction and Development President Jamie Torres-Springer.

The future of the system is contingent on three main factors that drive the need for investment: aging infrastructure, climate change, and evolving rider needs. Prolonging the life of existing assets will not only improve reliability and allow for increased service systemwide but enable the opportunity to expand and modernize the transit network.

“RPA applauds the clear rationale for project choice and prioritization in
“New Yorkers need a well-maintained transit network ready to confront new challenges and meet changing needs,” said Riders Alliance Executive Director Betsy Plum.

For the subway system, the MTA says:
* Replacement of aging substations and installing Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) for 90% of trips by 2045 will greatly enhance reliability, shorten waiting times, and reduce delays.
* Functionally obsolete shops and yards, like the Livonia Yard, need to be reconstructed. The Livonia Maintenance Facility (in Brownsville, Brooklyn) was built 101 years ago and is not capable of servicing new rail cars because they do not fit. This structural limitation prevents running new cars on the 3 line.
* Continued investments in ADA accessibility projects ensures that by 2045, 90% of all subway rides take place at fully ADA accessible stations.
* Converting the largest bus fleet in the country to a zero-emissions fleet by 2040, along with updating the necessary facilities and depot to support the transition, greatly contributes to the agency’s sustainability goals.

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