MTA Releases New 2010-14 Capital Program Draft

Earlier this afternoon, the MTA officially released a revised draft of its 2010-2014 Capital Program which features a savings of over $2B. Here are the complete details from a press release they sent me a short time ago:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today released a revised draft 2010-2014 Capital Program. The $26.3 billion program reflects a nearly $2 billion reduction as the result of a comprehensive review and a new MTA focus on cost effectiveness and efficiency. The plan will be considered by the MTA Board at its monthly meeting on Wednesday, and if approved will be sent to the State’s Capital Program Review Board for its approval. 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 full plan and an executive summary are available online at www.mta.info.

“We are overhauling every aspect of our business here at the MTA, and we’ve taken the same approach with the Capital Program,” said Jay H. Walder, MTA Chairman and CEO. “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.”

Over the past thirty years, a series of five-year capital programs have revitalized the transit system. While the more than $64 billion spent in that time helped turn around the regional economy, maintaining and improving the 100-year-old transportation system is an ongoing need and we cannot afford to disinvest.

The revised draft 2010-2014 Capital Program uses every dollar wisely, reflecting a new approach to maintain service reliability, safety, and expand service while maximizing cost effectiveness and efficiency. Projects included in the program will reduce annual operating costs and realize ongoing savings long after each project is completed.

Elements of this new approach include:

• Subway Stations: NYC Transit will systematically replace, repair, or rehabilitate only components that need it, greatly expanding the number of stations that can be improved. Stations will enter a far more aggressive, responsive, and sustained maintenance program so that investments provide long-lasting benefits.

• Shops, Yards, and Depots: The MTA will invest in facilities that maximize their ability to serve the needs of more than one agency in order to make the best use of capital funds. A good 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 with a new focus on determining the best mix of fleet replacement and component overhaul at a lower price. Specifications will seek to lower rail car weight, reducing the cost of cars, track wear, and energy consumption.

The result is a $1.8 billion reduction in cost from the previous $28.1 billion plan and a stronger, more focused program that delivers benefits for MTA customers and the economy:

Protecting and Improving Service for Customers

While much of the capital program work is done behind the scenes, every investment helps the MTA provide a good service to customers 365 days a year. Every project in the capital program will benefit customers in one of three ways:

• Maintain the high levels of service reliability and safety provided today: That means repairing trains, buses and subway cars, and replacing them when their useful life ends. It means maintaining the track, signals, yards, depots and bridges that keep our customers safe and on time. And it means addressing components in our stations in need of repair.

• Improve service on the existing system: The Capital Program also includes projects that maximize the capacity of the existing system and advance customer improvements.

o New signal technology (Communications Based Train Control) on the #7 subway line will enable the line to run a train nearly every two minutes, creating about 2,500 more seats each rush hour on this crowded line.

o The MTA’s bus divisions will purchase 674 articulated buses, 118 of which will be used to increase capacity along four Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridors developed in partnership with the City of New York.

o Several projects develop and test new technology to improve the customer experience, from train arrival signs to all-electronic tolling and camera enforcement of bus lanes. One of the key initiatives in the capital program is the introduction of a new smart card fare collection system that is expected to reduce costs and make travel easier across the region.

• Complete critical expansion projects to ease crowding and support growth: The final group of projects in the capital program expands the MTA’s transportation network for the first time in more than a generation. This program advances the commitment to completing East Side Access and the Second Avenue Subway, long overdue projects to reduce commute times and ease overcrowding.

The program also includes $250 million to continue improving the security of our transportation network in a post-9/11 world, working directly with the MTA PD, NYPD and other local and federal law enforcement agencies.

Economic Benefits for New York

The MTA’s 2010-2014 Capital Program will create vital economic activity:

• More than 20,000 new jobs annually over nine years

• Nearly $37 billion in economic activity

Companies across the state play a role building rolling stock, supplying parts or rebuilding infrastructure and working on new facilities. These projects provide jobs in communities from Buffalo to Albany to Plattsburgh and many places in between.

Funding the Program

The MTA’s capital program, as submitted for CPRB approval, is supported by a combination of local (City, State and MTA) and federal funding sources. Taken together, existing resources are expected to provide $13.9 billion of the $23.8 billion funding need (the $2.5 billion Bridges and Tunnels program is funded directly through tolls), fully funding the first two years ($9.1 billion) of the five-year program. Approval of this resubmission requires no additional funding until 2012. The importance of the program to customers, to the MTA system and to the economy dictates that it move forward immediately with available funds. The MTA will work with our partners in government to identify full funding for the projects scheduled to be done in the last three years ($9.9 billion) of the program in time to contract for this essential work.

Tracking the Program’s Progress

Once this program receives final approval, our web site (www.mta.info) will feature a user-friendly, interactive system to let the public track our progress. Projects will be color coded – green for those meeting their goals and red for targets that are not being met. This information will be available for each project in the 2010-2014 Capital Plan and select projects still underway in the 2005-2009 Program.

I look forward to the final version of the 2010-2014 Capital Program. When it is released, I will provide a full analysis of it from all different angles.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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[…] Construction Plan. The plan which made news 5 days ago when the MTA announced it came up with $2B in savings will now be sent to Albany for approval. NY1 had more in this brief report: The Metropolitan […]

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