The MTA has reached an agreement to send 600 more subway cars to go sleeping with the fishes. The plan has the MTA send these cars which are used as underwater reefs for sea animals & divers. The MTA Board approved the $6.3 million dollar contract which will send cars mainly from the C & E lines to New Jersey, Delaware, & other oceanside states. Some of the cars that will be sent include the first cars to have air conditioning & stainless steel.
This is not the first time the MTA has chosen to dispose of cars in this manner. They first started doing this in 2001 when they sent 250 “Redbirds” from the 7 line down the coast. However this practice did not come without some controversy. For a time the state of New Jersey refused to take anymore cars as they were concerned about asbestos inside the cars & whether they could be durable as reefs. The state decided to do a study on the affect these cars had on aquatic life & have recently released their findings.
The findings were released last week & it turned out to be good news as the cars were deemed as being durable for their purpose & having little impact on the environment. The debate is still not over as many environmentalists continue to question their safety.
Lets not get lost on why the MTA is involved with this project. They are not doing it because they have a heart! As usual it is all about the money but in a good way. The MTA saves millions of dollars by dumping the cars at sea compared to scrapping them. Most of the money being saved relates to not having to remove asbestos during the scrapping process. The cost of removing asbestos in the cars would have been approximately $27 million dollars.