Over the past 10 years, the MTA has undergone a dramatic ushering into the 21st century, as ambitious expansion plans, major budget shortfalls and a revolving door of chiefs have left the agency with many challenges and some victories.
The most notable of those improvements may be the MTA's sweeping embrace of technology, as plans are underway to wire every underground station with cellphone and Wi-Fi service, expand real-time tracking of buses and subways, and to use new tech to get info to commuters.
Less successful have been the agency's unendingly plagued megaprojects, including the Second Avenue Subway and the East Side Access expansions, both of which have faced budgetary and practical pitfalls.
Here's a snapshot of the major ways the MTA has changed in 10 years:
Fares: The base fare in 2003 was $1.50, and it is now $2.50, a spike of about 67%. Just as drastic is the monthly MetroCard fare: $70 in 2003 to $112 now, or an increase of about 60%.
Bus and subway real-time tracking: This month, the MTA began rolling out real-time tracking for buses, allowing commuters to see exactly where their bus is. A similar system — countdown clocks — started hitting numbered subway lines in 2010.
Cellphone and Wi-Fi service: Thirty-six underground subway stations are already wired, with more on the way, and all underground stations are set to be connected by 2016. Testing has started for service between stations, though there's no timeline for its rollout.
Broadway-Lafayette No. 6 line transfer: In 2012, the MTA did away with a leftover in the subway system from long ago: Straphangers were finally able to transfer between the B, D, F, and M lines at Broadway-Lafayette and the uptown No. 6 at Bleecker Street.
Closed lines: The No. 9 and V and W lines have been shuttered, with the No. 9 making its final run in 2005 and the V and the W in 2010.
Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access megaprojects: The MTA's two most ambitious projects have suffered major setbacks. East Side Access is nearly $1 billion over budget and is 10 years removed from its initial date of completion, while the Second Avenue Subway is on track to open its first phase in 2016 after years of delays and budget problems.
South Ferry Station: The system's newest station, it opened in 2009 only to be shuttered three years later after suffering catastrophic damage from Superstorm Sandy. Repairs could cost up to $600 million — its original budget was around $500 million — and take longer than three years.
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