RPA Urges City, State Leaders to Fund MTA Capital Plan

April 28, 2015

Regional Plan Association urges city and state leaders to support a five-year capital plan for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority that will allow the agency to modernize and improve the transit system.

New York’s transit network is the engine of the metropolitan region’s $1.5 trillion economy. Yet this vital network is under strain as surging ridership outstrips available resources. The agency faces a $15 billion shortfall in its proposed $32 billion capital plan. Unless additional funding is identified, crucial upgrades to the transit network, including new train control technology and other safety improvements, the continuation of the Second Avenue subway, new buses and the expansion of Metro-North in the eastern Bronx all would be jeopardized.

The recent decision by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to keep MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast in his role for a full, six-year term will maintain skilled, professional leadership and provide vital continuity at the agency as it undertakes significant capital improvements. Since he took the helm of the MTA in 2013, Prendergast has won the respect of both transit experts and public officials for his deft management of the agency’s vast transportation network.

The challenges facing the MTA are significant. Nearly 25 percent of all New York City subway trains ran late in the most recent year, while Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road are struggling to modernize their networks and provide reliable service. City and state leaders must now identify the funding sources to maintain the transit network, or risk further deterioration in service.

One of the most promising ideas for filling the funding gap is the Move NY plan to restructure tolls in New York City. The innovative Move NY plan would go a long way toward closing the MTA funding shortfall, while at the same time reducing traffic congestion and bringing fairness to the city’s uneven tolling system.

The task of adequately funding the MTA will require leaders in Albany and New York City to work together toward a goal of maintaining our infrastructure and expanding our shared prosperity. New Yorkers deserve nothing less.