MTA Construction & Development’s latest report reveals $300 million in savings due to delivery improvements

May 8, 2024
The report comes as the agency prepares to move forward on a major slate of vital capital projects to be funded by congestion pricing.

A new report from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Construction & Development (C&D) revealed the agency saved nearly $300 million in capital program cost savings as part of its 2023 Year in Review and 2024 Strategic Plan, which outlines initiatives to improve the delivery of capital projects and modernize the transit system better, faster and cheaper. The report comes as the agency prepares to move forward on a major slate of vital capital projects to be funded by congestion pricing. 

The Strategic Plan lays out initiatives MTA C&D is undertaking to drive down costs and deliver the ambitious capital program at scale, including innovative delivery models, bundling projects together and cutting red tape and shares results of those efforts.  

In 2023, the MTA completed more than $7 billion in capital projects, the highest in MTA history. It also awarded more than $8 billion in new commitments, with those awards coming in 6.2 percent below the engineer’s estimate, saving nearly $300 million. The completions represent the full promise of C&D’s new way of delivering projects better, faster and cheaper. 

The agency has completed the following projects: 

  • Canarsie L Tunnel rehabilitation phase completed ahead of schedule and under budget.  
  • Resiliency upgrades at the Coney Island Yard, completed on budget. 
  • Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Third Track completed on time and $100 million under budget.  
  • LIRR Penn Station 33rd Street Concourse completed on time and under budget.  
  • 28 projects completed since 2020 to make stations accessible to all under the Americas with Disabilities Act. 
  • On-time delivery of major projects that bring MTA infrastructure into a state of good repair, including tunnel and infrastructure renewal on the Concourse B, D Line tunnel in the Bronx and a project to upgrade track on the 63rd Street Tunnel under the East River used by the F subway line. 

“MTA C&D is developing into a world-class capital delivery organization and has the results to prove it,” said MTA C&D President Jamie Torres-Springer. “This Strategic Plan catalogs the progress we’ve made in the few short years since C&D was created and lays out a plan to accelerate it going forward.” 

Funding from congestion pricing will help MTA continue the progress. In addition to reducing traffic and improving air quality, it is also the source of $15 billion for transit and commuter rail projects, representing 30 percent of the total 2020-2024 Capital Program and more than 50 percent of remaining projects in the program. The funding will pay for vital reliability, accessibility, sustainability and state of good repair projects throughout the entire transit system. 

MTA C&D’s report also provides an update on the recommendations put forward by the consultant firm Crowe, which performed a forensic evaluation of the MTA’s capital planning process in 2019. Since this audit, which coincided with the creation of MTA C&D as a new unified capital delivery agency, the MTA has doubled down on cost containment, with 90 percent of 2020-2024 capital projects costs within budget. MTA has also reduced project schedules by an average of four months and accelerated the scale of work in construction, tripling the number of accessibility upgrade projects underway. 

In addition to managing projects efficiently, MTA says the changes have transformed the long-term planning process. The 20-Year Needs Assessment released in 2023 was the most comprehensive in MTA history, evaluating nearly 6 million assets across the entire MTA system. It laid out in detail the urgent need for continued investment and set the stage for the creation of the 2025-2029 Capital Program, as the MTA continues to meet the transit system’s needs. 

MTA C&D recently awarded its first “Progressive Design-Build” contract, a type of contract that engages a contractor earlier in the design phase of a project, allowing for greater collaboration, efficiency and reduced risks later during construction.