A new report published by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on Thursday estimates the MTA needs $43 billion to fund repairs and upgrades over the next 20 years.
DiNapoli, making the announcement at the Grand Central Train Shed below Park Avenue, showcased much-needed repairs along the corridor stretching from East 43rd Street to East 57th Street, where there is a series of 67 train tracks and 44 platforms.
What You Need To Know
- A new report published by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli estimates the MTA needs $43 billion to fund repairs and upgrades over the next 20 years
- Those costs come from significant needs within the subway system, including the modernization of signal systems and the need for new subway cars
- The Grand Central Train Shed is a priority project outlined in DiNapoli’s review of the MTA’s 20-Year Needs Assessment
Underground, the structure and roof are deteriorating, requiring a complex replacement of the HVAC system. Initial efforts have begun to address these concerns, but substantial additional work is necessary, and according to the comptroller, the restoration is projected to cost $2.7 billion and take 15 years.
“They continue to spend on restorations, but it doesn't improve travel times. So, I think it's more trying to be efficient than it is trying to spend more to have something. It's still not quite as efficient as a lot of other rail stations," said one commuter of the revelation.
The train shed is a priority project outlined in DiNapoli’s review of the MTA’s 20-Year Needs Assessment.
Meanwhile, the most significant need at NYC Transit involves improvements to signal and communication systems, as signal problems accounted for 25% of major incidents causing train delays in the past two years.
However, the comptroller notes that the MTA has only spent a fraction of the allocated funds for communication projects.
“As long as the service is okay, you can kind of overlook everything else. Obviously, the systems are nicer. That'd be a plus,” said another subway rider.
Following signal and communication investment, subway cars represent the second-largest area requiring upgrades for the agency, according to DiNapoli.
Despite a 40-year lifespan, 39% of the 6,500 train cars in the system are over 30 years old, with an additional 30% either at or exceeding the 40-year mark.
DiNapoli estimates that the MTA will need to purchase approximately 3,900 new subway cars over the next 15 years, amounting to a $15 billion expense.
“They are always doing repairs, always cleaning. So, yes, given the age of the infrastructure, I'd say, yeah, they do a pretty good job of overall upkeep,” said one straphanger.
The comptroller's primary concern with the MTA’s needs assessment is the omission of financial estimates.
In a statement, the MTA asserted that the 20-Year Needs Assessment is the most comprehensive in its history. A spokesperson said that it would provide a vital framework as the agency develops the next 5-Year Plan, set to be presented in September.