NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For the second year in a row, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will be investing millions of dollars to improve subway, bus and commuter rail service, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.
Most of the improvements, which are the result of additional state funds, increased revenue from toll and fare hikes and cost-cutting, will be phased in over the next year.
“But that wouldn’t be possible without the aggressive cost-cutting that we have continually done since 2009,” MTA Chairman and CEO Tom Prendergast said.
“In the last two and a half years, our administration has made real improvements to the nation’s largest public transit system, implementing reforms that have improved services and made the MTA more efficient by reducing costs, cutting waste and putting the needs of straphangers and commuters first,” Cuomo said in a statement.
The new service initiatives are included in the MTA’s mid-year revision of its four-year financial plan, Cuomo said.
“The total annual cost of the service expansions and restorations is some $18 million,” said Prendergast.
As part of the plan, New York City Transit will spend nearly $8 million on new bus and subway service, including expanded service of the G and M trains and restored service of the B37, B70 and B8 buses in Brooklyn.
Another $6 million will help improve station conditions, including more track and station cleaning, better turnstile layouts and additional security cameras.
A study will also be done to identify bus service gaps in the Co-Op City area of the Bronx.
Metro-North, which added 230 new trains a week last year, will spend $1.7 million a year on real-time customer information displays at all of its stations in New York by 2020.
The Long Island Rail Road will invest $2.6 million on five new weekday trains, half-hourly weekend service to Ronkonkoma and Port Washington and extra weekend service to Greenport.
“We have listened to our customers and we are responding with more bus, subway and commuter rail service as well as enhancements to make that service more reliable and more enjoyable,” Prendergast said in a statement.
He said while the MTA is “committed to aggressively reducing our costs,” the agency’s financial plan “remains fragile” and “our financial challenges, both short and long-term, are numerous.”
“The revised financial plan puts our customer needs first while also allocating resources to longer-term challenges like reducing pension liabilities, lowering retiree health care costs and providing initial funding for our next capital program,” Prendergast said.
For more information about the new plan, click here.
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