NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A financial fight is threatening to shut down some Metropolitan Transportation Authority projects.
Plans for new subway cars, repairs to train stations, upgraded signals and a replacement for the MetroCard payment system are some of the projects the MTA warns are at risk in a funding dispute between the city and state, 1010 WINS reported.
MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg said the signal system, especially, needs work.
“The signal system in the subways is really unchanged since the 1920s,” Lisberg said. “We’ve replaced components. It’s very safe, but it doesn’t allow the maximum possible number of trains to go through, and thus we’re not able to carry as many people as we theoretically could. We have to upgrade the signals in order to make that work, but that’s a multi-hundred-million-dollar project.”
The city and state are battling over who’s going to pay for a five-year, $30 billion capital-spending plan that was supposed to start this year, 1010 WINS reported.
The city has accused the state of raiding the money for the MTA for other programs, while the state said the city should pay its fair share, 1010 WINS reported.
Lisberg said the city needs to kick in more money.
“They want all the benefits of us investing in a subway-railroad-bus network, but they want to put up 2 percent of the cost, and I don’t think anybody agrees that that’s fair,” Lisberg told 1010 WINS. “The city has a lot of excuses, but they also have a lot of money there. The city is running big surpluses, and it’s just hard to understand why the city would not want to invest in the system that makes New York possible.”
Lisberg warns that the Second Avenue subway project is the biggest target for cuts.
“The biggest, fattest target out there if we have to make cuts would have to be extending the Second Avenue subway to East Harlem because it’s going to cost $1.5 billion over the next five years to get that project going,” Lisberg said. “If we have to slash $1.5 billion or more, it’s an easy way to do it without hurting our current ridership.”
The news comes after a report Tuesday from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who said an MTA budget shortfall may lead to higher tolls and fares.