NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — An agreement has been reached between Mayor Bill de Blasio, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the MTA on how to fund the agency’s five-year capital program.
Cuomo, de Blasio and MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast announced on Saturday that the state will pick up $8.3 billion of the $26.1 billion tab, while New York City will commit $2.5 billion.
“Our transit system is the backbone of New York City’s, and our entire region’s, economy. That is why we’re making an historic investment — the city’s largest ever general capital contribution — while ensuring New York City dollars stay in NYC transit, and giving NYC riders and taxpayers a stronger voice,” de Blasio said.
The MTA’s capital plan outlines five year’s worth of infrastructure investments to improve the MTA’s transit systems. The agreement marks the largest investment in MTA infrastructure in history, according to officials.
“…This MTA Capital Plan is what we need to make the system smarter and more resilient, facilitating major upgrades, expansions and building crucial pieces of equipment so that riders are not forced to accept the failures of outdated infrastructure,” Cuomo said in a statement. “This plan will mean a safer, stronger, more reliable transit system for people all over New York, and is crucial in supporting our growing economy.”
The fund had become the latest front in the ongoing feud between Cuomo and de Blasio, with the pair sniping at each other in recent weeks over how much the city would contribute.
City officials upped their offer to $2.5 billion late this week on the condition that the state not tap into the capital fund for other uses.
Riders Alliance Executive Director told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria regardless of the squabbling between the mayor and governor, this is good news for transit riders.
“It means the MTA can finally move forward and purchase new subway cars and new buses, and start repairing stations, and use modern technology for signals,” he said.
The MTA released a statement on Saturday thanking Cuomo and de Blasio for their efforts.
“The MTA is grateful to Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio for helping us fund the next five years of the MTA capital program,” the statement said. “This is going to bring real improvements for bus, subway, and train riders throughout the region, and that means a better quality of life for everyone in the state of New York.”
The announcement comes on the heels of a recently released survey that found a host of issues with the city’s subways.
Surveyors found trash accumulating at 70 percent of the 53 stations that were looked at in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. Standing water was found at 68 percent of the stations. Sixty percent of elevators or escalators that were out of service lacked appropriate signage.
“We found the good, the bad and the downright ugly,” said State Sen. Daniel Squadron
Squadron had ordered the survey in his district.
“It’s bad that there’s a high incidence of problems that can be easily fixed,” he said.
According to the survey, the Canal Street station on the No. 1 train is the worst, followed by the Brooklyn Borough Hall station on the No. 2 and 3 lines, and the R line’s Rector Street station.
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