NY governor, NYC mayor announce MTA transformation and funding plan

The proposal includes the joint endorsement of congestion pricing and a plan to reorganize the MTA

March 05, 2019
transit; public transportation; New York; tolling

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced a proposal to transform the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and create funding streams for the agency.

For starters, the plan calls for the MTA to develop a reorganization plan to make the agency more efficient and effective. This will involve changing the current structure to centralize common functions among the six existing entities within the agency—NYCTA, LIRR, Metro-North, MTA Capital Construction, MTA Bus and SI Railway.

The MTA Transformation Plan would also include a congestion pricing financing model. This would involve installation of electronic tolling devices on the perimeter of the Central Business District. The tolling system would be variable providing discounts for off-peak hour travel. Congestion pricing revenue will be used to provide a funding source for the primary needs of the MTA, including for the subway system, new signaling, new subway cars, track and car repair, accessibility, buses and bus system improvements, and further investments in expanding transit availability to areas in the outer boroughs that have limited mass transit options. Tolls will be set once the electronic infrastructure is in place and a Capital Plan is finalized but will in no event be set later than December 2020.

Another component of the plan is that MTA fares for public mass transportation be controlled in future years through cost containment actions and improved management. The plan also calls for partnership between the state and the city to combat fare evasion by developing an enforcement strategy.

The proposal calls for the MTA Capital Plan to be reviewed by a committee of transportation, engineering and government experts who have no existing financial relationship with the MTA. This Regional Transit Committee (RTC) also will review the toll and fare increases proposed by the MTA as necessary to fund the Capital Plan.

One of the final points of the proposal specifies that all major MTA projects be pursued as design-build. The plan also calls for the agency to immediately expedite the completion of the Subway Action Plan including signal repair, station enhancements, rail welding and other service improvements.

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Source: NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo

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