Of the multiple projects presently on the slate in some form or other of planning and construction for the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), there is one that might never meet the full potential of the agency’s vision for it.
According to MTA chairman Tom Prendergast, the first projects to be guillotined if additional funding cannot be found would be expansion projects, most notable of which would be the Second Avenue subway expansion past the Midtown area of Manhattan.
At present, the MTA’s planned five-year capital plan has a $15 billion funding gap. System enhancements, such as next-train countdown clocks, planned for the lettered subway lines, also would be excised, Prendergast said while testifying before two state Senate committees in Albany.
The first phase of the Second Ave. subway, which boasts new stations at 96th, 86th and 72nd Streets, respectively, should see use by December 2016. Southbound trains would switch to the Broadway line at the existing Q and F station at 63rd Street. Northbound trains would head north beneath Second Avenue after stopping at 63rd Street and Lexington Ave.
The second phase would expand service north to 125th Street in Harlem, eventually running the line down to the southern tip of Manhattan.
Gov. Cuomo’s office has expressed concern, but no firm proposition to assuage the funding gap yet exists.