Billions of dollars in planned upgrades to the transit system — including modernized signals, new subway cars and elevators at dozens of stations — will be frozen indefinitely due to financial fallout from the pandemic, THE CITY has learned.
MTA officials are expected to reveal Wednesday that a 60-day hold on “capital projects” that was announced in March will remain in place while the cash-strapped state transit agency tries to secure another $3.9 billion in emergency federal funding.
“We can’t go back to the bad old days of sacrificing capital [funding] for operating [expenses],” Andrei Berman, an MTA spokesperson, told THE CITY. “All of these projects are necessary for ensuring that New Yorkers have a modernized transit system and we will continue fighting in Washington to get the funding we need to move forward.”
The gloomy financial outlook will be delivered at an MTA board meeting, days after Chairperson Patrick Foye said the agency could be on the brink of a “financial calamity” by July without another round of federal relief.
“Riders should be alarmed,” said Ben Fried of TransitCenter, an advocacy and research organization. “If the MTA doesn’t receive more assistance, the reliability and accessibility upgrades New Yorkers are counting on will be in jeopardy and even keeping the system in good working condition will be difficult.”
Other People’s Money (OPM), Ozymandias