The MTA is working on a $4 billion deal that will modernize its aging fleet of subway cars by replacing them with a large, new set of train cars. As part of the deal, the MTA would hire the Japanese firm Kawasaki to build the cars at its facilities in Yonkers, New York and Lincoln, Nebraska.
In all, the MTA would purchase 1,612 train cars in three phases. The first phase would involve purchasing 535 cars for $1.45 billion. Known as R211, this first phase would replace the fleet of R46 cars currently running on the A, C, F and R lines as well as the entire fleet of trains that run on the Staten Island Railway. The new trains will feature a new color scheme, brighter lighting and eight digital screens in each car to display train information and to be used for advertising. The trains will also be fitted with monitoring systems that will make it possible to examine the trains in real time even when they are not at the rail yards.
A prototype of the new car was debuted in December, with the agency initially planning to order 20 trains for the model. The open-gangway trains will feature two sets of five-car trains with open pathways in each section. If the prototype performs well, the rest of the order may be open-gangway cars. The new trains would fit 55 more people than the existing trains for a total of 1,785 people.
MTA Receives Funding for Transit Repairs
Governor Andrew Cuomo has committed $429 million within the state’s fiscal year 2019 budget to go toward covering the state’s half of the MTA’s $836 million subway action plan. The funding will go toward completing necessary upgrades to the ailing NYC subway system, including addressing long-term issues such as track maintenance and signal malfunctions.
$254 million of the funds provided by the state will go toward the subway’s action plan to address breakdowns, system failures and delays while also positioning the subway for modernization. $175 million of the budget will go toward capital funding for the MTA’s action plan.
While the state has made good on its end of the bargain, the city has yet to say how it will fund its part of the action plan.
Congestion Pricing Could Lead to Tolls
Upgrades and repairs to the MTA will certainly be good news to those who want to avoid paying tolls created by the city’s congestion pricing plan. Governor Cuomo recently announced plans to carve out zones in Manhattan where drivers will be charged rather than placing tolls on the bridges going into Manhattan. The goal of this plan is to keep people out of those parts of the city that are highly congested. While the committee assigned to the task has not determined where those zones will be located, advocates are calling for them to take place in the region below 60yh Street. Funds raised for the pricing plan will be used to help fund repairs for the subway system.