New York City is always looking for ways to improve transportation and reduce congestion in the city. To that end, here are some improvements and expansions that the city is looking to complete within its public transportation system.
NYC Ferry Adding New Docks
A recently-filed application submitted by the city’s Economic Development Corporation could result in new ferry docks on the Upper East Side, Stuyvesant Town, the Lower East Side and the Brooklyn Navy Yard. All of this comes as the city looks to expand its NYC Ferry routes to the Lower East Side and the Bronx by next summer.
Before the project can get underway, the city needs to gain approval from the Army Corps of Engineers. The Army Corps of Engineers is seeking public comments and suggestions on the locations. Specific locations for the docks according to the current plans would include on Soundview Avenue and East River in the Bronx, the end of East 20th Street in Stuyvesant Town, at East 90th Street and the East River on the Upper East Side and the end of Grand Street inside Corlears Hook Park on the Lower East Side. A homeport and a boat barge would also be constructed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard as a part of this plan.
The newly-launched ferry system has already proved to be popular, with over a million riders taking advantage of the system by early August.
Cuomo Moves to Make Repairs to the Subway System’s Infrastructure
In order to complete the immediate repairs that are necessary for the NYC subway system, the city estimates a need for $800 million in funds. While the state has provided $400 million for the project, the city will likely have to come up with the rest of the funds. In an effort to help raise the necessary dollars, Governor Mark Cuomo has hinted at the possibility of implementing a congestion pricing program. While Cuomo has been reluctant to provide details on the plan, he has suggested that it was inspired by a proposal made by Mayor Michael Bloomberg that was derailed largely due to concerns that it favored Manhattan residents.
The congestion pricing program could be similar to the pilot program that Cuomo implemented a few months ago in an effort to reduce the amount of trucks in Manhattan. Under this congestion pricing plan, trucks that worked overnight were rewarded with reduced toll charges. The congestion pricing plan for the subway will likely be unveiled in January.
Subway Power Supply Also in Need of Work
In addition to repairing the infrastructure of the city’s subway system, it is also in need of a power supply overhaul. Problems with the power supply were brought to light in April when a Con Ed equipment failure at the Seventh Avenue Station at 53rd resulted in delays throughout the entire day. Cuomo ordered an investigation after the incident, giving Con Ed one year to make the necessary changes. As a result, Con Ed and the MTA will have to inspect 470 manholes, 221 power substations and 1,100 boxes at the street level. Below ground, they will also need to examine 1,100 energy distribution rooms, 11,000 signals, 300 signal relay rooms, 15,000 track circuits, 11,000 trip stops, 13,750 insulated joints, 1,800 switch machines and 220 interlockings.
Mayor Bill de Blasio is also looking for ways to make the subway system more accessible to a larger number of riders. As such, one of his proposals included a millionaires tax that would help to fund half-priced MetroCards for low-income residents.