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Report: New York City transit agency’s needs at $42 billion

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(The Center Square) — New York City’s public transit system needs $42 billion in repairs over the next several years, according to a report by the state’s top bean encounter.

A report issued by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli said a review of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s 20-Year Needs Assessment found that over the next five years, the agency needs at least $43 billion to bring its system of buses, subway cars and commuter rail trains into a state of good repair.

DiNapoli said the projected costs come from significant needs within the MTA’s subway system, including the modernization of track signals and the purchase of new subway cars.

“The list of repairs and upgrades needed in our regional transit systems can seem endless, but funds are limited,” he said in a statement. “As the MTA prepares its next capital plan and sets priorities for work, it should remain focused on riders’ experience by improving safety, reliability and frequency of service.”

The report listed several MTA facilities in “poor or marginal condition,” including 73% of the subway’s systems maintenance buildings, roofs at maintenance support shops, train shed structural supports, and drainage and HVAC systems at Grand Central Terminal.

New York City’s subway system, which is more than 100 years old, has more than 6,500 cars, 39% of which are more than 30 years old, according to DiNapoli’s report.

Money will also be needed to renovate Grand Central Terminal’s 110-year-old train shed, the report noted.

The MTA released its 20-year plan in October that outlines needed infrastructure work and updates to make the transit system more resilient to climate-change-fueled storms.

The MTA is putting together its 2025-2029 capital budget, which is set to be released in September. The transit agency’s current $51.5 billion capital budget calls for spending about $41 billion over the next 20 years to bring the system into a “good state” of repair.

“This 20-Year Needs Assessment is the most comprehensive in MTA history, laying out in great detail the urgent need for continued investment in the transit system,” the MTA said in a statement. “It will provide a vital framework as we develop the next 5 Year Plan — including cost estimates — to address needs like state of good repair, resilience, and accessibility.”

DiNapoli’s report also highlighted discrepancies between the MTA’s financial commitments in its 20-year plan and actual spending. He cited MTA projections that the Metro-North commuter rail line would need $1.2 billion for tracks and infrastructure, but only $336 million has been spent to date.

“Prior capital programs were delayed by as long as 18 months because funding details were not ironed out,” he said. “With the urgent need to increase ridership, boost revenue and secure its future, the MTA cannot afford delays in upgrades and repairs that will improve the transit system.”