Forget about the Second Ave. subway going beyond Midtown if an MTA funding crisis isn’t solved, Gov. Cuomo’s transit chief said Monday.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Tom Prendergast said the first item on the chopping block would be expansion projects like the next phase of the Second Ave. subway.
The MTA’s planned five-year capital plan has a $15 billion funding gap. System “enhancements” like next-train countdown clocks, which are planned for the lettered subway lines, also would be whacked, Prendergast said while testifying before two state Senate committees in Albany.
The first section of the Second Ave. subway — with new stations at 96th, 86th and 72nd Sts. — is expected to open in December 2016. Southbound trains would switch to the Broadway line at the existing Q and F-train station at 63rd St. Northbound trains would head north beneath Second Ave. after stopping at 63rd St. and Lexington Ave.
The next phase would expand service north to 125th St. in Harlem. Eventually, the line would run down to the southern tip of Manhattan.
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The top priority for funding in the 2015-2019 capital program, if additional revenues aren’t found, is the “core” of the plan, he said. That $22 billion segment encompasses the nuts-and-bolts work of repairing and replacing equipment like rails, switches, signals and fan plants that clear smoke out of tunnels when small fires erupt, he said.
“It may not be that interesting to somebody if they don’t see a (power) substation or they don’t see cables going to a third rail, but if we don’t maintain that, and that’s a safety and reliability issue, then we could have a safety and reliability problem,” Prendergast said. “And so we have to protect that core of $22 billion.”
Gov. Cuomo has said transit funding would be part of the state budget negotiations in Albany. The state budget is supposed to be adopted by April 1.
While the MTA’s capital plan dominated the hearing, Sen. Jack Martens complained about the cost of riding the Long Island Rail Road into the city. A one-way ticket from Mineola, L.I., to Penn Station costs as much as $20 if purchased on board a train, he said.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Tom Prendergast, who testifed Monday that the Second Ave. subway line is facing a funding crisis.
“Mass transit should be cheaper than the alternative and when it’s not it’s a problem,” Martens said. “We’re reaching the point where it’s no longer cost effective for a family to take mass transit into the city.”
MTA fares are going up March 22nd by 4% on average.
BY, PETE DONOHUE