(New York, NY - Jim O'Grady, WNYC) New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says in a new report that New York's mass transit system remains "inherently vulnerable" to terrorist attacks. The report criticizes the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority for falling behind and going over-budget on projects to reinforce bridges, tunnels and train stations--and add electronic surveillance and ventilation systems to the subway.
DiNapoli said the work is four years behind schedule and 44% over-budget, with an expected final price tab of $851 million dollars. He also pointed out that the authority had planned to have the first phase of its security upgrades completed by 2008; that date has now been pushed back to 2012.
The report did credit the NYC MTA for picking up the pace of construction over the past two years. For example, the authority says it has added 1,400 security cameras in the past year alone, with 600 feeding directly into the New York Police Department’s command center.
NYC MTA's response to the report said, "We have increased the number of security personnel, hardened our system, and work remains on track to complete remaining projects within the current budget."