Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that, for the second year in a row, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is using state supported funds to provide new service improvements and customer enhancements for the nation’s largest transportation system. The MTA’s updated Financial Plan includes new service on subway, bus and commuter railroad lines, as well as a better station environment, improved communication and new investments in technology to enhance the customer experience.
These investments are made possible as a result of increased state aid first proposed in Governor Cuomo’s 2013 Executive Budget continued aggressive cost-cutting within MTA operations and increased revenues from fares, tolls, subsidies and dedicated taxes.
“For the second year in a row, the state has invested in significant enhancements and expansions to our state's transit system that will improve the experience of the eight million commuters who use the MTA,” said Governor Cuomo. “In the last two and a half years, our administration has made real improvements to the nation’s largest public transit system, implementing reforms that have improved services and made the MTA more efficient by reducing costs, cutting waste and putting the needs of straphangers and commuters first.”
The new service initiatives are included in the MTA’s mid-year revision of its four-year Financial Plan, which reflects adjustments to its revenues and expenses, and almost all of the service investments and customer enhancements will be phased in over the next 12 months. The MTA Board is scheduled to discuss the investments at its regularly scheduled committee meetings today, and will vote on next year’s final Financial Plan in December. This is the second year in a row the MTA has been able to invest in new service, after announcing increases in bus, subway and commuter rail service during its July 2012 Financial Plan update.
The MTA’s cost containment efforts are on track to reduce annual costs by $1.3 billion by 2017, and new efforts to address costs once considered uncontrollable, such as pensions, retiree health care, paratransit and debt service are reducing projected deficits in future years.
“We have listened to our customers, and we are responding with more bus, subway and commuter rail service as well as enhancements to make that service more reliable and more enjoyable,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. “We are committed to aggressively reducing our costs, and to strengthening service whenever we have sustainable resources to do so. But our Financial Plan remains fragile, and our financial challenges – both short and long term – are numerous. The revised Financial Plan puts our customer needs first while also allocating resources to longer-term challenges like reducing pension liabilities, lowering retiree health care costs and providing initial funding for our next Capital Program.”
Details of new and expanded service are outlined below:
New York City Transit Service Investments
- G trains will operate every eight minutes, instead of the current 10 minutes, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays. This change, recommended in a recent review of G service, will allow trains to merge more evenly with the F train and reduce wait times for 51,600 weekday customers.
- M trains will operate from Queens to Delancey St-Essex St. in Manhattan on weekends, instead of terminating at Myrtle Av in Brooklyn as they do now. This will reduce transfers and shorten waits for 37,000 weekend customers.
- Service will be restored on the B37 bus in southwest Brooklyn, as well as B70 bus service on Seventh Avenue and B8 bus service to the Bay Ridge-95 St subway station.
- Weekend service will be restored on the M8 bus across lower Manhattan and the Q31 bus through eastern Queens.
- Sunday service will be established on the Q77 bus through eastern Queens.
- Midday and evening service will be added to the S93 bus between Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and the College of Staten Island campus.
- The M100 bus in northern Manhattan will be rerouted to serve new neighborhoods along Dyckman Street and Tenth Avenue.
- The Bx24 bus in the eastern Bronx will be extended to Hutchinson Metro Center.
- Select Bus Service will be established on a new route to be determined.
- Some Express Bus routes in the Eltingville area of Staten Island will be routed through the Lincoln Tunnel for faster service.
- Bus service in the Co-Op City area will be the subject of a comprehensive study to identify service gaps and propose possible solutions.
Long Island Rail Road Service Investments
- Service every half-hour on weekends will be established in both directions to Ronkonkoma and will be restored to Port Washington.
- Weekend service to Greenport will be extended for 10 weeks.
- A new 4:09 p.m. weekday train will run from Penn Station to Ronkonkoma.
- A new 7:00 p.m. weekday train will run from Ronkonkoma to Penn Station.
- A new 8:22 p.m. weekday train will run from Penn Station to Hicksville.
- A restored 4:37 p.m. weekday train will run from Penn Station to Wantagh.
- A restored 4:57 p.m. weekday train will run from Penn Station to Freeport.
MTA New York City Transit will spend $7.9 million annually on this new bus and subway service, as well as $5.9 million to enhance the customer environment with additional track and station cleaning, more controllers to manage service on numbered subway lines, better turnstile layouts and more security cameras.
MTA Long Island Rail Road will invest $2.6 million in five new weekday trains, half-hourly weekend service to Ronkonkoma and Port Washington, and weekend service to Greenport for an additional 10 weeks.
MTA Metro-North Railroad, which added 230 new trains per week in service investments announced by the MTA last year, will invest $1.7 million per year to add real-time customer information displays at all of its stations in New York State by 2020.
The updated Financial Plan also includes an additional $11.5 million for New York City Transit and Long Island Rail Road to adjust service, largely to the frequency of service on existing routes where necessary to meet agency service guidelines for customer loading and waiting.
The revised Financial Plan also includes $11 million in enhancements to the customer experience at stations and in new technology to make it easier for customers to plan and manage their travel.