MTA Says $25.6 Billion Needed For Capital Improvements

The MTA says it needs $25.6 billion for capital improvements over the next five years. That's a 14 percent increase over the amount it allocated for the current capital plan. The MTA says the new funds will finish the first leg of the Second Avenue Subway, add more bus rapid transit lines, and continue to modernize the subway's signal system. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman says the real question is where the money will come from.

REPORTER: The MTA assumes it can count on Washington and City Hall to give even more money than they have in the past. The authority's also counting on $6 billion from a payroll tax the state legislature approved in May. But that leaves about $10 billion the MTA says it needs that it doesn't know where to get. It can borrow that amount, which will put pressure on transit fares and bridge tolls. Or it can convince the state legislature and governor to kick in more, essentially passing the bill to taxpayers.

The MTA will formally submit its capital plan to Albany in October for approval. The plan covers the years 2010 through 2014.