MTA Needs $30 Billion To Maintain and Expand Services

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The capital plan for the MTA is out early.

It asks for $30 billion over the next five years, a record amount that officials say is needed both to keep up the current level of service and expand it.

WNYC's Matthew Schuerman says its passage in Albany will be tied up with the fate of congestion pricing.

Transit officials released the capital proposal a month early in order to persuade city and state lawmakers to vote for congestion pricing. That's because about $3 billion would go towards projects to improve commuter service in hard to reach areas, such as speeding up the E and the F lines in Queens.

But the plan will give scant comfort to legislators who are still on the fence about the mayor's plan to charge drivers $8 to enter central Manhattan, in large part because they fear these outer borough projects will be the first to be abandoned if the MTA cannot secure all of the money that it needs.

Congestion pricing is supposed to come up for a vote in the City Council and state legislature next month. The vote on the capital plan will happen later this spring.

For WNYC, I'm Matthew Schuerman

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