MTA Buying Hundreds of New Commuter Rail Cars

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The MTA has voted to spend $1.8 billion to buy up to 676 commuter railroad cars from the Kawasaki Rail Car company. The cars will be built in Yonkers and are scheduled to be placed into service from 2017 to 2019.

As of now, the MTA has the money to buy only 92 cars at cost of $355.5 million. If funding is available in the forthcoming 2015-2019 MTA Capital Plan and the railroads choose to exercise future options, Kawasaki will manufacture up to 304 additional cars for the LIRR and up to 280 cars for Metro-North.

The new cars will beef up the fleets of Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road. But they won't necessarily decrease car overcrowding on the lines, which is largely caused by stations with platforms that aren't long enough to handle larger trains.

The MTA also announced it's testing a new zero-emission electric bus.

photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit