- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency for New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), as reported by The New York Times.
- The executive order pledged $1 billion for improvements and attempted to simplify how the MTA can purchase necessary equipment.
- While the subway system has recently suffered an increased amount of failures and delays, this announcement comes a week after a train derailed due to outdated equipment, leaving 34 riders injured.
New York’s regional mass transportation system can often be a nightmare for some commuters. Beyond the ongoing subway problems, Amtrak is reducing the number of trains it will run this summer while work is done on the one train line that runs under the Hudson River to Penn Station. New Jersey Transit (NJT) and the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) are also undergoing changes; the LIRR system, which is has blocked three train lines blocked while work is done, is going to be especially impacted.
Officials know there is a problem — and aren't afraid to pour money into the system for improvements. The $1 billion executive order adds to a $32.5 billion five-year capital plan approved last year to enhance MTA. The plan allots $1.5 billion for a new LIRR track, $700 million for the new Second Avenue subway line and $750 million for a program to improve 32 subway stations.
The subway, which carries nearly six million riders each day, saw delays rise to more than 78,500 in March, up 14% from 2016. Certain lines even have an on-time rate under 40%. The system, which is over a 100-years-old, is quite dated compared to many of the world’s highest ranked subway systems in cities like Seoul and Singapore. But even London’s system, which is the oldest underground railway in the world, has been kept in better shape with more regular infusions of cash.