MTA’s Capital Idea

The Story

Photo: Kit L./iStock

The MTA has put forward a $51.5 billion, five-year capital plan that includes signal upgrades and expanded service. It’s good to hear that the region’s transportation authority is making big plans. Questions remain, though, about where the money will come from.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Rules: Relaxing work rules and prevailing-wage requirements between the MTA’s contractors and construction unions could save hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Read more.

  2. Debt: The MTA’s $42 billion in debt means that an increasing proportion of its operating budget goes to interest payments. Read more.

  3. Half: Congestion pricing will cover slightly less than half the cost of the capital plan, so the MTA is asking for $11 billion from the federal government and $3 billion from the city⁠—but that still leaves $10 billion in potential MTA borrowing. Read more.

“Making all of these capital investments will not matter as much if the MTA still has to cut back on service.”

Nicole Gelinas, Manhattan Institute senior fellow

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

The MTA Mess By Nicole Gelinas (November 21, 2008)

“Where the MTA finds itself today is the natural, predicted and only possible result of craven decisions made by a decade’s worth of politicians and their appointees.”

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