MTA lays out 20-year plan for transit system's core
The MTA has looked 20 years into the future and has identified $106 billion worth of improvements to the core "nuts and bolts" of the system.
In an assessment of the transit system's needs over the next two decades presented to an MTA board committee Monday, the agency prioritized updating an aging signal system, stock of buses and train cars, tracks and stations.
"It provides both a strategic road map for the MTA going forward [and] it also addresses the nuts and bolts -- the existing core infrastructure," said Stephen Berrang, director of capital program management at the MTA.
A full report on the 20-year needs of the MTA, including megaprojects such as the Second Avenue Subway is due later this month.
As ridership reaches highs last seen in the post-World War II years, New York City Transit would get a bulk of the investments, $68.2 billion. Replacing the signal system with a computer-based one gets the highest priority.
Installing the new computerized system requires service shutdowns, so the MTA is planning to evenly spread out six to seven of the signal replacements over the next 20 years, Berrang said.
The result would be trains running closer together, increasing frequency.
"In transit, there is an aged signal infrastructure, some of which dates back a hundred years or so," Berrang said. "That will be a big enhancement for the public."
In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, Berrang said standards for cables, components for signals and power have changed. Funding to gird the system against a storm like Sandy is already covered in the MTA's current capital plan for system improvements.
"We're making sure these critical assets which are necessary to safe and reliable operation are resistant to future climatic events," Berrang said.