ABC7 Traffic Center
MTA's budget calls for service improvements
NEW YORK -- The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is investing millions of dollars to improve and increase service on its subways, buses and commuter railroads over the next year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.
The improvements are the result of additional state funds, increased revenue from fare and toll hikes and MTA cost-cutting, he said.
Nearly all of the enhancements, which are contained in the MTA's mid-year revised financial plan, will be phased in over the next 12 months.
"For the second year in a row, the state has invested in significant enhancements and expansions to our state's transit system that will improve the experience of the 8 million commuters who use the MTA," the governor said in a statement.
Under the new service initiatives, New York City Transit will spend nearly $8 million on expanded bus and subway service. Another $6 million will help improve station conditions, including more security cameras and additional track and station cleaning.
Subway improvements include the G train, which will operate every eight minutes instead of every 10 minutes from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., reducing the wait time for more than 51,000 weekday riders. M service will be extended to Delancey Street-Essex Street in Manhattan on weekends, instead of terminating at Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn. This will reduce waits and transfers for 37,000 weekend riders.
Metro-North will spend $1.7 million annually on real-time information displays at all of its New York state stations by 2020.
The Long Island Rail Road will invest $2.6 million to run five new weekday trains, half-hourly weekend service to Ronkonkoma and Port Washington and extra weekend service to Greenport.
On buses, service will be restored on the B37, B70 and B8 in Brooklyn. Some express routes in Staten Island's Eltingville section will be routed through the Lincoln Tunnel for faster service. A study will be undertaken to identify bus service gaps in the area of Co-Op City in the Bronx.
MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast said the agency was committed to reducing its costs and strengthening service. But he cautioned that the MTA's "financial plan remains fragile" and its short- and long-term financial challenges were numerous.
"The revised financial plan puts our customer needs first while also allocating resources to longer-term challenges like reducing pension liabilities, lowering retiree health care costs and providing initial funding for our next capital program," Prendergast said in a statement.
mta, mass transit, new york city transit, subway, bus, abc7 traffic center
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