New MTA Twenty-Year Needs Assessment


Click for bid opportunities
By Metropolitan Transity Authority

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has outlined the Authority’s long-term vision to rebuild, improve, and expand the region’s $1.5 trillion transit system over the next twenty years. “The Future Rides With Us,” the MTA’s Twenty-Year Needs Assessment, takes an exhaustive look into the system’s infrastructure needs. It reveals both challenges and opportunities for the future of transportation in the region and lays out an approach to rebuilding the MTA system for another century of service.
George Harms 4The document differs from prior assessments by providing a comprehensive, unconstrained view of the system’s needs, rather than constraining it to meet an arbitrary budget target. As a result, it will serve as a strong foundation in determining how to prioritize capital spending in developing the 2025–2029 capital plan. The assessment also debuts a comparative evaluation of potential expansion projects that could be pursued if the system’s rebuilding and improvement needs are met, for the first time analyzing potential projects objectively along a host of criteria to compare their respective benefits and costs.
George Harms 12MTA subway station“The MTA has never undertaken a Twenty-Year Needs Assessment fed by this level of comprehensive data and analysis,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “Instead of matching needs to some pre-approved budget, this detailed evaluation tells the whole story, laying bare the urgent need for renewal and improvement of the system’s existing infrastructure and to prepare for climate change. This is an essential first step to start the discussion that will shape the 2025–2029 MTA Capital Plan.”
George Harms 12“The MTA system is a $1.5 trillion asset and keeping it running is critical to the New York region,” said MTA Construction and Development President Jamie Torres-Springer. “This Twenty-Year Needs Assessment is the most rigorous assessment in history and will serve as a blueprint for how we can tackle the challenges we face and deliver the future our riders deserve.”
The level of detail, put together over the course of two years, is unprecedented at this scale, resulting in the most rigorous and transparent Twenty-Year Needs Assessment in the MTA’s history. The Agency has looked at every one of the nearly six million component assets that comprise it including:
American Bridge 4
  • 8,747 railcars
  • 5,840 buses
  • 1,907 miles of track
  • 1,092 rail bridges
  • 704 passenger stations
  • 429 power substations
  • 101 maintenance shops
  • 68 rail yards
  • 7 vehicular bridges
  • 2 vehicular tunnels
American Bridge 5The future of the system is contingent on three main factors that drive the need for investment: aging infrastructure, climate change, and evolving rider needs. Prolonging the life of existing assets will not only improve reliability and allow for increased service systemwide, but also enable the opportunity to expand and modernize the transit network.
American Bridge 4“RPA applauds the clear rationale for project choice and prioritization in the MTA's Twenty-Year Needs Assessment,” said Regional Plan Association Executive Vice President Kate Slevin. “The work is a reaffirmation that projects like the Interborough Express are vital not only to improving commutes, but also to improving equity and serving large numbers of riders. Significant investments in maintaining the current system are of equal if not greater importance in the plan and congestion pricing is a key funding source for them. Upgrading tracks and signals, fortifying the system so the system is ready for intense storms, purchasing new rolling stock and electric buses, and making stations more accessible—these are just some of the many 'core' projects that are absolutely essential. RPA applauds the MTA for clearly articulating these worthy needs.”
George Harms 4“The Twenty-Year Needs Assessment sets a critical track for essential capital investments in our regional transit network,” said Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA (PCAC) Executive Director Lisa Daglian. “It helps lay out where the money from congestion pricing will go in the future: critical resiliency projects that will protect riders from increasingly frequent extreme weather; new elevators, escalators, and ramps across the system to improve accessibility for many more people; state-of-good-repair work so subways, buses and commuter rail keep moving—the literal nuts and bolts of keeping the lights on and the trains running on time. At the same time, ensuring the region is able to grow with expansion projects like IBX and Penn Access is key to keeping us economically competitive and attracting new riders out of their cars and onto transit. Riders and all stakeholders will have an opportunity to offer their input to the next capital plan before it’s released next year and then watch as the vision becomes the reality of the twenty-first century transit system our twenty-first century region deserves.”
American Bridge 5"New Yorkers need a well-maintained transit network ready to confront new challenges and meet changing needs," said Riders Alliance Executive Director Betsy Plum. "Our leaders from Albany to City Hall must provide funding and other resources to deliver for today's and tomorrow's riders. From congestion pricing to better bus service, riders will hold our leaders accountable for the fast, frequent, reliable, resilient, accessible, and affordable public transit system we deserve."
"NYLCV applauds the MTA for putting together a twenty-year needs assessment that addresses an ever-increasing—and increasingly complex—list of priorities for our mass transit system,” said New York League of Conservation Voters President Julie Tighe. “From ensuring equity and service to shoring up infrastructure and resilience capacity—and with the help of critical funds from congestion pricing—this plan sets the MTA on a path to serve the region as the threat of climate change and extreme weather make a well-functioning mass transit system more important than ever."
A few highlights of the need to rebuild and improve are below.
New York City Transit
  • Replacement of aging substations and installing Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) for ninety percent of trips by 2045 will greatly enhance reliability, shorten waiting times, and reduce delays.
  • Functionally obsolete shops and yards, like the Livonia Yard, need to be reconstructed. The Livonia Maintenance Facility was built one hundred and one years ago and is not capable of servicing new railcars because they do not fit. This structural limitation prevents running new cars on the 3 line.
  • Continued investment in ADA accessibility projects ensures that by 2045, ninety percent of all subway rides take place at fully ADA accessible stations.
  • Increase sustainability by converting the largest bus fleet in the country to a zero-emissions fleet by 2040, along with updating the necessary facilities and depot to support the transition. The MTA has also committed to reducing eighty-five percent of greenhouse gas emissions from its day-to-day operations.
Metro-North Railroad
  • Major capital investments are required to reconstruct the Grand Central Train Shed, Park Avenue Tunnel, and Park Avenue Viaduct, vital to ninety-eight percent of Metro-North service.
  • To protect the Hudson line from growing climate threats, additional resiliency measures are needed to mitigate and prevent flooding from sea-level rise and heavy rain.
  • Platforms at nineteen stations on the Harlem Line currently require additional structural support and maintenance due to deteriorating conditions and must be replaced.
Long Island Rail Road
  • Due to its aging condition, the Atlantic Avenue Tunnel must be structurally rehabilitated and improved with waterproofing, enhanced lighting, upgraded fire safety, and security systems.
  • To minimize disruptions to service, sixty to one hundred bridges and eleven to twenty-three viaducts must be replaced or rehabilitated. Taking the opportunity to apply state-of-the-art protective surface coating and deck waterproofing will decrease future maintenance needs.
  • Approximately fifty miles of signal systems need to be upgraded, particularly segments across five LIRR branches where fifty to seventy-five percent of the signal components are rated poor/marginal.
  • Completion of the Centralized Train Control location will improve operations and communication. The centralized system also replaces train tower control systems located at different points across the LIRR’s service area, reducing operating costs and future capital costs by eliminating the need to maintain towers and their related communication systems.
Bridges and Tunnels
  • A sustained high level of capital investment similar to current levels is necessary to maintain the facilities in good condition while also improving them to better serve the region and prolong the life of critical structure elements through innovative technologies like cable dehumidification. Cable dehumidification is a proven technique used around the world to minimize corrosion and preserve main cables, which are the primary load-carrying elements for suspension bridges.
System Expansion
For the first time, the document includes an evaluation of potential future projects to expand the system comparatively to one another on a level playing field. The analysis comprehensively considers all projects through a systematic analysis using conservative industry-leading cost estimation and modeling techniques that take into account current and projected changes to costs, ridership, and local population shifts. Projects are compared to one another to evaluate potential ridership, cost, travel time, capacity, geographic distribution, equity, resiliency, and network leverage.
For More Information
Further details on the process and outcomes of each potential project are found in the Appendix. Data used to develop the Comparative Evaluation chart will be available on Open Data by the end of the month.

Back To News

Connect with us


Tappan Zee Constructors

KWM Goethals
John P. Picone

Railroad Construction Company
J. F. Shea
Sovereign Publishing

SBE 39


© 2023 Small Business Exchange, Inc.