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MTA commission recommends strategies to address future challenges


A Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) commission last week issued a report that calls for the agency to make significant changes to its way of doing business and recommended seven strategies for meeting future challenges.

The MTA Transportation Reinvention Commission's report calls on MTA to "change its practices and become more resilient in order to accommodate a growing population, changing travel patterns, rising expectations and a more volatile climate," according to an MTA press release. The report recommends that MTA accelerate investments to keep its network in a state of good repair, streamline project delivery and work more effectively with regional partners to enhance and expand the transportation system.

Additionally, the report challenges MTA to improve a comprehensive plan to cut costs and generate more revenue.

"New York will never have a world-class transit system unless the MTA reinvents itself and the public invests in it. A robust transportation network is essential to the region, but its past achievements do not make future success inevitable," said former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who co-chaired the MTA commission. "Our work shows that the MTA can meet the array of challenges it faces, but doing so will require careful stewardship, creative thinking and heightened investment to ensure it can continue to be the engine that drives New York."

The MTA created the commission in May at the suggestion of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who urged the agency to consult with international experts on how to prepare the MTA to meet future challenges.

The commission's report also recommends that MTA:
• reengineer its way of doing business by creating a "new MTA" that is more efficient, transparent, and accountable to the public, including a new center of excellence to optimize project delivery and engage the private sector;
• accelerate and sustain core capital investment to bring its infrastructure into a state of good repair in order to maximize safety, reliability and resiliency;
• create a 21st century customer experience to provide all customers an information-rich, accessible, reliable, frequent and easy-to-use service;
• aggressively expand the capacity of the existing system both to alleviate constraints and to meet the needs of growing ridership, which will provide greater redundancy as well as fewer disruptions;
• make investments designed to serve existing and emerging population and employment centers not well served by the existing system, pursuing new flexible service alternatives and operating modes;
• forge partnerships with its local, state, and federal economic development and planning partners, as well as the private sector, to drive the region's economic growth;
• establish more collaborative working relationships with other transit agencies to better integrate regional transit; and
• develop a balanced, stable and reliable long-term funding plan that includes dedicated revenues and contributions from all who benefit from MTA services, directly or indirectly.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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