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Derailment prompts MTA's Prendergast to call for greater funding from NYC

MTA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Prendergast late last week called for New York City to invest more money into its transit system.

In a statement addressing the recent derailment of a G Line train in Brooklyn, Prendergast noted that the state of New York had agreed to invest $8.3 billion into the agency, while New York City refused to honor MTA's request for $3.2 billion, opting to offer $657 million instead.

"The city's contribution has fallen far short of the rate of inflation, much less real support for the $800 billion worth of MTA assets within the five boroughs," Prendergast said. "I am tired of writing letters to city officials that result only in vague calls for more conversations. The sooner we can end these games and get to work on rebuilding our transit network, the better we can serve the 8.5 million customers who rely on the MTA every day."

Prendergast also acknowledged that the MTA was "fully responsible" for the safe operation of the area's transit system, and called the derailment "unacceptable."

The Sept 10 incident, which occurred just north of the Hoyt-Schermerhorn Streets station in downtown Brooklyn, resulted in no fatalities, although two passengers were evaluated for minor injuries at an area hospital. Service returned to normal the next day.

MTA New York City Transit's Office of Systems Safety is investigating why a deteriorated section of bench wall next to the track reached into the path of the train, according to the MTA. Concrete debris from the wall fell to the track and caused the first axle of the train to derail.

The bench wall, which serves as a maintenance and emergency walkway, contains ducts for power and communications cables.

"Our 2015-19 Capital Program allocates $927.5 million for repairing and rebuilding subway line structures, including bench walls such as the one involved in [the Sept. 10] derailment," Prendergast said. "That’s more than double the $434.5 million in the prior program. But the MTA is barred by law from spending a single dollar on new capital projects until the state Capital Program Review Board approves our program – which can only happen when the city agrees to pay its fair share."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/14/2015