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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Gov. Cuomo announces plan to expedite renovations at NYC subway stations


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday unveiled a plan to rapidly redesign and renew 30 subway stations in the MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) system.

Under the proposal, the MTA will use design-build procurement to deliver the projects more quickly, at a lower cost and with better quality, since a single contract will be held accountable for cost, schedule and performance, agency officials said in a press release.

Gov. Cuomo announces his latest plans for the MTA at the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn.
Photo: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority

The MTA will revamp the design guidelines for subway stations to improve their look and feel, and then put them in place in 30 stations across the system. The stations would be brighter, cleaner and easier to navigate with better and more intuitive way finding, MTA officials said.

Stations will be completely closed to give contractors better access, as opposed to relying on night and weekend closures.

The redevelopments are now expected to take six to 12 months. Comparatively, under the previous approach, this kind of work could take two to three years or more to be completed.

Work on the majority of these 30 stations is slated to be completed by 2018, with all completed by 2020.

"The MTA is absolutely vital to the daily functioning of New York City, but for too long it has failed to meet the region’s growing size and strength," Cuomo said. "This is about doing more than just repair and maintain — this is thinking bigger and better and building the 21st century transit system New Yorkers deserve. We are modernizing the MTA like never before and improving it for years to come."

Cuomo's proposal also calls for various technological upgrades for NYCT's subway system, including an acceleration of MTA's plan to deploy Wi-Fi service in all 277 underground subway stations by the end of this year.

Additionally, the governor's plan would speed up the implementation of mobile fare payment technology and direct the MTA to install more countdown clocks.

To improve the customer experience, charging ports will be installed on 200 subway cars this year and 400 next year.

These initiatives are part of Cuomo's plan to improve transportation infrastructure in New York. Last week, he revealed separate plans to transform New York City's Penn Station and increase capacity on MTA Long Island Rail Road with a third track on the Main Line.

The state of New York is contributing a total of $8.3 billion to help fund the MTA's $26.1 billion capital program, according to the agency.