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Rail News: Passenger Rail

MTA's Prendergast asks NYC to contribute more to capital expenses


MTA Chief Executive Officer Thomas Prendergast last week asked New York City to contribute $300 million a year toward the agency's five-year capital plan. The request came just as the city released its 2016 fiscal-year budget, in which city officials had already honored MTA's earlier requests to contribute a total of $657 million in capital funding over the next five years.

In a letter to New York City Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris, Prendergast said more funding is necessary to accommodate increasing ridership. He called on Shorris to consider investing $1 billion for the construction of the Second Avenue Subway line.

"[W]e believe the city must share in the cost of projects needed to ease current ridership growth and the system enhancements and expansions needed to address further growth," Prendergast wrote. "Now, at this critical juncture, is the right time for the city to acknowledge the need for significantly increased investment in the MTA, and in the city's future."

If New York City's contributions to the system had kept pace with inflation since its initial $136 annual contribution in the early 1980s, it now would be providing $363 million per year, Prendergast said.

The request for additional funding came as a surprise to city officials, local news media reported.

Prendergast's latest request to the city nearly tripled from the agency's original request, New York City Spokesman Amy Spitalnick told online news site Capital New York in an email.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/11/2015