Skift Take

If the MTA promised to use a few billion to raze Penn Station to the ground it could raise the money in a day from the region's beleaguered travelers forced to pass through that transportation nightmare.

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to spend $5.5 billion on expansion projects in the next five years, with about half of that bringing Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Station.

The agency’s $32 billion capital-spending plan on subway cars, safety upgrades and expansion projects is $15.2 billion short of funding. The MTA anticipates selling $6 billion of debt to help pay for it, according to a news release today. The authority’s board is to consider the plan tomorrow at its monthly meeting, before lawmakers in Albany weigh in.

“The MTA network is a $1 trillion asset, and it needs constant investment so it can serve everyone who relies on it now and can grow to serve more people in the future,” Thomas Prendergast, the agency’s chief executive officer, said in the release.

The largest U.S. mass-transit system plans to spend $2.8 billion to help bring the LIRR to Grand Central Station. The commuter line currently serves only Manhattan’s Pennsylvania Station. An additional $1.5 billion will start construction of the second phase of New York City’s Second Avenue subway line. The first phase is to open in December 2016.

The system, which includes the city’s subways and buses as well as the Metro-North and LIRR commuter railroads, serves an average of 8.6 million riders per weekday. It had $34.4 billion of debt of June 30, according to MTA’s website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michelle Kaske in New York at To contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at 

Subscribe to Skift Pro

Subscribe to Skift Pro to get unlimited access to stories like these ($30/month)

Subscribe Now

Tags: mta, nyc

Photo Credit: Subway station in New York City. Derek Key / Flickr