Problems with both the subway and LIRR signals at Penn Station require decisive action today, not tomorrow.
The MTA must reprogram $695 million for Metro North East Bronx Penn Station Access, $1.7 billion for Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 and $1.95 billion for LIRR Main Line Third Track to help fund upgrading system signals.
This would provide well over $3 billion as a down payment against $20 billion needed to bring the subway system signals up to a state of good repair. All three canceled projects can be funded out of the next MTA 2020-2024 Five Year Capital Plan.
This still provides ample time for both the Metro North and Third Track project completions to coincide with LIRR East Side Access to Grand Central Terminal by December 2023 or 2024.
In June 2016 the Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration provided $432 million in Superstorm Sandy funding to the MTA for repairs to the East River Tunnel, including signal upgrades.
As of today, no funds have been spent. The MTA and LIRR have yet to complete negotiations with Amtrak for initiation of this work.