There is more to Governor Andrew Cuomo's announcement that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will increase rehabilitation for subway stations to a state of good repair by 10, or 50% from the originally 20 planned in the proposed MTA Five Year 2015-2019 Capital Plan.
The original $34 billion plan announced on October 24, 2014, proposed $448 million for bringing 20 subway stations to a state of good repair. The Five-Year Capital Plan was cut by $6 billion to $28 billion. The MTA Board approved this revised Capital Plan at its October 29th meeting.
This was prior to Cuomo's declaration last week about increasing the number of stations (or dollars) for New York City Transit's subway stations renewal program. This plan still needs approval by the State Capital Program Review Board.
It also requires the State Legislature to find $8 billion promised by Governor Cuomo. The City Council must also come up with $2.5 billion to meet commitments made by Mayor Bill de Blasio to fully fund the Capital Plan.
If you increase the number of stations by 10, the overall program would grow by $224 million to $672 million. Just what other capital projects and programs would have to be cut to support finding $224 million? Cuomo was silent on this key question.
According to a New York City Citizens Budget Commission report released several months ago, it will take 52 years or until 2067 for all 468 subway stations to reach a state of good repair.
Cuomo's math just doesn't add up. When the bills become due, taxpayers will end up paying.