This Is the Cost to Fix the NYC Subway System

If you’ve ever ridden the subway in New York City, you know that it is a shell of its former glory. The first underground line opened in 1904, and it has operated every day for 24 hours throughout most of its history.

It’s one of the world’s biggest urban infrastructure additions, providing 665 miles of revenue track and another 850 miles of additional support. A total of 25 lines bass through Manhattan of the 28 services provided.

The MTA announced in 2019 that its five-year capital plan to upgrade the subway was $51.5 billion, with over $40 billion reserved for the trains and bus systems.

$7.1 Billion Goes to Signal Improvements

Andy Byford introduced the “Fast Forward” plan to improve the NYC subway to encourage signal modernization. A total of 11 routes are using antiquated equipment that could pose unnecessary risks to staff and passengers.

About $7.1 billion is directed toward these services, including the 4, 5, and 6 along the Lexington Line.

Approximately $6 billion is dedicated to the purchase or construction of new cars, about $2.6 billion for track maintenance, and the rest for several other improvements.

About 25% of the amount needed to fix the NYC subway system will come from borrowed debt. That means it’ll ultimately get generated through tolls and fares. The MTA is counting on $25 billion to come from a new Internet sales tax, funds from city-owned bridges, and a new tax on homes worth more than $2 million.

Despite criticisms over a lack of transparency with the project, the work continues as the improvements are necessary to manage current and future needs. The current five-year plan is set to expire in 2024.