Station Repairs Could Be Scaled Back if MTA's Funding Shortfall Isn't Filled

Riders don't see much of the hidden work that goes into upgrading and maintaining the subway, but one thing many do see - repairs to the stations they use every day - could be scaled back if the MTA's multi-billion-dollar funding shortfall isn't filled. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.

Riders cannot catch trains at the Van Siclen or Rockaway Avenue stops in Brooklyn until late September at the earliest.

"I'm having a hard time, because I got to walk far and I don't really like waiting for the shuttle bus because it's hot. And in the sun, I be sweating."

The MTA shut the two elevated stations on the 3 line last month to repair the platforms and strengthen the steel and concrete supports - inconveniencing the nearly 10,000 riders who pass through each day.

They're not alone. The thousands of riders who use the southbound 6 train platform at 103rd Street also have to find another way to get around. The platform was closed for repairs last week.

"Switching uptown to go downtown is going to cost me, you know, some of my salary."

The MTA says station overhauls are vital to a system that's 110 years old. But the lack of money limits how many of them it can carry out.

"There are only a certain amount of stations that we can do at one time," said MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz. "Two, we need to be very judicious in stations that we select, locations, how they have an impact on service."

In the next five years, the MTA plans to do 20 station renovations, as well as work on seven elevated structures and eleven underground tunnels. That's $3 billion dollars of projected work. But that hinges on whether the MTA's, five-year, $32 billion dollar Capital Program is fully funded."

For now, the agency is short $14 billion, money it's desperately hoping the city, state and Washington will provide.

Riders may feel the effects of station work, but that's hardly the biggest part of the Capital Program.

"What they don't see is the billions of dollars that are necessary for track work, infrastructure work, signals and communications. That, in essence, is the bulk of our Capital Program right there."

One that rests on the MTA finding the funds it says it needs.

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