At the end of June, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for the MTA. The announcement came just a week after he appointed Joe Lhota as chairman of the authority and came with an order for an emergency plan within 30 days.
On Tuesday, Lhota announced the first version of that plan, chock-full of details that could bring some relief to straphangers who have endured a year filled with subway delays, derailments, fires and other infuriating incidents. The plan isn’t cheap. Its estimated cost exceeds $800 million, and precisely where those funds will come from is not yet clear.
There is a lot to unpack in the plan—Lhota tried his best to do so on Tuesday during a press conference that lasted nearly an hour. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming repairs, restructuring and reorganization of the system that schleps more than five million New Yorkers across the city each and every day.
The plan is broken up into two phases
Fixing the subway isn’t going to be accomplished overnight. Bringing the system into the 21st century could be a decades-long process, but Lhota’s plan outlines a set of 30 immediate changes and upgrades that he aims to complete in the next year. The first phase of the plan addresses the “key drivers of 79 percent of the major incidents” on the subway. The second phase is not so clear-cut—it will tackle long-term solutions and promises to incorporate winning ideas from the MTA’s Genius Transit Challenge, which will award three $1 million prizes to teams with the best ideas for revolutionizing the subway.