By Larry Penner
MTA awarding a contract for $573 million to Cubic Transportation Systems may not be the best use of these dollars. Why will Cubic Transportation Systems open up a call center in Buffalo to support future customers using this new fare collection system with so many out of work Queens and NYC residents looking for employment?
These dollars might have been better spent toward fully funding the emergency $836 million “Subway Action Plan” to deal with today’s crises. It could also have been used as a down payment against the $17 billion shortfall toward $20 billion needed to bring the subway signal system up to a state of good repair. What good does a new fare collection system do if you are still stuck on the platform waiting for a train.
According to a NYC Citizens Budget Commission report released last year, it will take 51 years or until 2067 for all 471 NYC Transit Subway Stations to reach a state of good repair.
The cost will be billions. This does not include the expense of bringing more stations into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Funding for a new fare collection system could have been postponed till the MTA’s next 2020 – 2024 Five Year Capital Plan.