New York State’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the largest public transit authority in the United States, on Monday revealed the largest capital outlay in its history in a bid to upgrade the state’s faltering transportation system.

MTA said it has set aside $51.5 billion in its Capital Program Overview from 2020 to 2024 to rebuild New York’s transportation system. It described this massive investment as unprecedented and the largest in its history. There will be a focus on improving New York City’s subway system.

The program still has to be approved by the MTA’s board and then submitted to the state’s Capital Program Review Board by Oct. 1.

MTA said more than $40 billion will go to revitalizing the New York City transit system and building on the successful investment of the Subway Action Plan. Projects to improve NYC’s subway system and the Staten Island Railway will amount to $37.3 billion, or more than 70 percent of the total MTA program budget of $51.5 billion.

The subway system investment will go to acquiring 1,900 new subway cars, replacing worn down tracks, modernizing six subway lines, making 70 stations ADA-accessible, revamping 175 stations (including elevator and escalator replacements), acquiring more than 2,400 new buses and hundreds of new commuter rail cars.

Among the six lines to be improved will be the Lexington Avenue Line serving over 50 percent of riders through modernized signaling. Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 will also be fully funded.

MTA said $3.5 billion will go to acquiring NYC Transit and MTA buses. These new buses will replace more than 2,200 buses and add more than 175 buses to the system. In addition, bus depots will be improved on-board digital information screens will equip all buses.

MetroNorth will get a $4.7 billion to reconstruct the Grand Central Terminal train shed and the Park Avenue tunnel and viaduct. This funding will also go to extending New Haven Line access to Penn Station with four new stations in the Bronx. MetroNorth’s M3 rail cars will be replaced.

Long Island Rail Road will get a $5.7 billion to improve signals and communications, improve stations, and upgrade tracks.

MTA bridges and tunnels will get $3.3 billion. This amount will be spent on fixing several bridges and building the infrastructure needed for central business district (CBD) tolling or congestion pricing.

MTA said the program will ultimately result in a faster, accessible, and more reliable transportation network. Transport services will become more frequent and overcrowding will be reduced. Travel times on the network will also be faster while accessibility for differently abled persons will be improved.

“These proposed investments in our subways and buses have delivered beyond my wildest expectations,” said New York City Transit President Andy Byford.

As for funding this mammoth undertaking, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said $25 billion has been earmarked by the state legislature for the program. Cuomo also said he’ll support an additional $3 billion investment, to be matched by New York City.

“We have an historic opportunity to institutionalize the lessons learned, build on the progress made under the Subway Action Plan and make crucial upgrades so riders get the 21st century transit system they deserve,” said Cuomo.

New York trains New York trains Photo: MTA