The MTA may not buy new trains or upgrade stations, anticipating that their budget may be in jeopardy. NY State approved just under $20 billion for the MTA's proposed $27+ billion capital plan, and though the MTA says they think they'll get the money, they are planning just in case. Newsday gives a little comfort, saying new tracks, lighting and signals won't be cut, though station maintenance may be.
MTA officials are probably hoping that the West Side railyards bidding goes well; MTA Chairman Peter Kalikow complained that he was too focused on that:
"It is a distraction. I'm serious that all of the time that I waste doing that is time that is diverted from the main mission that I set for myself, which is getting the capital [spending] plan in place. I go to testify at hearings, I speak to various legislators, that's what they ask me about - the stadium. Nobody's willing to focus on the capital plan, I guess, until the stadium is resolved."
Yeah, that's pretty sad. It's also pretty sad that the MTA's download for the West Side railyards bid request-for-proposal has a "Jets" filename!
This comes as the MTA considers another source of revenue: Putting flat panel TVs on trains. While the two words Gothamist might like to hear are "satellite TV," there would only be news, music videos, or subway information on the channel; subway information wouldn't be so bad, because we are fond of the MTA's wildly uneven advertising on the trains (sometimes it's great, sometimes it's lame). Riders would also be able to tune into FM stations. Atlanta's MARTA has just committed to the plan this week; it seems that a company, The Rail Network, would give the TVs for free and just get a cut of the ad revenue. Honestly, while Gothamist loves our TV time, there's something to be said about using subway time to read, stare at other passengers, and daydream.