New MTA chief Tom Predergast wants New Yorkers to get ready for even more service changes as the transit system continues its recovery from Hurricane Sandy. Track equipment that was exposed to salt water during the storm surge is now beginning to fail at accelerated rates, and some lines, like the R, are going to have to be shut down again so that the equipment can be replaced. That means even more travel headaches for neighborhoods that have already had to deal with service cuts after the storm.
"What we need to do is figure out how we can mitigate those impacts and minimize the discomfort to the public, but if we fool ourselves and fool the public into thinking we don't have to do it, there will come a point in time where the system will be out of service at a more impactful level," Prendergast told the Daily News. "We need to lay that all out for our riders."
The MTA also needs to do critical work that would prevent the amount of flooding and destruction that a hurricane similar to Sandy (like, you know, the ones that might hit us this summer) would wreak on the old, damaged system. The MTA plans to do $4.7 billion worth of repairs and replacements for the equipment damaged by Sandy, and has another $4.1 billion in projects that will protect the system from future flooding.
Predergast, who is pretty much an MTA-lifer, plans to stay with the Transit Authority much longer than his immediate predecessors, who left to either run a hopeless campaign for mayor, or get as far away from New York as possible.