News & Reviews News Wire New York MTA halts new contracts for capital projects

New York MTA halts new contracts for capital projects

By Trains Staff | February 19, 2024

Uncertainty over congestion pricing leaves funding in limbo

Email Newsletter

Get the newest photos, videos, stories, and more from brands. Sign-up for email today!

Workers in subway tunnel
Work crews repair Superstorm Sandy damage in the MTA’s F line subway tunnel. The MTA has paused awarding new contracts for capital projects because of uncertainty over the status of New York City’s planned congestion pricing program. Trent Reeves / MTA Construction & Development

NEW YORK — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has halted the awarding of new contracts for capital programs of uncertainty over the planned congestion pricing program, a daytime toll program intended to discourage driving by charging $15 to enter Manhattan below 60th Street.

The program is intended to start this year, and will help fund MTA capital programs, as explained here. But NY1 reports at least four federal lawsuits are challenging the plan. That leaves in doubt the availability of money earmarked for projects ranging from subway signal improvements to extension of the Second Avenue Subway.

Jamie Torres-Springer, president of MTA Construction and Development, informed contractors of the pause in a Feb. 14 letter. He told NY1 that congestion pricing funds account for more than 50% of what remains in the agency’s capital program, and with that money in doubt, “we really have to prioritize for emergency repairs, and we’re not able to invest in the things that are really important here.” Torres-Springer said the agency is “confident” it will prevail in the litigation, but doesn’t know how long that will take. “But we sure hope that it’s soon,” he said, “because in the meantime, we’re not able to make these improvemnts that keep the system in a state of good repair.”

The MTA will administer the congestion pricing through its Bridges and Tunnels division (formally, the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority), and Torres-Springer said the agency is ready to start tolling when the time comes.

You must login to submit a comment