Saturday, April 25, 2009

M.T.A.'s Lack Of Leadership Delays 2nd Ave. Subway Yet Again

As of late much of the blame for the M.T.A.'s woes have been directed at the State Senate, and rightly so. However, when it comes to the completion of the Second Avenue subway line the fingers are being pointed squarely in the direction of the transit authority's management. It appears that division that oversees capital projects can't get their act together on a subway line that was originally planned for eighty years ago.

From The NY Daily News:

The MTA, which has pushed back the completion date several times over the last decade, recently predicted additional construction and design delays totaling 18 months, an internal document drafted in February reveals.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority's handling of some aspects of its major construction projects has frustrated the Federal Transit Administration, The News has learned.

After extending the Second Ave. subway schedule in March 2008, citing higher than anticipated construction costs, the MTA was required to give the feds a recovery plan with options to make up some lost time and fill budget gaps.

The feds have "provided the MTA with a time period that is more than reasonable" regional administrator Brigid Hynes-Cherin wrote to the MTA in November. "Unfortunately, the MTA appears to have been caught up in a never-ending process of evaluating and reevaluating each program. The time for evaluation has taken far too long, and the time for presenting a recovery plan is now long overdue."

Supposedly this plan will be done in a couple weeks, but who knows if it will be comprehensive or meet the federal government's standards. The only thing about this project the authority has been good at is to promote the T line, though their ads about the first segment being done in 2015 have not-unexpectantly disappeared.

It really is sad to see that in the preeminent city in the United States, it takes a century (probably more though) to build a subway line, where in other countries entire systems are completed within a few years and with much higher quality.