Amid the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, and demanding infrastructure programs, it can be easy to lose sight of all the positive developments in the greater New York transit system. The three senior leaders who spoke to AECOM highlighted many things that they and their employees can be proud of that improve the journeys and experience of 6.5 million passengers every day.
One of the shared points of pride was station upgrades. Rich Davey, President of MTA NYC Transit, said that many of the MTA’s stations needed ‘TLC’ such as improving lighting, cleaning and other maintenance, which were being addressed in the Re-NEW-vation program.
“We’re going to do a station a weekend this year, and my hope is, well after I’m gone, it just becomes a program where we’re doing this on a regular basis. I’m excited about it,” he said.
Clarelle DeGraffe, General Manager of PATH at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, concurred and added that one station which drew criticism from customers would be addressed. “I’m really excited about the architectural upgrade that we’ll be able to share.”
The Third Track project, centerpiece of the $2.6 billion Long Island Rail Road Main Line Expansion Project, was highlighted by Cathy Rinaldi, President of MTA Metro-North Railroad and interim President of Long Island Rail Road, who said it would open up possibilities for working in multiple other locations – the reverse commute option already enjoyed by passengers on Metro-North.
“The project came online at the end of 2022, and it’s really going to revolutionize economic development on the island, transit-oriented development. It’s such a game-changer with respect to how people travel throughout the region,” she said. Rinaldi also talked about Penn Station Access, an ongoing project to provide new Metro-North train service for an area in the Bronx currently underserved by rail transit
All three leaders spoke of the importance of responding to customer requirements. Davey pointed to recent, historic commitments to dramatically change the accessibility of the NYC subway system “We’re going to invest billions and billions of dollars to make our system accessible. It’s a system that’s… 120 years old. Building the kinds of infrastructure required to make sure all of our customers can be served is hugely challenging,” he said.
Hear all three leaders discuss the projects and work they are proud of: