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December 16th, 2008
America in Gridlock
[VIDEO] The Wrong Track

About one in every three users of mass transit in the United States and two-thirds of the nation’s rail riders live in New York City and its suburbs. And the cost to maintain one of the world’s most extensive mass transit systems is expensive. Each new subway car, for example, costs $1.4 million. Replacing and maintaining tracks runs the state’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) about $303 million a year.

In order to pay for subway maintenance and projects over the years, the MTA has had to borrow a lot of money for funding. So much so that the MTA is now the fifth biggest debtor in the United States – after the state of California, the state of Massachusetts, New York State, and New York City.

Blueprint America looks at the costs of maintaining New York City’s transportation system and the difficulties involved when making improvements.

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  • Jim

    “Replacing and maintaining tracks runs the MTA about $303 million a year.” Which would be really quite a lot if the subway’s daily income weren’t in the BILLIONS of dollars. (you do the math, $2 fare x 5million daily ridership:

  • Jim

    Ahem… Millions… I meant to type millions. *smack*

  • Second Ave. Sagas | A New York City Subway Blog » Blog Archive » » PBS delves into the MTA’s financial crisis

    [...] New York’s public television station is about to go in-depth on the MTA’s financial crisis. PBS’s Blueprint American program is going to air a New York Voices segment on the state of the MTA tonight. The segment airs at 8 p.m. and will feature an lengthy sit-down with Richard Ravitch. For more, check out the Blueprint America feature on the MTA. [...]

  • Boris Suchkov

    You need to put those amounts in perspective. Compared to our war or highway expenditures, the MTA is fairly cheap and efficient. A mile of highway costs $50 million, and it carries many fewer people than a mile of railway.

  • herenthere

    Reply to Jim:
    The MTA’s daily income definitely is not in the “Billions.” If it were, then they would not be in the deficit they are in now. In addition, you have to realize that there are also expenditures (payroll, maintenance, utilities, debt payment) involved that must be subtracted from the income.

  • Gotham Gazette – The Wonkster » Blog Archive » Weekly Web Wrap

    [...] Is the Subway Going Back Down the Tubes? (New York Voices) [...]

  • Cole Freberg

    Thank you for that info. It’s very appreciated! Best regards.

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