ALBANY, N.Y. – New subway cars with wider doors, Wi-Fi and phone charging stations are coming to New York City.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled designs for the cars on Monday at an event meant to highlight the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s $27 billion plan to upgrade subway cars, buses, subway stations and control technology.
“It is the largest amount of money ever invested in the MTA capital plan, period,” the Democratic governor said at the event, held at the Transit Museum in Brooklyn. “The money is there. The funding is there.”
Advocates for the overcrowded, aging transit system hail the upgrades, but said the state must follow through on its funding promises. Cuomo has committed to spending $8.3 billion in state money on the plan.
“We’ll be satisfied when the MTA has the money in hand and is doing the work,” John Raskin, executive director of the Riders Alliance, told The Associated Press. “The state has committed more money to this capital plan than ever before, which is real progress. But it has not actually delivered all the money yet.”
A spokesman for the governor said the state’s commitment has the force of law, and that spreading out such large, capital expenses over several years is typical. Officials say that so far $3.9 billion has been appropriated.
Money from the city and federal government, in addition to fares, is expected to cover the rest of the cost of the upgrades.
The MTA plans to begin the contract bidding process later this week for more than 1,000 new subway cars. Entrances will be eight inches wider, and up to 750 will have ‘open car’ designs that link cars with accordion connectors instead of typical doors. They will also have USB charges, Wi-Fi service and digital route maps and advertisements.
This story has been corrected to show that the state has appropriated $3.9 billion for the project, not $1 billion.