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.”
But while officials have highlighted renderings of the new subway cars, the money behind the upgrades is still unclear. Cuomo has committed to spending $8.3 billion in state money on the plan, but only $1 billion has been allocated, so far.
“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.”
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.