The MTA earlier this year released a schedule of carryover construction projects from the 2010-2014 and 2015-19 capital plans. This was prior to significant growth of the coronavirus outbreak.
This was followed by Governor Andrew Cuomo's announcement to suspend all nonessential construction projects. Initiation of these additional MTA capital projects were promised to begin years later in 2020 and 2021.
They have pledged to commit $6.5 billion worth of prior planned capital program work in 2020 and $2.3 billion in 2021. This is supposed to complete the initiation of all capital projects and programs from the $29 billion 2010-2014 and $32 billion 2015-2019 capital plans.
Coordinating management for this $8.8 billion worth of old capital projects with those from the new $51 billion 2020-2024 Capital Plan will be challenging.
All of the previously funded work that is not underway will have had to be integrated with the ongoing 2020 and future Annual Track Outage, Force Account, Routine Maintenance and Procurement Strategy plans for each MTA agency.
It is necessary in order to support each agencies respective capital programs. The plans provide a foundation to insure projects will be initiated and completed on time.
All of this is taking place while the MTA is undergoing a significant internal reorganization and laying off 2,700 employees agency wide. Without a second CARE COVID-19 $12 billion bailout, the MTA has threatened to lay off thousands more employees.
The reorganization is part of their overly optimistic belief that they can find $2.7 billion in savings. This is the part of the same old playbook promised by previous MTA chairs and board members going back generations.
It never actually happens. These concerns and questions still deserve to be answered in detail.
Without reading the fine print, it is difficult to believe that the MTA can successfully manage investing $8.8 billion in old and $51 billion in new funding for a total of $59.8 billion between 2020 and 2024.
In the middle of a multi-billion dollar financial crises, why does the MTA continue hiring and keeping on board hundreds of millions worth of outside consultants?
Why can't a significant portion of work assigned to consultants be performed by in-house staff and resources?