The MTA has decided to defer capital rehabilitation programs, originally scheduled for the 2005-2009 capital plan, at four Bronx stations, leaving five scheduled for completion by the end of 2009.
“There are nine Pelham Line stations currently being considered for rehabilitation,” said Deirdre Parker, a spokeswoman for MTA-New York City Transit. “However, due to financial constraints, only five stations are scheduled for award in the 2005-09 capital plan. The four stations to be deferred to the 2010-14 program are Buhre Avenue, Castle Hill Avenue, Middletown Road, and Zerega Avenue.”
The deferment of the work on the four stations has an upside, in that the rehabilitation projects would have taken a year and would have required commuters to take a bus to the nearest station, or to start at Pelham Bay station.
All four of the stations are structurally sound, and there appear to be no major problems in terms of infrastructure at any of them.
However, despite the silver lining, Councilman Jimmy Vacca commented that he has seen the MTA back out of their commitments before, and wanted to call them on the carpet.
“Once again, the MTA has proven that whatever promises they make are here today and gone tomorrow,” Vacca commented. “Believing what they say is becoming increasingly difficult. I am not holding my breath waiting for these station modernizations.”
Despite the hold up at the four stations, other work is proceeding according to plan. These include the installation of Americans with Disabilities Act elevators at E. 180 Street on the #2/5 lines, and the rehabilitation of four station platforms on six line subway stations at Cypress Avenue, E. 143 Street, E. 149 Street, and Longwood Avenue.
According to MTA-NYC Transit, while the number of Bronx stations slated for rehab decreased, the funding for remaining projects increased from $217 million to $228 million due to escalation and additional items for the remaining projects.
“Fifty-nine percent of Bronx stations will have significant station investments in the period from 1982 to 2009 totaling $697 million.” Parker noted.