The MTA’s plan to deal with the so-called “summer of hell” service disruptions at Penn Station is costing the agency $58 million, according to budget documents released Wednesday.
The costs of the plan, detailed in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s midyear budget update, include $18.5 million to lease nearly 200 express buses that have received little use since they began operating July 10.
MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota defended the costs, which he said were necessary to provide riders with “an abundance of options” while Amtrak’s infrastructure renewal work forces the Long Island Rail Road to reduce rush-hour service at Penn Station.
“You have to think about it this way: If we did nothing, if we just accepted the fact that we had to reduce about 20 percent of ridership coming to Penn Station, think of the catastrophe to the economy of the entire metropolitan area — Long Island in particular,” Lhota told reporters after an MTA Board meeting where the agency’s financial plan was presented. “Was it a lot of money? Yes. Is it well worth it? Yes.”
Also included in the $57,871 price tag of the mitigation plan are $5 million for new ferry services from Glen Cove and Long Island City, $4 million for MTA Police coverage, $3 million for LIRR…
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