New York's MTA Raises $8.5 Billion for Mass Transit

by Allen Morrison, Asst. Ed.; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1983, Vol. 53, Issue 7, Pg. 42-45

Document Type: Feature article


New York City's decaying subway, bus and commuter train system, the largest in the nation, is being rehabilitated with a five-year, $8.5 billion capital construction program that began in 1982. How the area's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) was able to finance such a massive investment program in the face of declining ridership, a city government only recently returned from the brink of insolvency, and declining federal aid, is a study in creative financing. The article profiles the physical and financial conditions of the transit system, discusses why the system was allowed to deteriorate so badly, and how, under chairman Richard Ravitch, the MTA was able to achieve key changes in legislation that made possible some of the creative financing techniques now being employed. A discussion of these techniques, including the issuance of revenue bonds and the exploitation of safe-harbor leasing arrangements with private investors, is included.

Subject Headings: Public transportation | Financing | Subways | Buses | Commute | Rehabilitation | Assets | Urban areas | New York | United States

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