New York and New Jersey have the largest portfolio of metro projects in the country, whose plans add to­gether $ 18,600 M

The demand for public transport by rail is growing and it is at the high­est level of the past five decades, as well as the interest of citizens to have more public transportation options, as reflected in numerous surveys.

“The number of trips on Amtrak has increased from 21 million in 2000 to 31 million in 2014, 48% more. In 1980 there were more than 18 agencies with commuter rail service and in 2014 the number reached 28. A similar situation happens with light rail: 9 services in 1980 to 35 in 2014. However, while in­vestment figures have also risen, these have not increased from the point of view of present and future needs, “ex­plained the Commercial Office of Spain in Chicago.

New York and New Jersey are the states with the largest budget due to the size of their urban systems and the sharp in­crease in population. Ongoing projects for the expansion and renovation of its metros require an investment of approx­imately $18,600 M, with the Metropoli­tan Transportation Authority (MTA) of New York as the agency with the largest portfolio of projects ($16,500 M). Other cities with ambitious expansion projects are Seattle ($ 9,000 M), Boston ($6,200 M), San Diego ($3,500 M) and Los An­geles ($3,366) M.

“In the segment of trams there are on­going projects worth $ 674 M in cities like Washington DC, Tucson (Arizona), Detroit (Michigan), Atlanta (Georgia), Kansas City (Missouri) and Cincinnati (Ohio). In these last two cities with trams supplied by the Spanish company CAF. In total there are more than 30 cities with projects in various stages of planning and feasibility level,” contin­ues Maria Jesus.

Light rail, meanwhile, is also experi­encing significant growth, with more than 30 cities with plans of new con­struction or expansion of the existing network in various stages of planning. Two megaprojects in Baltimore must be highlighted: one of the lines, under PPP consideration, is worth $ 2,400 M and is already in pre-qualification phase; and a second line is worth $2,600 M. The Mid-Coast Trolley line in San Diego ($1,800 M) or the Southwest line of Minneapolis (1.250 M $) are also rele­vant. Los Angeles Metro is expanding its Purple Line (phases 2 and 3 for $5,000 M) and the extension of the Foothill Gold Line from Azusa to Montclair ($1.000 M ) and San Francisco / BRT is expanding to Silicon Valley / San Jose-Santa Clara (phase 2 for $3,600 M).

New York

second avenuejpg

Despite ongoing funding problems, sev­eral major projects are being carried out to improve communications in New York. Regarding investment in rail trans­port, an important part will be covered by the New Starts program, adminis­tered by the FTA, which provides federal funding to projects of new transport systems that meet certain criteria and follow some basic guidelines. This pro­gram does not provide more than 60% of the project costs, and requires that the transit agency receiving the aid is capable of operating the system once built.

The first priority of MTA New York is to protect the safety, reliability and quality of the service carrying out, among other things, the replacement of trains and subway cars, renewal of track, signals, yards, warehouses, bridges and stations. In addition, other improvements such as points of support services, accessibility to disabled people and the information of the arrival of the train, expanding the scope of the MTA (through projects like the Second Avenue and access to Penn Station Metro-North) will be made.

Even with the largest subway system in the nation, two commuter railroads, a vast infrastructure and public facilities to handle millions of users every day, one cannot deny that they are major energy consumers. That is why they are working harder than ever to increase energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. They have implemented more than 100 energy efficiency projects in their facilities. Among them are the fol­lowing:

◗ New York City Transit is buying much more efficient metro cars, energy saving.

◗ Metro-North has new M-8 cars equipped with regenerative braking, which captures and reuses energy whenever the train brakes are activated. The replacement project workshop Shop Harmon also incorporates new features to reduce energy consumption, as a roof with insulation and more natural light­ing.

◗ Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) just im­plement a an environmental friendly washing system, a technique that re­uses over 70 percent of its wash water.

2015-2019 Capital Program

It includes the necessary financing to complete the East Side Access Project, including most regional investments that support access to the East Side (East Side Access) and provide improve­ments in the regional transportation network. It also includes funds to com­plete the design and begin the initial construction of Phase 2 of the Second Avenue. This project was added to al­low access from Metro-North into Penn Station.

East Side Access

Access to the East Side of Manhattan was one of the wishes of users in the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) working on the East Side of Manhattan. The new line will increase its capacity and reduce travel time for passengers from Long Island and Queens traveling to Manhattan.

Now, 230,000 people use this line of the LIRR to Penn Station every day, lo­cated west of Manhattan, and shared with users of Amtrak and NJ Transit. Al­most half of them have to be used after other means of transport (metro, bus, etc.) to access their workplace in East Manhattan, adding 40 minutes travel time.

With this new access it will be able to travel directly to the Grand Central Sta­tion without having to go through Penn Station. In addition, within the project is the construction of the new LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) East Side Sta­tion, under the Grand Central Station in Manhattan, which would increase the capacity of users.
The project, estimated at $8.300M, will add a new terminal for the LIRR into Grand Central Station and 22,000 square feet of retail space. New tunnels will be constructed from the main roads of the LIRR in Queens, under Amtrak’s Sunnyside Yard and the LIRR deposit, connecting with the tunnel on 63rd Street. In Manhattan, new tunnels will be built from the junction with the lines of Metro-North, on Second Avenue and 63rd Street and then South on Park Av­enue and the roads of Metro-North.

The new station LIRR in the East Side, under the Grand Central Terminal, of­fers new entrances, a hall, and eight rails in four lower platforms instead of the current routes. According to the lat­est updates of the plan, it is expected to inaugurate this infrastructure in 2019, 10 years later than originally planned. It is the first major expansion of the LIRR in 100 years.

Contracts for implementing structural works, mechanical works and comple­tion were awarded last October 2012 to Schiavone and John P. Picone, sub­sidiaries of the Spanish ACS, totalling $ 925 M.

Second Avenue Subway

These same companies signed in June 2014 a contract of $217 M for the con­struction of a Metro station on 83rd Street. The contract includes mechanical, electrical and ventilation systems and an­cillary facilities for the station. This is the latest of the 10 contracts for the exten­sion of the metro to the Second Avenue.
Once completed, this expansion will be the largest held in the Metro of New York in the last 50 years.

In the first phase, the line will run from Second Avenue in the 63rd Street to 96th Street, with a total of 1.7 miles and 3 new stations. This first extension will cost $ 4,400. It began in April 2007 and will be completed in December 2016.

After this phase, the line will operate as an extension of Q Train, and expects to be used by 213,000 daily passengers, reducing the influx of saturated lines 4, 5 and 6 which run on Lexington Avenue at 13%. In the next 3 phases the line will be extended to Harlem and Second Avenue to the south of Manhattan. Then the new “T” will be inaugurated with a total of 8.5 miles and 16 stations. Fi­nancing and plans for these next stages are still in the air.

Extension Line 7

The length of the extension will be 1.5 miles and includes the construction of a new terminal at the corner of 11th Av­enue and 34th Street. This enlargement will significantly improve the access to the west side of Manhattan and increase space for the terminal garages in Manhat­tan. The project has a cost of $ 2,400m and will be fully built in late 2015.

Spanish presence

The Spanish group OHL, through its New York subsidiary Judlau Contracting, has won two new construction contracts in Manhattan (New York) for a total of $204.5 M. They have been awarded by the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) and will run in the New York subway and Grand Central Station. The most important project worth $193.8 M, is the reconstruction of the South Ferry station in New York City Subway, located in Lower Manhattan, which was devastated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Metro line 1 Metro passes through this area and works include flood protection. It is anticipated that the works are com­pleted in 2017.

Work for reconstruction include the dis­mantling and subsequent installation of the new equipment: electrical equip­ment, communication facilities and fibre optics, air conditioning and ventilation systems, pumping equipment and wa­ter extraction, power, signalling, track work, seven elevators and two escala­tors as well as the architectural finish and painting the entire station. Retract­able doors for flood protection will also be installed at all entrances of the sta­tion and other points of entry of water, such as vents, manholes and ducts will be protected.