NEW YORK MTA has applied for federal funding to support a number of capital projects during the financial year starting in September. MTA has allocated $4bn for New York City Transit, $302m for Metro-North, and $216m for Long Island Rail Road, plus $150m for the LIRR’s East Side Access project.

MTA will also be seeking financial assistance from the Federal Transit Administration for signalling improvements ($529m), station rehabilitation ($633m) and the purchase of new cars ($1·9bn).

The car orders include 470 for the A division (IRT), in batches of 320 and 150, plus 660 cars for the B division (BMT/IND). Metro-North will buy 21 Comet V driving cars and 22 trailers for services west of the Hudson River operated by NJ Transit.

On May 23 FTA issued a Record of Decision, allowing MTA to seek permission to begin final design and construction of the East Side Access Project. Work is expected to start later this year on the $4·3bn LIRR connection from Queens to Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan, via the East River tunnel.

The biggest component of the link, due to open in 2011, will be a deep-level tube between the river tunnel and Grand Central. In Queens, the link will be connected to the LIRR main line at Sunnyside Yards. MTA has committed $1·5bn in its current five-year capital plan to the project, but no firm funding beyond 2006 has yet been identified.

On June 8, MTA started work on a four-year, $225m overhaul of the LIRR interchange station at Jamaica in Queens. This includes rebuilt platforms, new waiting rooms at platform level, and an overhead mezzanine with high-capacity lifts and escalators. The work will also include the construction of a terminal for the AirTrain automated light metro to JFK International Airport.