MTA capital plan shortchanges Metro-North West of Hudson service, says Orange County rep

NEW YORK – Susan Metzger, Orange County’s representative on the Metro-North Committee of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board voted for the agency’s $52 billion, 2020-2024 capital plan on Wednesday but not before she lambasted the agency for what she said was insufficient funding to cover needed improvements to the West of Hudson Port Jervis Line.

The Metro-North portion of the plan is $4.7 billion, $1 billion less than sister service Long Island Rail Road.

While her railroad’s budget is more than double last year’s, she said it still does not cover the state of good repair.

The counties of Orange and Rockland do not get back from the MTA services worth what the counties kick in, she said.

The West of Hudson service is “infrastructure starved,” she told the full board meeting and noted her discontent with no funding for a mid-point yard or passing siding on the Port Jervis line. That limits trains to go in only one direction at a time, making wait times as much as two hours.

She said the MTA chairman assured her he would look for supplemental funds for that needed infrastructure.

Metzger’s frustration also included her criticism of what she perceives to be a lack of transparency and detail in the capital plan.

And to make the situation worse, she pointed out that the state only gives the northern counties one-quarter vote each. “That’s nuts,” she said.

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