Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota and MTA New York City Transit President (NYCT) Thomas F. Prendergast today visited the Bombardier Transportation manufacturing site in Plattsburgh, N.Y., which will produce 300 next-generation R-179 subway cars for NYC Transit in a $600 million order funded by the MTA Capital Program.
State Senator Betty Little, Assembly Member Janet Duprey and Plattsburgh Mayor Donald Kasprzak attended the tour along with Bombardier executives. They viewed NJ Transit commuter rail cars and Chicago Transit Authority subway cars being built, and visited a test track where Lhota briefly operated a nearly completed CTA car.
“There is a very long, long relationship between the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Bombardier here in Plattsburgh,” Chairman Lhota said. “So on behalf of the 8.5 million people who take the MTA every day, I want to thank everybody here at Bombardier.”
The visit highlighted the significant economic benefit that the MTA brings to upstate New York through its Capital Program. Bombardier has built more than 2,000 subway and commuter rail cars for the MTA in Plattsburgh since it opened its rail car plant in 1995. More than 400 people are employed at the manufacturing plant.
“This is a great relationship between upstate and downstate,” Lhota said. “The amount of jobs we can make up here is the most important thing we can do to maintain the North Country quality of life.”
The NYC Transit subway purchase, approved by the MTA Board in March, includes 300 cars for the B Division (lettered lines), as well as spare parts, special tools, diagnostic test equipment, technical documentation and training. It will retain 300 jobs at the rail car plant and generate 308 supplier-related jobs.
“What we have here in Plattsburgh is a wonderful company, Bombardier, with great skilled workers,” Senator Little said. “We’re very, very happy to have the Chairman with us today and to actually see this place in action.”
“We’re so proud of Bombardier and the great workforce we have up here in the North Country,” Assembly Member Duprey said. “We know that you’re going to be satisfied with the wonderful product they’re going to turn out for the New York subway system.”
The 300-car order is in the early stages of design. The first production cars are expected to be delivered to NYC Transit in 2015.