We hope your family, friends, work colleagues and employees remain safe and healthy.
In April, we announced that the MTA was evaluating the impacts of the Covid-19 virus on its financial operations and Capital Program. At that time, we conveyed that, with few exceptions, we would be temporarily holding off on awarding new MTA Capital Program construction or consulting contracts. We noted that we hoped to be able to provide additional information about the Capital Program and these open solicitations/procurements within the next 60 days.
Today, the long-term impacts of the Covid-19 crisis remain unresolved. As you are probably aware, the CARES Act enacted by Congress provided transit agencies, including MTA, with significant funding. However, the significant drop-off in ridership and non-fare revenue in recent months – which has led to a roughly $800 million monthly hit to the MTA’s operating budget – has prompted MTA to request an additional $3.9 B from Congress to offset COVID crisis financial impacts to MTA. The HEROES Act passed by the House of Representatives in recent weeks would provide significant funds to address this need. However, we are still awaiting final congressional action, so uncertainty remains.
Nevertheless, we are working to advance the MTA Capital Program. We are continuing to press forward with all projects under construction – as we did throughout the pandemic. Less than one percent of projects under construction remain shut down due to COVID. Second, we will continue to award certain contracts for which Federal or project-specific funding is available. Third, in the weeks to come, we plan to accelerate certain work – both existing projects and new awards – to take advantage of low ridership and overnight closures. And, we are continuing to advance certain projects through design – and in some cases through procurement process – so that they will be fast out of the starting gate as additional funds become available.
With those noted exceptions, however, which we will identify on a case-by-case basis, we will continue to hold off on awarding new Capital Program construction or consulting contracts. In addition, unless expressly advised otherwise, the dates for submission of bids, RFQs and RFPs for open solicitations for MTA Construction & Development or for any other capital budget-funded MTA projects remain adjourned until further notice. We plan to provide a further update in a few weeks.
The MTA appreciates the hard work, cooperation and understanding of the consultant and contracting community during this challenging time.