MTA to privatize station operations?

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is currently considering an option to outsource both the management and operations of the East Side Access concourse and has paid a consulting firm $600,000 to see if the plan is possible, Crain’s reported. The agency will also issue a request for proposals next month to Have Private Companies Manage The Fulton Street Transit Center in Lower Manhattan.

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For the East Side Access concourse, which will link the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Terminal, private companies would operate all 360,000 square feet of the concourse, which includes 23,000 square feet of retail space. The same goes for the 70,000-square-foot Fulton Street center, which calls for 32,000 square feet of retail space. The plan would not privatize control of the tracks and tunnels — it would be limited to just the stations’ operations.

“They’ll function like a shopping-mall manager,” an MTA spokesperson said. “They’ll get a percentage of the revenue, which gives them an incentive to make everything work well.” [Crain’s]

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