(Adds comment from MTA)
NEW YORK, Jan 26 (Reuters) - The cost of an electronic security program at New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority has ballooned but a severe shortfall in the money needed means it may never be completed, the state comptroller said on Tuesday.
The cost has risen to $833 million from $591 million but only $59 million in funds remain, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a report.
“The transit system is safer than before Sept. 11, 2001, due in large part to the efforts of the MTA Police Department, but some security improvements are years behind schedule and the electronic security program may never be completed,” DiNapoli said in a statement.
The contract for the project, which was being managed by Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) and originally was due to be completed in August 2008, called for installing video cameras and electronic sensors including motion detectors, DiNapoli said.
Lockheed filed suit in April 2009 to terminate its contract, citing scheduling problems and other obstacles.
Lockheed is suing for at least $138 million, while an MTA countersuit seeks $92 million, DiNapoli said.
The MTA, which includes New York City’s subways and buses as well as suburban commuter trains, on Tuesday said it will push ahead with the project.
“We are not waiting for the outcome of ongoing litigation to secure our transit network and will finish the project with available funds,” MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said in a statement.
Ortiz told Reuters the MTA expects to spend the remaining $59 million available, but would not be able to complete the project as originally planned. (Reporting by Chris Reese; Editing by Leslie Adler)