The US Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has approved a loan of $967.1m to support the installation of positive train control (PTC) on the Long Island and Metro-North railroads.
The positive train control system will allow computerised systems to automatically control certain aspects of train movement to prevent accidents on the network.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo said: "This loan is a dramatic investment in the MTA, one that will make trains safer for all riders on Metro-North and the LIRR.
"With this infusion of funding, crews will be getting to work on individual cars and along hundreds of miles of track to install state-of-the-art technology that can save lives."
This new funding, which is the largest and lowest-cost financing for the MTA, will help to start the work to improve the safety of signal systems.
MTA chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast said: "The most important thing we do each day is strive to ensure the safety of our passengers, our employees, and the public at large.
"This award will help us enhance that effort in a very significant way."
The Metro-North and Long Island railroads are currently in the process of implementing the technology. It includes the installation of on-board components for 1,455 rail cars and transponders alongside 588 route miles of track.
In November 2013, a joint venture between Bombardier Transportation and Siemens Rail Automation received a contract from MTA to develop, test and deploy a new positive train control carborne system on these lines.
Installation of the signalling system on Metro-North territory in the State of Connecticut will be funded by the Connecticut Department of Transportation.
Image: The installation of positive train control will help to improve the safety on New York’s commuter rail network. Photo: courtesy of Metropolitan Transportation Authority.