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Thursday, April 29, 2010

MTA board approves $26.2 billion plan

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority adopted a revised 2010-14 capital plan of $26.2 billion that cut $1.8 billion from it's original plan, but is still $9 billion short of being completely funded.

The new plan includes plans for new subway cars, station improvements, new signals on the Number 7 subway line, new environmentally-friendly buses and larger-scale projects including the Second Avenue subway line and the East Side access for the Long Island Rail Road. LIRR will also receive about a dozen new, smaller diesel trains, which will cost around $78 million. About half the $26.2 billion is earmarked for New York City Transit that is used by about 8 million people a day.

The board adopted the plan without comment after Jay Walder, the MTA's chairman, spoke about the importance of "consistently investing in our system in consecutive five-year plans" rather than making one-time stabs at rebuilding here and there.

The revised plan will now be submitted to the state's Capital Program Review Board for approval. Gov. David Paterson, who chairs the board, vetoed the original plan last year because the state's own economic crisis precluded additional funding for the MTA.

The state, which provides the single biggest chunk of funding for the capital plan, included money for 2010-11 as part of last year's MTA bailout.