Wednesday, October 16 2019

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New York proposes to double spending on maligned subway

Update: September, 17/2019 - 11:16

 

The much-maligned New York subway could be set for a multi-billion-dollar upgrade. —AFP Photo

NEW YORK — New Yorkers like nothing more than to moan about the city's creaking subway, but transport bosses announced on Monday a multi-billion-dollar proposal that they hope will put a stop to that.

Long delays, reduced services at the weekends and dirty stations lead many residents to complain that the US financial capital is a first-class city with a third-class metro.

New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) said it planned to spend US$37.3 billion improving underground trains services over the next five years, more than double the previous budget.

"This plan exceeds my wildest expectations," said Andy Byford, CEO of the New York City Transit Authority.

The budget, which is yet to be approved, includes $6.1 billion on 1,900 new trains and more than $7 billion on improved signaling.

It also proposes billions of dollars on station improvements, including better access for the disabled, and track upgrades, as well as four new stations.

New York's subway already boasts 472 stops, the highest of any underground network in the world.

The system has suffered from chronic underfunding for years and is regularly the subject of disputes between the mayor and state governor, who effectively controls the MTA.

Much of its infrastructure dates from before World War Two.

The 2015-19 budget was $15.2 billion.

The 2020-24 plan would require New York state and New York city to invest three billion dollars each. The rest of the money would come from federal funds, tolls and loans.

"At the end of this five-year period, New Yorkers will see a revitalised and modern system for the 21st century and beyond," MTA chairman Patrick Foye told reporters. — AFP

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