The new plan allocates $29.5 billion for upgrades like new subway cars, a new payment system to replace the MetroCard, station repairs, and improved signals (and thus more frequent service). Crucially, the budget also includes $1 billion for the planned extension of the 2nd Avenue Subway up to 125th Street in East Harlem.
Late last year, a version of the budget had axed funding to the second phase, prompting outcries from Harlem residents and politicians on the grounds that their neighborhood was being unfairly neglected. At the time, MTA officials said the budget cut was simply a function of the fact that even planning for the Harlem extension won't begin until 2019. In any case, this latest version promises around $500 million more for the Harlem line than previous budgets, per the Times.
The new plan still has to pass in Albany, and in spite of some questions about where, exactly, all this money is going to come from, MTA chairman Thomas F. Prendergast told the newspaper that he expected the plan to go smoothly through the state review board, adding, "This is a monumental win for the people of New York."
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