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MTA Board Agrees To Nearly $52 Billion Capital Spending Plan

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The MTA board voted today on a nearly $52 billion capital spending plan that would cover projects intended to improve riders' commutes.

The plan calls for $51.5 billion to fix the subways, buses, Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road over the next five years.

Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote a letter to the state-controlled MTA with several concerns, including a call fro a forensic audit to make sure the money is being spent correctly.

"Truly modernizing New York City Transit and giving New Yorkers the transit system they want and deserve," New York City Transit Authority President Andy Byford said.

More than $40 billion would go toward subways and buses alone, including the addition of 2,400 new buses – 500 of them electric.

Highlights for subway riders include new cars, signal modernization and increased station accessibility.

WEB EXTRA: Read The MTA's Capital Spending Plan

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Better signals mean more trains can run, like when the MTA fixed the 7 line.

"We added four trains per hour to the service. We've gone from 25 trains per hour to 29 trains per hour," said Byford.

The plan also includes opening the East Side Access Project in 2022, so LIRR riders can travel to Grand Central Terminal instead of Penn Station, saving up to 40 minutes a day on some commutes.

Metro-North service would expand, too, with four new stations in the Bronx and on the New Haven line.

"This is an historic, transformational, customer-centric investment at historic levels," MTA Chairman Pat Foye said.

A big portion of the money would come from congestion pricing and the new taxes passed along with it.

The plan now heads to the state's capital program review board for another approval before it can become a reality.

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