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MTA Chairman Touts Highest Level Of Ridership, Stresses Need For $32B Capital Plan

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- With subway ridership at record levels, some are wondering how many more passengers the system can accommodate.

As WCBS 880's Peter Haskell reported, if you ride the subway these days, there are probably times when you wonder if you really want to get onto a train that's bursting at the seams.

MTA Chairman Touts Highest Level Of Ridership, Stresses Need For $32B Capital Plan

"Five times in the month of September, we've seated six million people on the subway -- highest level ridership since World War II," MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast said.

But Prendergast isn't worried about the system reaching capacity.

"The majority of the growth has been on weekends, nights and middle of the day," he said.

As Haskell reported, the chairman used the discussion to stress the need for the agency's $32 billion capital plan.

The plan includes funding for the Second Avenue subway line, the completion of the so-called East Side Access project providing a faster commute from Long Island and Queens and four new Metro-North stations in the Bronx.

"The No. 1 ridership line in the country is the Lexington Avenue line, so we need to relieve some of that congestion, some of that pressure," Prendergast said Wednesday. "Second Avenue will do that."

The five-year plan also includes upgrades to the existing system, like installing countdown clocks in more subway stations to let riders know when to expect a train.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo calls the plan bloated, Haskell reported.

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