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New York plans complete subway overhaul

A rescue plan announced by metropolitan authorities aims to modernize New York's beleaguered subways. The system is well-known for chronic delays, breakdowns, derailments and overcrowding.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York unveiled an $836 million (718 million-euro) plan to stabilize New York's subway system, promising riders they would see progress within the next year.

Nearly 6 million people a day ride the subway, which dates back 113 years and has suffered from outdated equipment despite being one of the largest public transport systems in the world, spanning 1,070 kilometers (665 miles).

"New Yorkers are rightfully frustrated with the current state of the subways, and their demands for better service have been heard," Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joseph Lhota said in a statement.

Huge challenges

The first phase of the planned overhaul will focus on signal and track modernization, car reliability, system safety, and cleanliness as well as customer communications and management.

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Long-delayed New York subway line opens

It includes cleaning the entire underground system to remove debris and reduce fire hazards. The plan will also add cars to some subway trains where station platforms can handle them and remove seats from others to create room to get more people inside.

Lhota said a second phase would then concentrate on modernizing outdated technology and tracks, a more massive and costly undertaking. He added the details of the scheme would be outlined in the coming weeks.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was encouraged by the plan unveiled by Lhota, which also includes an increased police presence to deter sexually inappropriate behavior, loitering and littering.

hg/tr (AP, AFP)

 

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