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It's been a long time coming, but the city and state have finally agreed on the MTA's capital program for 2015-2019. The plan still has to be signed off on by MTA officials and then approved by the state review board, but assuming it's a go, here's what the $26.1 billion program will mean to New York City subway and bus users.
Note: Not all these improvements will be done and delivered by 2019, but the money is allotted and the ball will be rolling assuming all systems go. Here are some changes to expect, according to WNYC:
Track and signal improvements
While the average rider won't see these, 87 miles of new subway track will be constructed; signals will be improved. That should make your commute at least a little bit smoother.
New subway cars and buses
Per WNYC, the MTA will buy nearly 1,000 new subway cars, as well as 1,500 buses. But you probably won't actually ride in them for some time. (Case in point: The new C trains being debuted in 2018 were part of the 2010-2014 capital plan.)
Countdown clocks for the letter lines
Expect three to five years for this improvement to reach stations, but the funds are there.
New Metro-North stations in the Bronx
Four new Metro-North stations will rise in the east Bronx that connect with Penn Station. But this project isn't scheduled to open in 2022 (the same year LIRR trains are going to be expanded to reach Grand Central).
Next phase of the Second Avenue Subway
Phase one is set to open in 2016 (it'll run from 63rd to 96th Street), and the MTA will start the expansion up to 125th Street. Don't expect to see it open by 2019, though, this time is allotted to planning.
Contactless fare payment
The MetroCard will eventually go the way of the token, but it'll take a while. It's behind schedule, according to WNYC.