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The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) plans to spend $534.54 million on capital projects for fiscal-year 2016, agency officials announced Monday.The proposed capital budget provides funding for bridge and track replacement, reconstruction of stations and other facilities, SEPTA officials said. The agency plans to allocate $33.5 million for updates to communications and signaling systems, including the implementation of positive train control. SEPTA will also set aside funds for updating 1930s-era power substations under the proposed budget.To accommodate increasing ridership growth on its regional rail lines, SEPTA plans to expand parking at its Lansdale and North Wales Stations. Additional improvements are to be carried out at other stations, including Levittown, Secane and Exton, agency officials said.For its long-term capital budget from FY2016 to 2020, SEPTA plans to spend $343.3 million acquiring multi-level push-pull coaches and 13 electric locomotives for its Regional Rail System, according to the budget document. In a video accompanying the announcement, SEPTA Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Richard Burnfield said the authority's budget had doubled in the past two years. These increases are the result of additional state funding provided by the new state law known as Act 89, which increased funding for transportation, he said.Some of that funding will go toward tackling SEPTA's $5 billion state-of-good-repair backlog. The agency's "Rebuilding for the Future" campaign provides an outline of those projects, as well as other initiatives to address ridership growth and improve accessibility, SEPTA officials said.
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