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Schumer seeks FTA funds to increase capacity on New York City rail line


U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) yesterday called on the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to ensure federal funds are budgeted for a project aimed at increasing capacity and reducing overcrowding along MTA New York City Transit's L line.

The MTA's proposed $300 million Canarsie Line Power Improvement project would add three power substations to allow for two additional trains per hour. These extra trains, in turn, would allow for 2,200 additional passengers per hour, according to a press release issued by Schumer's office.

Additionally, the project would add entrances and elevators at the First Avenue and Bedford Avenue stations.

L line trains, which accommodate more than 300,000 passengers on an average weekday, run through neighborhoods that have seen some of the largest increases in population in New York City, Schumer's office said.

Schumer has asked the FTA to include this project in the fiscal year 2017 budget recommendation to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

"The growth in neighborhoods from Williamsburg to Bushwick to Canarsie means the L-train is literally bursting at the seams," said Schumer. "The MTA’s improvement project will increase capacity and reduce overcrowding along the L-train, making for a smoother commute for beleaguered straphangers. The FTA should do everything possible to fast track this essential plan to improve L-train capacity and service."

The MTA recently submitted the project for inclusion in President Barack Obama's budget for fiscal year 2017, Schumer's office said. The submission is currently under review by the FTA's acting administrator, who will then submit recommendations to Foxx.

The total project cost is estimated at $300 million, of which MTA is seeking about $150 million in federal funding.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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