NEW YORK state officials unanimously approved a US$12bn improvement programme for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on July 12. NY City Transit will get $9bn, with Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road splitting the rest.

The package will fund track and signal upgrades and station renovation throughout the subway network, and the purchase of 1080 new cars from Bombardier and Kawasaki for $1·45 bn (RG 6.97 p362). Amongst many projects is a $5m second entrance at Grand Street station, which serves Chinatown and Little Italy in lower Manhattan and suffers from serious overcrowding. Another $15m will restore reductions in services made two years ago. Also included is $30m towards the $315m conversion of the former central post office building adjacent to Penn Station into a new Amtrak station. o