How much money does the subway really need? The Regional Plan Association has done some preliminary estimates based on the current cost of M.T.A. projects. They calculated that renovating the 30 stations most desperately in need would run $14 billion. Dealing with those sharp turns to increase speeds and capacity would cost $5 billion. Adding 61 track miles with new stations — mainly in neighborhoods without subway access and with large and generally low-income populations that are heavily dependent on mass transit — would run another $62 billion. Replacing the signal system would cost $27 billion. The group didn’t look at replacing or overhauling cars, but a recent M.T.A. contract priced them at about $2 million each, so buying all of the new cars that are needed would cost nearly $3 billion.
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