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Transit head calls for future expansion in address

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Sander delivered the first State of the MTA address at Cooper Union in Manhattan's East Village in an event that celebrated the 40th anniversary of the transit agency.

Sander traced the progress of the Metropolitan Transit Association starting with the 1970s, speaking beneath giant slides of graffiti-covered and dilapidated subway cars.

"Track fires became routine," Sander said of the 1970s and early '80s. "Trains derailed every 18 days on average and 325 subway runs were abandoned every day. Subway crime was a fact of life."

Sander said that since 1982 the MTA has invested $76 billion to rebuild 200 subway and rail stations and 700 miles of track.

"We've also purchased 6,400 subway cars and 10,000 buses," Sander said.

But Sander said the MTA must meet the challenge of such cities as Shanghai, which aspire to world economic leadership.

He said that by next year the MTA will have four-tunnel boring machines operating to expand the subways.

"Right now, Shanghai has 90 boring machines at work on rail and other projects," Sander said. "In just five years Shanghai's subway system will be as extensive as New York's subway network."

Speaking of the nearer future, Sander said the MTA plans to bring more frequent service on the G and No. 7 subway lines, establish a new bus line from Fordham Plaza in the Bronx to LaGuardia airport, create six new bus routes, increase service on 13 existing routes and bring more service to the E and F lines before and after rush hour.

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