New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority finance committee approved an amendment to its 2005-2009 capital program that would defer some $2.7 billion of projects. The full board will vote on the amendment tomorrow. The MTA board will also get a presentation tomorrow on the preliminary 2009 operating budget.

Although at $23.72 billion, the amendment would increase the current capital plan by $1.13 billion, most of that increase is due to increased federal funding for the Second Avenue subway line and the East Side Access project. Construction cost escalation has driven up the price tag on other projects. The New York City Transit Agency, the division that operates the subway system, will defer projects totalling $2.4 billion due to cost escalation, transit president Howard Roberts Jr. said. The remaining approximately $300 million of deferred projects would come from the Long Island Railroad, Metro North, and MTA Bridge and Tunnels.

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