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NY Mass Transit Fares Will Rise 35% From 2007 To 2015, And Surge From There

Tyler Durden's picture


While Bernanke may see deflation here and there, and everywhere, don't tell that to your average NYC commuter (or anyone else for that matter who can't simply expense all non-core activities, such as living and getting around to the taxpayer debit card), who has seen relentless fare hikes by both the MTA and, recently, taxi cabs. But that is only the beginning. While according to a report issued by the State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli total cost inflation between 2007 and 2015 will hit at least 35%, it is after 2015 that things get really aggressive. According to Reuters, New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority will need at least $20 billion from 2015 to 2019 to keep its system in good repair, but the mass transit operator has yet to figure out how to pay for these upgrades, a report said on Tuesday. (For those unaware the MTA, the largest U.S. mass transit system, runs New York's buses, subways, commuter railroads and some major bridges and tunnels). As for how the MTA will fund its massive CapEx spending here is the simple answer: it will request, some time in 2015, that then president Barack Obama bail it out, to which he will promptly comply. After all, with total US debt crossing $23 trillion shortly thereafter, who will care about some paltry $20 or even $200 billion (as the number will eventually be revised to).

What was unsaid is that the $20 billion shortfall is merely to fund maintenance capex and spending, and does not cover anything beyond. Where the MTA plans on obtaining the needed capital is simple: debt.

The MTA's current capital plan, which runs from 2010 to 2014, totals $22 billion, an MTA spokesman said. This plan was cut from a proposed $28 billion due to a lack of funding, the report said.


In a statement, MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said the comptroller's report recognized the MTA's significant financial hurdles, cost-cutting measures and "our ongoing efforts to address longer-term challenges, including identifying funding sources for our 2015-2019 Capital Program."


The authority is a major issuer in the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market. Its debt outstanding is expected to rise to $40 billion in 2016 from $31.8 billion at the end of 2012, the report said.


About 60 percent of the MTA's current capital plan is paid for with debt. If the authority relies on the same share of borrowing for its next capital plan, debt service could hit $4.4 billion by 2024, the report estimated. In 2012, debt service is expected to cost the MTA more than $2 billion.


Even with the biennial fare and toll increases that are planned, debt service as a percent of total revenue could rise to 19.8 percent by 2018 from 15.9 percent in 2011. Those are fairly high percentages. New York City, for example, has an informal policy of cutting its capital program when this ratio hits 15 percent, credit analysts say.

What is actually the funniest in the above, is that someone actually believes the system will exist, in its current form, sometime in 2024. Perhaps it is worth point out that at current run rates, the US, which by then will be better known as Japan ver 2.0, will have a little over 200% debt/GDP. As such, discussing such modest sums having a token 9 zeroes, is simply laughable.


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Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:11 | 2853031 becky quick and...
becky quick and her beautiful mouth's picture

piledriver, the mta of love.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:13 | 2853045 redpill
redpill's picture

BREAKING NEWS:  Effective immediately, the BLS has classified mass transit fares to be food and/or energy, they aren't sure which but please trust them, we certainly can't have these unimportant transitory costs impacting core inflation statistics.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:14 | 2853049 ziggy59
ziggy59's picture

The BLS has one letter too many.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:18 | 2853076 knukles
knukles's picture

BLS classification paradigm: re food versus energy.

Can you "Eat this"?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:18 | 2853079 malikai
malikai's picture

Meanwhile, bus fare in Beijing costs .4 RMB.

That's about $0.06.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:14 | 2853376 SilverIsKing
SilverIsKing's picture

The MTA should just charge rats $2.25 for entry to the subway system.  That would pay to run the system for 20 years with no fare increases.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:16 | 2853399 redpill
redpill's picture

Charge the roaches a quarter and the people could ride for free!

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 19:06 | 2853884 old naughty
old naughty's picture

Bus fare in Beijing ...costs $0.06...

so partly subsidized by the $25 B interests paid to China holding UST?

Hummmm. So Big Apple leads in muppet contributions to this...

and it will get worse, and spread?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 19:16 | 2853904 notbot
notbot's picture

Wait, I'm confused.

You mean to tell me that if we give golden parachutes to every MTA employee after 20 yrs of "public service" we will run out of money for actual transportation???

But it is working so well for Detroit. Just ask the President:

"What’s happening in Detroit can happen in other industries" -BHO

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:48 | 2853598 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

If I want to buy a round trip bus ticket to the nearest shopping mall to load up on iCrap and Big Macs, the Zurich Transportation Authority wants CHF 16.40 from me.

If NYers want to complain about the quality of the (dirty, erratic, unreliable, crime & vermin ridden, antiquaited) POS that they call public transit, that one thing, if they want to whine about the price- Charlie Mungers' got words for that.   


Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:56 | 2853638 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

It is true that european equivalent for the ride I get for $2.25 in NYC costs me something on the order of €4.30 or roughly $5.  Since my arrival in NYC in the late '80s, the subways have only gotten cleaner (if you can imagine that) and even air conditioned (you had to ride in the late-80's or early 90's to appreciate that). Cleanliness on the NYC subways is notably worse, but if you rode in the '80s and 'early '90s, you still realize things are much better than they have been.  But the on-board entertainment in NYC continues to be head and shoulders above the competition anywhere else in the world.

Thu, 10/04/2012 - 11:31 | 2855929 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

"the on-board entertainment"

das' rayciss

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:33 | 2853513 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture




Can you "Eat this"?

This Woman Has 30 Free “ObamaPhones”  

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:59 | 2853639 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Probably keeps them on vibrate ....

BTW, it was noted in an explanation from the FCC that the phones themselves are not free, per se, only the lifeline phone service, but that some of the phone companies were throwing in the phones gratis to boost public interest.

Like so many other things in the land of the free, follow the money.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:11 | 2853699 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture



I do I see my forced contribution every month when I get my phone bill

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:09 | 2853339 ACP
ACP's picture

Is there enough room between the cars and the wall to hang off the sides like in India?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 22:01 | 2854409 Antifaschistische
Antifaschistische's picture


The FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION ADMINISTRATION recently embarked on one of their largest boondoggles ever.   The "State of Good Repair" Grants which transit agencies are able to apply for.

When Transit agencies around the country demonstrate how desperate they are, the FTA will shower millions, tens of millions, etc. of dollars on them (listen carefully) to maintain the junk they built that they could never really afford to maintain in the first place.

NY is playing off this and hoping to get a truck load of cash from the FTA to maintain a "STATE OF GOOD REPAIR".


Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:13 | 2853033 Squid Vicious
Squid Vicious's picture

lol... "mass transit" ... tell me when that black limo that picks me up every night raises his fare from 200 West St. to Darien... oh I forgot it's on the house

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:19 | 2853048 knukles
knukles's picture

Only reason that constitutes "mass" transit is the 7 hookers bearing the blow all piled in with the drunken IBer.
But hell, makes it deductible as well as respectable on so many green levels....
Add 7 hookers and mileage per person goes from 14 to 98...

The only truth is math, Bitchez

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:24 | 2853106 Parabolic
Parabolic's picture

This is one if the MANY reasons i'm gettin the hell out of Dodge and moving to a more rural area where i can get me some farmland, arms, and do other torrorist-like activities. 

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:27 | 2853128 redpill
redpill's picture

Yeah but hookers and blow don't grow on trees bud, if you have any banker friends they won't want to hang out with you anymore.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:33 | 2853167 knukles
knukles's picture

Bankers and friends in the same sentence?

Like after years of sobriety I have no drunken friends left...
Wonder why?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:12 | 2853369 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

I'm sorry, but that doesn't fit into the central plan.

"Obama is a longtime supporter of “regionalism,” the idea that the suburbs should be folded into the cities, merging schools, housing, transportation, and above all taxation. To this end, the president has already put programs in place designed to push the country toward a sweeping social transformation in a possible second term."

So dont get too comfortable because he's going to drag your ass back into a City.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:13 | 2853047 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

As a New Yorker my tax dollars are already commited to more worthwhile causes...

A Queens transgender person – who says that for 34 years she’s been a woman trapped inside a man’s body – has won the battle to get a health insurance company to pay for her sex change operation.Ida Hammer, 34, — who is already living as a woman — can finally make the full transformation to female after settling with MVP Health Care.“My insurance company should not be second-guessing my doctors,” Hammer said, in a press release. “I’m relieved that it is finally treating me fairly and covering the health care I need.”

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:16 | 2853070 knukles
knukles's picture

A transgender from "Queens" appearing on a thread about "mass" transit...
Kinda like whoda thunk Freddie Mercury was gay, skinny as a toothpick, harlequin outfits stuffed with sausages, dying of AIDS?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:17 | 2853071 redpill
redpill's picture

Who gets the scraps left over on the cutting room floor?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:20 | 2853086 knukles
knukles's picture

Say, didn't Tyler do that in a prior life?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:32 | 2853154 redpill
redpill's picture

That would be Mao Sugiyama


And don't forget the fava beans!

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:36 | 2853180 knukles
knukles's picture

OMG I thought you referring to...
Never mind...

(Face in hands)

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:50 | 2853612 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Back in the '90s it was announced that MTA spent several hundred thousand dollars for its logo, which is essentially a black circle with the three letters M-T-A either coming out of it or going into it, depending on your point of view I guess.  

It was clear then that M-T-A stands for Money Thrown Away.



Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:23 | 2853100 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Lorena Bobbit

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:00 | 2853649 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

giving away our age here.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:20 | 2853080 Squid Vicious
Squid Vicious's picture

as in "I-d-a hammer, where the f did it go?" ...or as in "I-d-a Hammer'd that chik" if I wasn't a woman trapped in a man's body?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:21 | 2853083 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

After many proffessional evaluations and discussions with my doctor, I discovered that I'm really a billionaire in a middle class body. I wonder is I can get my insurance company to cover that? 

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:25 | 2853110 knukles
knukles's picture

Dear Dr. Engali,

Concerning your recent request for approval of compensatory medical benefits with respect to your psychological shortfall believed to be associated with a noticeable lack of after tax disposable income, we recommend you secure a seat in the U S Senate.

Have a nice day
Infinitely Great Combined Ratio Health Services

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:29 | 2853138 redpill
redpill's picture

I'm a one-percenter lesbian trapped in a five-percenter man's body, someone help me please!

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:26 | 2853116 Parabolic
Parabolic's picture

she deserves an obombaphone

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:01 | 2853288 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

She deserves a lobamabotomy.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:15 | 2853052 Jason T
Jason T's picture

I read this yesterday... what a disgrace.  I'll be the first to say "drop dead New York" next time around. 

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:26 | 2853121 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

And take California and Chicago with you. 

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:38 | 2853179 10mm
10mm's picture

Don't forget Detroit and any other ball breaking gun grabbing shithole.States or City's.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:15 | 2853054 overhere2000
overhere2000's picture


Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:16 | 2853063 ziggy59
ziggy59's picture

Mass transit in NY is an oxymoron. Should be " mass standstill"

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:17 | 2853066 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Bernanke sees inflation?  Tyler, edit check on that first line?  Or did I miss the rate rise already.....

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:16 | 2853067 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

Geez, can't they run those things on Ipads?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:16 | 2853069 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I hope this doesn't carry on until 2024 I don't want to be sitting here twelve years from now reading the Hedge thinking "this thing is going to blow any minute now".

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:27 | 2853127 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Yeah, I thought I had blow up fatigue in 2009, yet here I sit and read away. 

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:16 | 2853072 LongSoupLine
LongSoupLine's picture

good, I fucking hate NY.  Fucking useless armpit of the country

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:24 | 2853109 EvlTheCat
EvlTheCat's picture

Wow, that sets a dangerous precedent LSL.  Which cities are the crotch and anus of the country?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:29 | 2853135 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

I claim Cleveland for the anus.  It smells like shit here.  Seriously, every time I get off the plane in Cleveland I think, "Who the fuck shit all over the place?"

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:21 | 2853401 akak
akak's picture

At such times, are you sure you are not on a Chinese roadside?

Roadside crapping Chinese Shitizenism nature is eternal, you know.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:54 | 2853256 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

Chicongo and Detroilet.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:12 | 2853367 LongSoupLine
LongSoupLine's picture

well, first off, we obviously have 6 (at time of post) NY'ers on ZH.  Second, the anus would be D.C., it's full of shit and constantly pumping out stinking hot air.


The crotch is Vegas...duh.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:31 | 2853501 EvlTheCat
EvlTheCat's picture

LOL. If I could give you more up arrows, I would.  I completely walked into that one.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:20 | 2853374 Big Swinging Richard
Big Swinging Richard's picture

I would like to nominate New Orleans as the sloppy anus of the country.  It's hot, perpetually wet and steamy.  Oh, and did I mention, at any given time, the city claims the title as the murder capital of the US.  Now, everyone say it, it's racist!

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:19 | 2853078 EvlTheCat
EvlTheCat's picture

I don't know what you are complaining for?  It's just like smoking, you have to pay for the privilege.  Mayor Bloomberg's is a hero, and determined to cut Americans waste line.  Even if they don't like it.


I feel dirty for even typing that crap.  I don't know how MDB does it?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:27 | 2853129 knukles
knukles's picture

See, you have a conscience....

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:21 | 2853090 q99x2
q99x2's picture

The settlers got ripped off when they paid a bead necklace for that place. Its infested with banksters.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:22 | 2853095 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Laketran is the mass transit in Lake County, OH and that organization has needed revenue since its inception.  They have tapped revenue streams like the non-emergency transportation of Medicaid patients, raping the citizens in the form of increased sales tax in the county by .25%, numerous property tax levies, and actual fares paid. 

$500K in fares received with an operating budget of $13.6 million.  Only 10% of revenue comes from passenger fares, while federal and state grants make up the shortfall, on top of raping the property owners through property taxes.

Hardline fiscal conservatives consistantly vote for subsidising this piece of shit.

The shinking light is that the agency has also consistently been awarded recognition for excellence in financial budgeting and reporting, communications and federal triennial reviews.  Hooray! One socialist organization congratulating another.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:22 | 2853096 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Riding around on the subway is still dirt cheap compared to owning and operating an automobile.  BY FAR.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:24 | 2853111 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Sure it is, but at the end of the day everyone who doesn't ride it is socialized to save that rider the expense of owning the car. 

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:31 | 2853148 knukles
knukles's picture

What's cheaper (and infinitely more sane) is getting the fuck out of New York City.
Believe me, first hand experience....

NYC was one of the worst human experiences in life.
The food is awesome and the Yankees are great...
After that....
Not so much

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:05 | 2853316 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

New York, New York, in fourth place in U.S. population, 5318 sheep/square mile. 


1.  LA/OC 7000/sq.mi

2.  San Fran/Oakland 6266 per,

3. San Jose 5820


5.  Chicongo 3524 sheep/sq.mile


Too many rats in the cage.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:28 | 2853491 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Correct.  The simple solution is to raise fares and make the users pay for it.  If its the cheapest form of transportation around, and in NYC it is by far, then ridership shouldn't fall, unless people out and out walk.  But its been made so cheap for so long, people are conditioned to cry and whine about a fare increase, no matter how small it is.  Its like government workers in Wisconsin crying about their benefits going up.  When you pay $10 a month in healthcare, and it goes to $30, you can't cry that it tripled, its still dirt cheap comparatively.

Nothing and nothing is STILL nothing.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:35 | 2853175 kito
kito's picture

right, except thats not the point.........its not a relative thing......if the cost of the subway is eating into peoples budgets to the point where it becomes burdensome, what does it matter if there is something even more expensive???? 

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:07 | 2853329 DollarMenu
DollarMenu's picture

How much is the subway now?

Last time I was in NYC, the tokens were .15.

Do they even use tokens now?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:13 | 2853713 akak
akak's picture


Do they even use tokens now?

Of course they do --- witness our president, and tonight's so-called "debate".

Thu, 10/04/2012 - 00:41 | 2854845 dhengineer
dhengineer's picture

$2.25 a ride, and they use electronic fare cards.  You get a 7 percent discount if you add at least $10.00 on the card at one time.  The monthly card is about $84.00 for nearly unlimited rides over 30 days.

I, too, have bugged out of NYC for good, taking the cash I made on my Queens coop and buying a great house in upstate, 20 miles from the Adirondacks.  Haven't missed the noisy, dirty, rude, humorless city at all.  Nothing up here but friendly people, clean air, open space, and stars at night.

Thu, 10/04/2012 - 02:52 | 2854989 Floordawg
Floordawg's picture

30 day Metrocards are $104 now.

NYC humorless? I wouldn't say that... in broad daylight, saw a Chinese woman take a hefty shit on the lawn in front of Bloombergs Gracie mansion last week... fuckin' hilarious!

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:59 | 2853280 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

Guess what?  Everyone in the country will experience higher nominal taxes (sorry Mittens, no choice), higher gas prices, and higher costs for owning a vehicle. 

Singling out a single urban area is ... ridiculous.

My only concern is when the food subsidies dry up.  Then tshtf and Bill the Butcher takes over.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:27 | 2853125 Rainman
Rainman's picture

Rate hikes are for cap ex..??  My ass. NYC is in the same State that borrows from it's pension fund to pay what it owes to its pension fund.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:38 | 2853187 knukles
knukles's picture

Re-hypothecated Pension Plans

What could go wrong?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:39 | 2853193 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

There is no inflation, only percentage changes in the amount of database currency needed to do your shit and eat.

There is no reason a population with stagnant or dropping incomes cannot adjust to percentage changes by lowering their standard of living and working more hours.

Nothing is more patriotic than sacrificing for the motherland, the fatherland, and the children!

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 16:52 | 2853243 Joe Davola
Joe Davola's picture

All you saps who live in BFE and don't have to pay to park or have access to public transportation, thank you for your support!

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:21 | 2853443 cxl9
cxl9's picture

$200 billion (as the number will eventually be revised to).

At least. If the cost to replace the Tappan-Zee span is $5-6 billion*, then you can be sure $20 billion for mass transit infrastructure improvements won't even scratch the surface.




Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:24 | 2853462 three chord sloth
three chord sloth's picture

Umm, yeah... maintenance. That's the ticket. Funny, I didn't see the words pensions or benefits in there. I wonder how much money those eat up?

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:33 | 2853523 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

oh, wait...maybe you really did build that.


Wed, 10/03/2012 - 17:38 | 2853545 Stanley Lord
Stanley Lord's picture

On Bloomberg's watch NYC went bankrupt. The subway, and bridge and tunnel tolls are the only place they can get hard cash to pay the vig.

In a matter of years NYC will look like Detroit or Camden- take your pick.

The politicos here would sell body parts if it raised money for their union voters.

There is talk they will try and get the Vegas sports book here in Times Square, a longshot, but they will try, other than that there is nothing on the horizon to take the place of the banks, Wall St etc.


Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:02 | 2853655 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Nah, NYC has enough critical mass and enough PR to keep it from becoming Camden ... it will, however, continue to look increasingly like Rio and Jo'berg.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:00 | 2853652 Manipuflation
Manipuflation's picture

Fine.  I don't give a shit about NY.  Out here in "flyover" land we really don't care about NY.  We have food, you don't NY.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:54 | 2853862 jumbo maverick
jumbo maverick's picture

If I were mayor I would just say screw it mass transit in the city is too expensive so as of tomorrow here is what we will do-every fifth street is closed to cars,trucks,etc. the only thing you can do is ride a bike, scooter or motorcycle on them.
You wanna get somewhere on the subway too friggin bad go get a $35 bike and ride where you wanna go. You ask, well what about all the business on all the "fifth streets" that are closed to vehicular traffic? How will they get deliveries, etc? You let the marketplace figure it out. You ever seen how the NVA transported equipment on a bike on the Ho Chi MIhn trail?
New opportunities will open up. New business models come into play. Best of all none of us will have to pay taxes to keep the ny transit system open.
I used to live in upstate ny and NYC continues to drag the whole state down.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 19:50 | 2853968 babylon15
babylon15's picture

Hyperinflation is impossible.  All the money will just go into Apple's checking account, and it will never ever spend that money no matter what.  It's a black hole where money enters and never returns.

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 22:46 | 2854584 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

All corrupt, tinpot dictator ruled, socialist/fascist states rob the rural areas of the country to build huge showcase enclaves for the elite who live in the cities.  Rome was simply the first (that is well documented).  We've seen it in Europe and we're seeing it happen in the U.S.  There is no recession in Washington DC.  That place is booming.

Look carefully.  The most Socialist counties have the most dominant capitals.  It's hard to even name a city outside the Capital in some countries: Russia, France, England, Italy, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Greece, etc.  Everything else is looted to benefit the Capital.


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