updated 3/4/2008 7:55:12 PM ET 2008-03-05T00:55:12

Freight rail lines could be converted into subway lines, new regional train stops could open in the Bronx and a train could take passengers directly to LaGuardia Airport under a 40-year plan proposed by the head of the region's transit agency.

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In a "State of the MTA" speech Monday, Metropolitan Transportation Authority executive director Elliot Sander proposed several long-range projects for the agency that runs the city's subways, buses and suburban train lines.

The MTA could look to "underutilized or dormant" services like a freight rail line in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn and available land in Rockaway Beach in Queens to extend subway service in decades to come, Sander said.

Sander also said the MTA would explore creating a second AirTrain service to connect LaGuardia Airport to Long Island Rail Road service in Woodside, Queens, as well as light rail service on Staten Island and new Metro-North train stops in the Bronx.

Sander said the MTA would add $30 million worth of promised new service this year, increasing service on 11 subway lines and extending several bus routes.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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