Chicago (Metra) is desperately trying to come up with a way to use the EJ&E’s “Outer Belt” route as a commuter line. Probably not going to happen. They (CTA) have another plan for a “Circle Line” connecting all the radial lines that will run under the two major train stations. That probably won’t get built either. The CTA has a BRT plan to run a line along Ashland Ave that would do the same (without connecting to the train stations). That one might happen.
This line, the Regional Plan Association’s Regional Express (Triboro RX), is another circumferential line that would connect a lot of radial lines. Will it get built? Will any of the MTA’s capital projects get built? Well, probably, for the second question but I don’t know if this will be one of them.
There is a tendency, I think, to assume that anything not in North America, eastern Asia/Australia, or western Europe is “third world”. That’s probably never been really true and it’s certainly not true today. Example: I had no idea that Istanbul (not Constantinople) had a subway, much less that it had the 2nd oldest in the world (1871). And that it was initially cable-hauled. The Tünel is still in use but not directly connected to the rest of the modern system