Is There Any End in Sight To New York City’s Subway Woes?

Despite being in one of the biggest, most recognizable cities in the world, the New York Subway System is – quite simply – a mess.

This or course is a major problem – especially considering it serves a population of over eight and a half million people!

In this week’s article we’ll be discussing how NY got to where they’re at today and examine some potential solutions.

Unreliable Service

The biggest complaint about the subway system is its unreliability. People using the subway are frequently upset about experiencing lengthy delays. The other major problem with the subway system is that some stops are difficult to access as they don’t have lifts.

Without lifts people with disabilities won’t be able to use the subway service, as they often lack the mobility to climb flights of stairs. Even if the stations do have lifts, there’s no guarantee that they’ll be working with subway lifts not working an average of 53 days each year. But why are these problems plaguing the subway of New York City?

Maintenance Failures

According to a 2017 article in the NY Times, the main cause of many of these problems is years of disrepair resulting in faulty equipment.

As far as failure scenarios, signal failures usually to blame for problems along the track. These are devices stationed along the track that are designed to measure the speed of the train. If the train is going to fast, the brakes are deployed, the train stops, and the driver is penalized. However, some of these timers don’t work properly.

This forces drivers to travel at lower speeds to avoid setting off the timers. Because the trains aren’t travelling at their capacity, delays become inevitable. Now that we know a little more about the problems, let’s see how the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) plans to fix them.

Current Initiatives

The MTA has announced a ‘Fast Forward’ plan, a 2017 initiative which promises to solve many of the problems currently experienced on the subway. There are many aspects of this plan, such as updating the app to better let people know about elevator break-downs. They are also going to examine signals along the track to prevent them from malfunctioning.

Once this plan has been completed the services on the subway should be a lot better. However, in the meantime a lot of construction will be required to upgrade old equipment. This will cause delays as trains have to slow down in construction zones to protect the safety of workers.

Next Steps

This article has examined the New York subway system. We looked at what the problems are and how they were caused. The MTA’s solution to the subway was also discussed.

While this will eventually result in a more efficient, more accessible subway system it will take time.

This plan can take up to ten years to fully complete. In the meantime though, expect the lengthy delays and myriad problems surrounding the New York subway system to continue upsetting it’s customers.