Every day, New Yorkers wait in near-agony for subway trains running far behind schedule, late for work, for school, for doctor’s appointments. Every single subway line has worsened dramatically (except one, more on that below). On-time performance has fallen far below every other major city (only Mexico City is even close).
What’s the number one cause of subway delays? The MTA, the New York Times, and the Regional Plan Association agree: signal failures. So what’s the most important long-term fix for the subways? Modernizing the signal system.
Unfortunately: Governor Cuomo and the MTA have not gotten the message. At the MTA’s current pace, it will take over 50 years to modernize the entire system. The subway “rescue plan” developed by MTA Chairman Joe Lhota did not increase funding for signal modernization by $1. Even worse, the MTA has cut half-a-billion dollars from signal projects under Governor Cuomo. The subway crisis is Governor Cuomo’s signal failure.
That’s why we launched SignalFail.com, a new online tool that my office developed to call attention to the need to fix the signals. Together with NYS Senators Brian Kavanagh, Liz Krueger & Kevin Parker and Assembly Members Robert Carroll, Richard Gottfried & Jo Anne Simon, we launched an effort to demand that the Governor and the MTA make modernizing the subway’s signal system their top long-term priority.
The #SignalFail website documents how signal failures are disrupting New Yorkers’ commutes with weekly updates, outlines a plan for how the MTA should implement communications-based train control (CBTC), and offers New Yorkers an opportunity to join the call to fix the signals.
It doesn’t have to be this way: London has already installed a computerized signal network on four of its 10 main subway lines, with work underway on four more. Paris has modernized many of its lines, and has plans to have their entire system completed over the next 15 years.
New York City straphangers don’t need wishful thinking. We need a concrete plan. Together, we can get our subway system back on the right track. Please join the effort today at SignalFail.com.