MTA struggling to upgrade key technologies

By · Published in 2007

As we await news of the fare hike, let’s instead check in with some technology problems plaguing New York City Transit. Both concern flooding in the system; one’s about the water and the other, people.

Last week, as Midtown Manhattan exploded in a burst of steam, subway problems in Queens were seemingly neglected. However, that day, as a friend mine related, the underground trains in Queens were an utter mess. Flooding problems effectively isolated hundreds of thousands of Queens commuters on Wednesday.

“Literally at those levels of rainfall we do not yet have the physical capacity to pump it out as fast as it’s coming in,” NYCT President Howard Roberts said.

Today, the MTA will further an ongoing and aggressive push to revamp the pump system along the tracks that shuttle the F, E, V, R and G into Queens. amNew York has more:

Queens train lines prone to flooding will soon weather storms better.

New York City Transit is already upgrading its pump system for the Queens Boulevard line, where the E, F, R and V lines run, and Monday moved toward adding another pump to the mix…The MTA board will vote on the extra pump Wednesday.

The pumps in these key tunnels have not seen serious upgrades since they were installed 75 years ago. When the MTA board meets to ponder the fate of the fares, the pumps will come under scrutiny as well. I anticipate the board to quickly agree to upgrade the pumps. They can strand Queens residents only so many times.

Meanwhile, a few miles south in Brooklyn, the efforts to automate the L train have hit a few speed bumps. Originally, the trains along the L line were supposed to be fully automated by 2004 or 2005 at the latest. Well, it’s 2007, and still no sign of those automated trains. Business as usual for the MTA, right? Well, not quite.

According to a report in the Daily News, these efforts to automate the L won’t come to fruition until at least 2009 because the MTA didn’t anticipate the populartion boom in Williamsburg and didn’t order enough cars to meet demand on the overtaxed L line.

To make matters worse, officials at Siemens, the manufacturers of these automated trains, claim they warned the MTA about the gentrifying north Brooklyn neighborhoods when the projected started during the waxing days of the 21st Century. Train drivers, for now, are happy because their jobs are safe, but riders on the L who have long complained about poor service must be grumbling more than usual these days.

2 Responses to “MTA struggling to upgrade key technologies”

  1. Frank says:

    V train sucks


  1. […] unusual event,” but I beg to differ. Just two weeks ago, I wrote a little-noted post on the inadequacies of the MTA’s subway drainage system. Prophecies of doom came to bear sooner than any of us […]

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