MTA Chairman Lhota outlines modernization plan for subways

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NEW YORK — New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joe Lhota has unveiled a phased approach to modernizing the city’s subway system.

The New York City subway action plan focuses on signal and track maintenance, railcar reliability, system safety and cleanliness, customer communications, and a critical management groups dedicated to making key decisions.

The action plan was announced less than a month after New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo declared the city’s subways to be in a state of emergency and charged Lhota, who is new as chairman, with designing an action plan.

Lhota’s strategy addresses aging infrastructure, limited capital dollars, and ways to handle a record volume of customers.

Some of the highlights of the agency’s action plan include an expedited signal repair program to fix 1,300 problematic signals, the acceleration of track repairs by deploying more than 30 work teams across the system to target locations with the highest rate of incidents, installing more welded rail and increasing track welding capacity, among other areas of signal and track maintenance.

With regard to railcar reliability, the plan would also overhaul capacity from 950 to 1,100 railcars per year, maximize 24-hour seven-day-a-week service by adding an additional full repair and maintenance shift, and prioritize the inspection and repair of subway doors, which the agency says is responsible for 40 percent of car breakdowns. The plan would also add additional railcars to routes and stations where platforms are long enough.

Other focus areas concentrate on station cleanliness, a new modernized mobile app, more customer service representatives, and establishing a management group that would be able to make key decisions during critical times.

A second phase is expected to focus on long-term improvements, a modernized system, and other strategies to improve operations and provide customer benefits. That phase will be outlined in the coming weeks, according to the agency.

See the news release online.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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