MTA Testing Signal Technology

NYC Subway riders face many delays each & every day as they try to commute on the busiest transit system in the nation. The biggest culprit for delays usually revolve around signal issues that plague an antiquated system. The MTA is in the beginning phases of testing signal technology they hope will have the system run more reliably. Dan Rivoli of the New York Daily News has more in this exclusive:

The MTA has started top-secret testing of technology that could make subways run more efficiently, the Daily News has learned.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority hopes the technology — known as Ultra-Wideband radio — will be the fix for their signal woes, transit officials told the News.

The technology, in its early proof-of-concept phase, could let the MTA pinpoint trains’ locations, allowing them to run closer together and boosting service. It could even let riders to use their cell phones inside subway tunnels between stations.

The radio technology would accelerate the MTA’s efforts to modernize its century-old, failure-prone signal system — an endeavor that has so far proved costly, time-consuming and disruptive to riders.

“It cost twice as much and took twice as long because it required fixing an antiquated (signal) system and then putting it out of operation,” said Tom Wright, president of the Regional Plan Association. “The sooner and faster and cheaper it could be done, the better.”

Transit workers this month installed two wireless devices for Ultra-Wideband radio along the F and G lines on Brooklyn’s Culver line test track, which runs between the north end of the Fourth Ave.-Ninth St. station and the south end of the Church Ave. station.

Click here for the complete report.

My biggest issue is why did the agency wait so long to try out this technology which has been approved for commercial use since 2002! The agency knows the signal system has been antiquated for some time & instead of spending tons of money doing patch work, they should have been investing & testing out more updated & reliable systems to go along with a replacement of the signal system. This is a perfect example of why the MTA has always been multiple steps behind the technological times.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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