MODERNIZING THE SIGNAL SYSTEM SHOULD BE THE MTA'S TOP PRIORITY
According to the MTA's own, 20-year needs assessment, signal failure is the leading cause of subway delays. Research form the Regional Plan Association and the NYTimes make it clear that modernizing the signal system is essential to bring greater reliability, speed and capacity to the system. In a survey conducted by Council Member Lander's office in May 2017, 78% of over 1,500 survey takers said that modernizing the signal system should be the MTA's signal priority.
But the MTA is doing nothing to expedite its plans to modernize our signals. While London and Paris are moving quickly to replace their signal systems, the MTA “plan” would take 50+ years. At a City Council hearing in May 2017, MTA officials hedged on implementing communication-based train controls, saying maybe a better idea for the subways will come along. But New Yorkers cannot afford to wait around for something better to come along. We need a commitment from the MTA today that it will invest in the MTA's most critical need: upgrading our century-old signal system.