Friday, August 14, 2009

MTA: 7 Line Getting CBTC and T Stands for Torture

Part 5 of Week-long Series on Mass Transit in NYC

After the relative success of computerizing train operations on the L line, the MTA is set to do the same with the IRT 7 line. Computer Based Train Control, or CBTC, allows new trains to sync with signals and a computer that better allows trains to run closer together while increasing safety and reliability. The technology also allows the feasibility of next train arrival information, currently in use on the L line. LED monitors display approximately when the next train will arrive, although my recent experiences with these monitors have shown that they are still a little off. CBTC also allows One Person Train Operation, OPTO, and worries about safety are offset by its common use throughout metro systems around the world. This helps save the cash-strapped MTA money without jeopardizing the safety of passengers, since the train driver/engineer can now take on the role of conductor without having to worry about driving the train as much. Of course, the Unions are always getting in the way of progress, and frankly they need to recognize that if they want to keep their jobs, then they should let the MTA save the money to do so.

And speaking of progress, the Second Avenue Subway is on its way!...after 70 years in the making. But will it be opened in my lifetime? I doubt it: Judge for yourself, with New York Magazine's timeline titled, "The Long, Tortured History of the Second Avenue Subway."

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