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'State of Emergency' for New York City Subways

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#1 CNJRoss



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Posted 29 June 2017 - 09:17 PM

NY MTA news release, 6/29/17:

MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota Announces Plan to Overhaul the Subway System

Top-to-Bottom Audit of MTA Organization to Identify Long-Term Transformational Change Within 30 Days


MTA to Propose Comprehensive Plan to Modernize the Subway Within 60 Days


Key Priorities Include Training Personnel, Improving Customer Communication, Implementing Working Processes and Engaging New Technology


Complements MTA Genius Transit Challenge -- Harnessing Innovative Technological Solutions to Modernize and Improve the Reliability of the Subway System



MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota today, at the MTA Genius Transit Challenge Conference, responded to Governor Cuomo's challenge by announcing he will conduct a top-to-bottom audit to overhaul the organization and present a plan within 60 days to modernize the subway system. The MTA, working with transit experts and top management consultants, will do a comprehensive audit of the challenges facing and limitations of the organization to identify strategies for short- and long-term transformational change. Thirty days later, the MTA will then put forward a detailed, long-term plan, in conjunction with the MTA Genius Transit Challenge, to overhaul the system, focusing on a series of MTA priorities, including changing and training personnel, implementing and executing processes that work, improving customer communication and engaging and implementing new technology.


MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said, "Millions of New Yorkers depend on the MTA every day, and we must rebuild confidence in the authority with a complete overhaul of the system – identifying the root causes of our problems and taking immediate and decisive action to fix them. It is our responsibility to transport people as safely, quickly and efficiently as possible, and the current state of the subway system is unacceptable. In tandem with the Genius competition proposals, we will deploy a multi-faceted plan to restore confidence to the MTA and prove that we can deliver for our customers."


First opened in 1904, the New York City Subway is among the largest and busiest public transit systems in the world. Today, there are 472 stations spanning 665 miles of track, serving nearly 6 million riders a day—that’s 70 percent of all subway rides in the United States. The system offers 24/7 service spanning four boroughs, which has enabled New York to grow and thrive for over a century.


Yet as ridership has soared, changes to its infrastructure have not kept pace. New York City Transit must innovate to accommodate a growing demand and to continue to be the economic engine of the city, state, and region.


The MTA also announced the Genius Transit Challenge, an international competition seeking innovative solutions to modernize and improve the reliability of the New York City subway system. The competition will award a “genius” prize of up to $1 million for the best idea in each of the following categories:


Improve Signaling in the New York City Subway System: Accelerate deployment of modern train signaling technologies to the subway system, to increase the number of trains at peak periods and promote faster and more reliable service;


Rapidly Deploy Modernized Subway Cars to the Subway System: Obtain and deploy modern subway cars more efficiently, or refurbish existing cars in order to increase the New York City subway system’s capacity and reliability, prevent car breakdowns, and reduce delays;


Increase Communications Infrastructure in the Subway System: Identify communications systems that will support rapid installation and deployment of modern train communications and control technologies in the subway system, to increase the subway system’s capacity and reliability.


Judging Process

Proposals will be submitted and reviewed during a two-phase evaluation process. In Phase 1, applicants will submit an application for one or more of the three Challenge areas. Applications that meet all New York State requirements will be evaluated by criteria that may include their ability to fulfill Challenge objectives, their innovativeness, and their capacity for implementation. 


An evaluation committee of subject-matter experts will select applications to proceed to Phase 2. In Phase 2, applicants will receive additional guidelines to inform their submissions, have an opportunity to refine their application(s), and be required to provide in-depth details and supporting materials for their application(s). The evaluation committee will score refined applications on criteria that may include their ability to fulfill Challenge objectives, innovativeness, capacity for implementation, and cost effectiveness. 


The expert judging panel will select the winners for each category from the final group of applicants.  Winners to be determined by the end of 2017.



·         August 11, 2017– Deadline for Phase 1 Applications

·         September 2017 – Phase 1 Selections Announced

·         Fall 2017 – Submission of Phase 2 Applications

·         December 2017 – Winners Announced


Genius Transit Challenge Judging Panel

 The panelists include:

  • Joe Lhota, Chairman, MTA
  • Ronnie Hakim, Interim Executive Director, MTA
  • Janno Lieber, Chief Development Officer, MTA
  • Phil Eng, Chief Operating Officer, MTA        
  • Sarah Feinberg, Former Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration
  • Daniel Huttenlocher, Dean and Vice Provost, Cornell Tech
  • Charles Phillips, CEO, Infor
  • Kristina Johnson, Chancellor-elect, SUNY
  • Greg Brown, Chairman and CEO, Motorola Solutions
  • Nick Grossman, General Manager, Union Square Ventures
  • Eliot Horowitz, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, MongoDB
  • Balaji Prabhakhar, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Stanford University

For more information about the Challenge, visit MTAGeniusTransitChallenge.ny.gov.


#2 CNJRoss



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Posted 29 June 2017 - 09:58 PM

The New York Times,​ 6/29/17:

Cuomo Declares a State of Emergency for New York City Subways




Day after day, subway riders in New York City have voiced a steady drumbeat of grievances as the century-old system has descended into disarray.


Trains are unreliable. Rush hour malfunctions paralyze the city. When a train derailed in Manhattan this week, injuring dozens of people, it raised concerns over whether the subway was even safe.


On Thursday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, the person most responsible for the subway’s fate, signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency, pledged $1 billion for improvements and moved to make it easier for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to buy badly needed equipment.

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#3 Sloan



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Posted 30 June 2017 - 08:32 AM



When Cuomo speaks, Lhota listens


On the final day of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority Genius Transit Challenge Conference, and two days after an unsecured segment of replacement rail apparently caused a New York City Transit subway train to derail in Harlem, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an edict to the MTA to focus on “transformational change” for the city’s rapid transit network, the first segment of which opened in 1904.


#4 CNJRoss



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Posted 01 July 2017 - 07:10 PM

The Verge,6/29/17:

New Yorkers are using underground Wi-Fi to vent about the broken subway — and it’s working


The governor is declaring a state of emergency on your mean tweets



New Yorkers have known for a long time that their subway was busted. But until recently, they lacked a venue to vent their frustration publicly. Thankfully, Governor Andrew Cuomo came along and installed wireless internet in all 279 underground subway stations, so when someone is stuck on an F train with no air-conditioning for over an hour, or is forced to evacuate through the rat- and smoke-filled tunnels after an A train derails, they can do what they’ve always wanted to: tweet their complaints directly at Cuomo.


For the past few months, Cuomo has been unable to tweet anything from his official account without his mentions flooded with vitriolic New Yorkers demanding he fix the subway. A tweet congratulating the promotion of his new secretary elicits 20 replies, every single one of them about the subway.




For those who don’t live in New York City, this may seem like a petty way to advocate for vital infrastructure improvements. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs the subway, is a vast bureaucracy and its budgeting process is incredibly complex. Also, we’re talking about the largest and busiest underground transit systems in the US — and one of the oldest in the world, too. What elected official makes policy decisions based on a few cranks on Twitter?


Well, Cuomo appears to be that kind of elected official. After weeks of twiddling his thumbs, ignoring the steady degradation of the system, or quibbling about how many board seats he controls at the MTA, Cuomo is finally stepping up and owning the disaster that is the New York City subway. And it’s all thanks to your tweets.


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#5 CNJRoss



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Posted 16 July 2017 - 08:25 PM

New York Post, 7/11/17:

Subway riders unimpressed with MTA’s floor mat plan



The MTA’s plan to combat subway delays has an underwhelming starting “point.”


The agency recently installed floor mats with three arrows on them in two C trains.


The MTA says it will get riders to move faster as they enter cars, but straphangers were not impressed.


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