What to Know
- MTA subways are getting the green light to go full steam ahead and increase speeds — 10 months after initially getting permission to do so
- The MTA ruled that all trains in the system could see as much as a 50 percent increase in speeds
- Officials raised the speed limit from 15 up to 30 mph, but the engineers who drive the train have been worried about getting in trouble
MTA subways are getting the green light to go full steam ahead and increase speeds — 10 months after initially getting permission to do so.
Trains along the red line — the 1, 2, 3 trains — and the 7 line were studied, and the MTA ruled that all trains in the system could see as much as a 50 percent increase in speeds. The MTA actually raised the speed limits nearly a year ago after transit executives said it had been too low for decades, the result of a deadly 1995 crash on the Williamsburg Bridge.
Officials finally raised the speed limit from 15 up to 30 miles per hour in some areas, which the agency insists is safe — but the engineers who drive the train have been worried about getting in trouble for going too fast.
“Operators believed if they traveled at posted speeds they would operate the emergency brakes exceeding maximum speed limits and they would be disciplined as a result,” said MTA Managing Director Ronnie Hakim.
The MTA on Tuesday essentially admitted that those fears were warranted, as they found that there were hundreds of speed signals that were incorrectly calibrated. That would mean the trains automatic brakes would be activated, and the operators would be punished.
But the transit agency says that 200 of those incorrect signals have been fixed, and they will be doing checks on 2,000 more.
Gov. Cuomo insisted at an MTA press conference on Tuesday that once the workers trust the signals, then everyone’s commutes will get better.
“In the areas where the speed limit increases, they will drive faster,” Cuomo said. “In areas where it does not increase, they will also drive faster. Why? They will actually drive the speed limit!”