The New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), the nation’s largest mass transit network has announced plans to upgrade outdated subway track systems with computerized technology.
Although it may take up to 20 years to complete the project, the city’s 700 miles of track will begin the upgrade process from its current 1930’s electromechanics to newer 21-st century digital technology. Implementation of this technology will enable two dozen L trains to move bi-directionally each hour, nearly doubling the rate of passenger transport on a route that normally takes an average of 37 minutes.
The expected costs of up to $250 million to convert each control tower and link it to the tracks and switches are funded through the MTA’s five-year capital program. Digitized panels and switches will automatically relay signals, trace direction, and control speed but the computerized controls can be manually overridden in the event of an emergency.