MetroFocus

NEW YORK’S CRUMBLING INFRASTRUCTURE

Transcript

>> THE NEED FOR SPEED.
WERE YOU LATE FOR WORK TODAY?
CAN YOU BLAME IT ON THE TRAIN?
THE NTA HEARS YOU AND THEY SAY
THEY'LL DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
REPORTER GREG MACHER WENT ON TO
THE FASTER TRACK TO YOUR OFFICE
WITH THE PEOPLE WHO ARE TRYING
TO TONE DOWN YOUR TARDINESS.
TAKE A LOOK.
>> Reporter: FROM THE WINDOW,
WATCH THE CITY GO BY.
ALL OF THIS MOTION IS CONTROLLED
BY MORE THAN 13,000 SIGNALS.
YOU HAVE SEEN THEM.
THE RED LIGHTS, THE POLES, THE
SUBWAY GETS US FROM HERE TO
THERE.
UNLESS THERE'S A SIGNAL PROBLEM
AND THE TRAIN IS STOPPED IN ITS
TRACKS.
>> WELL, MY DAY OFF I WANTED TO
GO DOWNTOWN AND BAD.
IT'S SAD.
THEY HAVE TO FIX THE TRAIN.
>> Reporter: STAND BACK FROM THE
PLATFORM EDGE.
HERE'S OUR TRAIN.
YOU CAN TELL.
IT'S NOT A REGULAR RIDE.
BRIGHT AND SHINY AS THE
USUAL TRANSPORTATION.
>> I GOT A SEAT.
I SHOULD.
THIS IS A WORK TRAIN.
I ASKED FOR A RIDE ALONG.
WITH THE NEWLY CREATED SPEED
UNIT.
NOW, THAT STANDS FOR SOMETHING.
SUBWAY PERFORMANCE EVALUATION,
EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT UNIT.
TRAIN SERVICE SUPERVISOR IS
WAITING FOR RED TO GO GREEN.
THE SIGNAL IS CONNECTED TO THIS
YELLOW ARM.
IT LOWERS TO ALLOW THE TRAIN TO
GO BY.
THOSE MOVING PARTS ARE PART OF
WHAT'S GOING WRONG.
>> IT COULD BE A FAULTY SENSOR
OR MAYBE A WHOLE COMPONENT HAS
TO BE REPLACED.
>> Reporter: CREWS ARE CHECKING
USING A RADAR GUN TO MAKE SURE
THEY'RE CALIBRATED CORRECTLY.
IN A COUPLE OF HUNDRED AREAS, SO
FAR AROUND THE SYSTEM, THEY HAVE
DETERMINED IT IS SAFE TO
INCREASE THE SPEED.
15 SECONDS HERE AND THERE ADDS
UP ALONG THE LINE.
MOVES UP AND REDUCES THE WAIT ON
THE PLATFORM.
YES, THERE ARE NEW SPEED LIMIT
SIGNS.
>> THIS 30 MILES AN HOUR SIGN, I
CAN ASSURE YOU DID NOT COST
$1 BILLION.
WITH A FEW SCREWS, A COUPLE OF
BOLTS AND METAL AND PAINT WE'RE
ABLE TO SAVE NEW YORKERS 15
SECONDS GOING THROUGH THIS AREA.
A NEW EMPLOYEE HAS BEEN HIRED TO
OVERSEE A NEW SIGNALING SYSTEM
FOR THE LINES.
RIGHT NOW THE "L" AND THE 7 HAVE
WHAT'S CALLED COMMUNICATIONS
BASED TRAIN CONTROL.
THAT HAS MORE SENSORS AND
SOFTWARE.
BEING READY WHEN SOMETHING COMES
UP AND ADJUSTING THE SPEED LIMIT
HAVE AN IMPACT NOW.
GET US THERE SAFELY, MAYBE EVEN
CLOSE TO BEING ON TIME.
WHAT WILL WE DO IF WE CAN'T
BLAME THE TRAIN?
>> AND WE'RE DELIGHTED TO HAVE
GREG MACHER JOIN US NOW, A
FRIEND OF THE PROGRAM.
ALWAYS BRINGS A BETTER SENSE OF
WHAT'S GOING ON OUT THERE.
>> YEAH WHAT GOING ON OUT THERE?
>> YEAH.
>> SO LET'S START WITH WHAT WE
JUST SAW THERE.
YOU SAID, LOOK, SPEED IS VERY
IMPORTANT BUT YOU LOOK AT IT AS
ALMOST A MICROCOSM.
>> IT'S A TINY THING AND SAFE
SPEED, WE HAVE TO EMPHASIZE THAT
BECAUSE ONE OF THE REASONS THAT
THE SLOWER SPEEDS WERE IN THERE
IS BECAUSE THERE WERE FATAL
INCIDENTS IN THE '80s OR '90s OR
2000s.
I THINK THEY'RE TRYING TO MOVE
THINGS ALONG INCREMENTALLY AND
THEN A SYMPTOM OF WHAT THE
BIGGER PICTURE IS.
WHY DOESN'T ANYBODY LOOK AT THIS
BEFORE?
IT'S ALMOST BECAUSE OF THE
INERTIA OF THE BUREAUCRACY.
THIS IS JUST THE WAY THEY ALWAYS
DID IT.
AND NOW THEY -- WE HAVE NEW
LEADERSHIP IN THERE AND THEY'RE
KIND OF TAKING A LOOK.
SIGNAL BY SIGNAL, LINE BY LINE.
FINALLY.
>> IT'S ALWAYS A QUESTION OF
WHEN NEW PEOPLE COME IN AND THEY
SAY, WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A HARD
LOOK AT THIS OR MAKE PROPOSALS
IMMEDIATELY ABOUT THIS, BUT THEN
THE REAL ISSUE BECOMES CAN YOU
GET IT DONE?
WHAT ARE YOU SEEING HERE?
LET'S FOCUS ON THIS NOTION OF
SPEED.
OKAY, SAFE SPEED, AS YOU SAY.
ARE YOU SEEING PROGRESS BEING
MADE?
>> YES, THEY'RE OUT THERE.
THEY'RE SHOWING US AROUND.
THEY'RE WORKING WITH THE TRANSIT
WORKERS TO KIND OF MAKE THINGS
HAPPEN TO DO MORE INSPECTIONS,
TO DO MORE WORK.
THERE'S A NEW PRESIDENT, HE'S
BEEN THERE FOR GOING ON A YEAR
NOW.
IT TOOK -- I HAVE BEEN COVERING
THEM FOR NINE YEARS SO FOR THEM
TO BE ABLE TO GET TO THIS POINT,
TO BE DOING THE STEPPED UP WORK
THEY HAVE BEEN DOING, TO KIND OF
BE ADJUSTING THE SPEED IN
HUNDREDS OF PLACES IT'S MORE
THAN I HAVE SEEN IN A WHILE.
IT'S STILL BEEN STEAM ROLLING.
THE GOVERNOR HAD TO DECLARE A
STATE OF EMERGENCY LAST SUMMER
IN '18.
THAT BROUGHT SOME CASH, MUCH
NEEDED, ABOUT $800 MILLION IN TO
THE SYSTEM.
AND IT STILL IS KIND OF MOVING
ALONG FASTER THAN IT HAS BEEN.
BUT, YOU KNOW, YOU WOULD --
>> THE SITUATION IS WHEN WE TALK
ABOUT $800 MILLION AS BEING A
BIT OF A DROP IN THE BUCKET.
>> YEAH.
BECAUSE $30 BILLION MIGHT BE THE
SIGNAL COSTS.
THAT'S BILLION WITH A "B"
BECAUSE THEY'RE TRYING TO MAIN
TAPE A STATE OF GOOD REPAIR.
THE 100-YEAR-OLD SYSTEM IS
GETTING OLDER EVERY DAY.
AND YOU'RE PUTTING BAND-AIDS ON
SOME THINGS, REPLACING WHAT IS
STILL OLDER TECHNOLOGY EXCEPT ON
THE 7 OR THE "L" TRAINS WHEN IT
COMES TO THE SIGNALS.
THAT ALLOWS THEM TO RUN MORE
TRAINS CLOSER TOGETHER, SAFELY.
THEY HAVE TO BUY MORE TRAINS,
NOT LIKE THEY'RE ALL -- NOT LIKE
THEY'RE ALL PARKED SOMEWHERE AND
THEN THAT'S A COST SO THAT HAS
TO BE ORDERED.
THERE'S BEEN ISSUES WITH THE
ORDERS FROM THE MANUFACTURER.
THEY HAVE SWITCHED BACK TO THE
OTHER ONE -- ORIGINAL ONE.
SUCH A GIANT SYSTEM WE'RE BOUND
TO HAVE COMPLAINTS AND ISSUES.
>> LET ME JUMP TO SOME OTHER
TOPICS AND GET AN UPDATE FROM
YOU AS WE START THIS NEW YEAR
HERE.
CONGESTION PRICING HAS BEEN AN
INTERESTING ISSUE IN THE SENSE
THAT A FEW YEARS AGO, PEOPLE ARE
SAYING THIS IS NEVER GOING AWAY.
NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.
>> YEAH.
>> NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.
WHERE DO YOU THINK WE ARE NOW
WITH THIS?
>> TO SEE THE FIRST PHASE
INCLUDED IN THE LAST YEAR
BUDGET, THAT WAS A MAJOR STEP
FORWARD.
OF COURSE A JUDGE HAS PUT THAT
ON HOLD.
PHASE ONE WAS A $2.50 SURCHARGE
ON TAXI.
AND THAT WAS TO TAKE EFFECT ON
JANUARY 1S.
THE TAXI DRIVERS ALLIANCE ASKED
THE JUDGE TO DELAY IT SO THE
STATE COULD PROVE IN COURT WHY
THE STATE FEELS IT HAS THE
AUTHORITY TO DO THIS.
SO WE MIGHT HAVE JUST DELAYED
THE INEVITABLE THERE.
THIS PHASE TWO IS ON THE
PRIORITY LIST.
GOVERNOR CUOMO HAS TALKED ABOUT
IT.
LEGISLATIVE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN
PUSHING IT.
THIS IS ANOTHER ONE OF THE
EXAMPLES OF SOMETHING THAT'S
BEEN IN MOTION.
THIS WOULD BE A SURCHARGE ON ALL
VEHICLES ENTERING THE BUSINESS
DISTRICT AND DOES THAT MEAN
SOUTH OF 60th STREET OR WHAT
BOUNDARY DO THEY PICK TO DEFINE
MIDTOWN MANHATTAN AND HOW MUCH
WILL THAT BE?
>> SOME OF THOSE DETAILS NEED TO
BE WORKED OUT.
>> RIGHT.
>> LAST QUESTION, I HAVE ALWAYS
HAD A FASCINATION WITH PENN
STATION.
I REMEMBER LOOKING AT THE OLD
PENN STATION.
PALATIAL GRAND PENN STATION.
YOU LOOK AT IT NOW, LOW CEILING,
IT'S CROWDED.
THEY HAVE DONE IMPROVEMENT.
>> YEAH.
LIGHTS ARE ON.
>> MUCH BETTER THAN WHEN I WAS
COMMUTING 40 YEARS AGO, AND YOU
HEAR ABOUT THE MOYNIHAN STATION
ACROSS THE STREET.
AS I DRIVE PAST IT, I REALIZE I
DON'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON IN
THERE.
>> WELL, THEY'RE HOLLOWING IT
OUT TO CREATE DOWN AT THE OCULUS
WHICH IS A SPACE FOR RETAIL AND
RESTAURANTS.
AND I'M GOING TO SAY THAT THIS
IS A GOOD THING BECAUSE THE MTA
AND TRANSIT NEEDS TO MAXIMIZE
THE REAL ESTATE AROUND IT.
THE REASON THE ASIAN STATIONS
ARE NEW, THEY HAVE MONEY COMING
IN FROM THE RENTS, FROM THE REAL
ESTATE, KIND OF VALUE CAPTURE
AROUND COMMERCIAL SPACE SO THE
PENN STATION THING IS AN EXAMPLE
OF THAT HAPPENING.
BUT ALSO THEN WE HAD A
DISCUSSION ABOUT COULD THAT
MONEY HAVE BEEN WELL SPENT ON
REPAIR, TOWARD THE SIGNALS?
YOU KNOW, A LOT OF MOVING PARTS.
>> I WAS IN LONDON A COUPLE OF
WEEKS AGO, I WAS AT THE
PADDINGTON STATION.
AND SURROUNDED BY ALL SORTS OF
MARVELOUS STORES THAT THEY BUILT
IN TO THE STRUCTURE THERE.
PEOPLE ARE GOING THERE JUST TO
GO SHOPPING.
NOT -- NOT WHO IS GOING
ANYWHERE.
I WAS WAITING FOR A TRAIN, I
WENT IN AND BOUGHT SOMETHING.
>> YEAH, THAT'S THE MODEL.
WE'RE NOT REINVENTING THE WHEEL,
THE SUBWAY WHEEL HERE.
BUT WE HAVE A LOT OF OTHER
THINGS TO DEAL WITH, IT BEING
UNION RULES.
THE SITUATIONS HERE.
NEIGHBORS AS WELL IN THE CITY.
BUT IT SEEMS LIKE WE'RE -- AND
THE SIZE OF IT, THAT THERE IS A
MOMENTUM NOW.
>> WELL, GREG, ALWAYS A PLEASURE
TO HAVE YOU HERE.
I ALWAYS LEARN A WHOLE LOT.
>> ME TOO.
>> A LOT TO LEARN OUT THERE.


URL: https://www.thirteen.org/metrofocus/2019/01/new-yorks-crumbling-infrastructure/