The MTA has got a problem with delays when it comes to repairing critical signal equipment, according to an analysis the city’s Independent Budget Office released Tuesday.
Projects that keep signals in good working order can be months, even years, behind schedule, according to the budget office’s analysis of three Metropolitan Transportation Authority capital plans, from 2004 to 2019.
From 2005 to 2014, 19 out of 33 signal projects were completed late or will wrap up behind schedule. Meanwhile, nearly a third of projects begun over that time are still underway.
Signal malfunctions can be devastating, creating a ripple effect from line to line that can last for hours. The problems the malfunctions cause are complicated by the age of the equipment. Much of the signal work involves painstakingly repairing ancient parts that can date to the 1930s. An upgrade to a signal and track system on the Queens Blvd. lines at 71st. Ave. and Union Turnpike that should have been done in April was pushed back a whopping 14 months.
And this is the problem with our electeds. They like making headlines with splashy proposals for new transit systems, like BQX and light rail while the current system is allowed to go to pot.