Here’s the century-old technology delaying the New York City subway every day

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MTA subway CBTC videoMTA/YouTube

It’s not just you. In New York City, subway delays are on the rise. In 2012, there was an average of 28,000 delays a month. Fast-forward four years, and that number has climbed to 70,000.

Sometimes it’s easy to miss, with shiny new touchscreen kiosks and promises of open-gangway subway cars, but the New York City subway system runs on technology installed before World War II.

Because 5.7 million people swipe their MetroCards every weekday, the delays pile up quickly when something goes wrong.

A crucial element of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s plan to fix this is called communications-based train control. The technology is revolutionary for a system as old as New York City’s, and installing it on a single subway line took six years and $ 288 million.

To persuade the state to provide the $ 20 billion it would take to upgrade the whole system, the MTA used YouTube to showcase its century-old signals, hand-controlled switches, and what was being done to update the aging system.

Here’s what’s being done to improve a system that remains mostly unchanged since its inception in 1904:

“In our system, it’s not just the architecture that’s 100 years old,” an MTA employee says in the YouTube video. “It’s a lot of the basic technology as well.”

MTA/YouTube

At the West Fourth Street station, MTA employees log train movements by hand.

MTA/YouTube

Every signal on each line is mapped on this board, which looks more like an old board game than a method of keeping millions of commuters safe and on time.

MTA/YouTube


See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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