Trains running in the New York City subways are considered to be unreliable, malfunctions during rush hour and leads to commuting problems. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed an executive order and declared a state of emergency and has also pledged funds for necessary improvements.

The recent derailment of a train in Manhattan has highlighted the issue of the railway Subway system after it left dozens of people injured. It has led to genuine concerns about the safety of the century-old system. The accident in Harlem is attributed to a failure to secure equipment during repair of the track.

Subway problems

According to New York Times, there has been a regular spate of complaints from those who use the New York City subways. They had become vocal about grievances related to the century-old system. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has sounded the alarm and commuters want to see fast action. It seems delays have increased and sudden disruption in traffic in the subway is also a matter of worry. It has repercussions in various forms because one’s schedule goes haywire.

The executive order issued by the governor has announced funds for updating the signal systems that are of 1930s vintage because such outdated system cannot cater to the needs of today. It also eases rules related to procurement which will allow the hiring of contractors so that the work moves at a fast pace.

The governor wants the renovation work to be taken up on a priority basis and also wants state lawmakers to identify sources of funding to ensure that there are adequate funds. He expressed concerns that too much time is taken to complete important jobs. He took an example where it took seven years to install modern signals on a single line, and five years to build a subway car.

Actions to be taken

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has realized the seriousness of the situation and the potential political fallout if it was not addressed immediately. He directed the new chairman of the authority, to submit a time bound reorganization plan within 30 days. It should cover the areas of the subway that require most attention with a focus on customer communication, new technology, and training of personnel.

The outdated signal system of the New York City subways is believed to be a major reason for delays. In the digital age, it is reported to be still a mechanical system which is strange. Transit officials will have to examine this aspect and arrange for upgrades and also invest in procuring new subway cars. New York City cannot accept frequent delays in its communication systems, and the subway has a major role to play.

John Ruskin, the executive director of an advocacy group, has appreciated the fact that the governor has realized that there is a problem and, he will now have to draw up a credible plan to set things in order.