By Aksel Holguin Abreu, Harvest Tribune Contributor.
Views expressed in the post below reflect those of the author(s) and not the publication.
We often get lost in the constant news reports of delays and political bickering. I know well of the delays many of us face; I’ve been on so many crowded trains myself. The faces of some of these people look like they’ve been through hell.
But most people don’t know about New York’s second subway, the Port Authority Trans Hudson (PATH). When you enter their subway network, it’s an entirely different world. The trains are clean and punctual. There’s rarely any delays that occur on the network, and it has Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) signaling, an advanced train signal system, soon to start operating next year. The Port Authority has a newsletter for PATH train riders describing what they’re doing, as well as tips and more. So what does our subway system needs to do to improve? The MTA needs to take note on what PATH is doing.
A recent investigation by the New York Times found that the MTA’s problems “were years in the making, and they might have been avoided if decision makers had put the interests of train riders and daily operations ahead of flashy projects and financial gimmicks.” Over the past 25 years, when adjusted for inflation, the MTA budget has not changed, even though ridership has increased.
Clearly, the MTA should push for the need to improve service. They also need a lot of political and public support for many of the projects the transit authority is pursuing. In addition, they’ll need a serious plan for expansion in the coming years, as the system is reaching capacity along with new subway cars.
However, with De Blasio recently re-elected and his publicly known bickering with Governor Cuomo, there may not be that high of a chance of those things happening sadly. Until then, we’ll have to deal with our poor performing subway network.