As many New Yorkers are already aware, the New York subway system is a mess. What was once a highly popular mode of transport for those traveling around the city has become the last resort for those who need to be somewhere fast and have no other option – and even then it is all too common for people to simply accept being late and walk or take a taxi. Congested cars fill up before everyone can get a spot and fail to perform their most basic duty for all New Yorkers. Outdated signals create delays and endanger those riding the subway, simply because they are in need of repair or replacement. And there is always the looming threat of a fire on the subway, which would be one of the worst places possible to both attempt to escape a fire and be forced to contain one.
However, a solution will hopefully be put into place soon to ease the suffering of every New York native and tourist who has had to take the subway, along with the employees who are having to work with old and outdated machinery in their day to day life. A sizeable amount of money has been allocated to fixing the current state of the subways in New York. 800 million dollars has been granted to New York to fund the expansion and maintenance of the subway system. This overhaul includes increasing space on the subway cars, updating the signals in the system to create fewer delays in subway operation, and even adding a public dashboard for passengers.
In order to increase space for more people to ride the subway, paradoxically fewer seats need to be in the subway cars. While some may be against giving up the chance to snag a seat on the subway, many a rider will rejoice at the chance to at least get a spot more often, given that standing is a very common occurrence on the subway in New York. Estimates gathered from previous adoptions of this strategy suggest that over twenty extra people per subway car could be fit once the seats are removed, which seems like a very fair trade indeed.
Replacement and updates of the existing signal system for the subway are sure to have both subway operators and passengers rejoicing. While of course the most concrete effect felt should be a significant reduction in the delays that subway passengers face when waiting for the train and attempting to get to their destination, the precautionary focus of the safety granted by an updated subway system can’t be ignored. Operators will be able to more faithfully rely on their equipment to aid in their job, which will make everything go much more smoothly for passengers, operators, and hopefully, everyone dealing with much less traffic topside.
With a pilot program in place to test improvements, if things go smoothly, the funds needed to revamp the subway system will also be going towards adding more cars to the trains currently running to service even more passengers. This, along with ongoing maintenance and upgrades of existing cars, is sure to make traveling on the New York subway system an infinitely more enjoyable and expedient mode of transport.
Since the subway improvement plan has such a steep bill, it has been met with resistance from the New York City mayor. Given that the state maintains the subway system, it is not entirely unreasonable for him to have concerns over his city specifically paying for these improvements. However, his resistance has been responded to with both harsh criticisms and urges to reconsider. On the more aggressive side of negotiations with him, the New York City mayor has been accused of having no empathy for those who ride the subway. Certainly, those frustrated with the current subpar quality of the subway system could feel this way, seeing his reticence at paying for these pricey improvements. However, one must wonder if these same people would be okay with much higher tax rates that are fully possible with such a large public works project. It remains to be seen.