Subways Age Badly

Old Zwei has touched this subject many times; Subways age badly and they cost a lot to keep in good condition.

Renewal costs are not generally factored in with budget calculations and tend to be a nasty surprise for politicians who were not around when the subway first opened.

Yet, despite this, subways are the number one transit vanity project of politicians on both sides of the 49th, that is, until the maintenance costs become due, then it is the taxpayer’s problem.

DC Metro subway shutdown brings Americaai??i??s aging subway systems into focus

By Steve Brachmann
May 2, 2016

This March, a series of electrical fires around Washington Metro subway system, the second-busiest subway transit system in America, caused an emergency shutdown of the entire system for safety inspections of third rails. The emergency shutdown stranded hundreds of thousands of commuters on Wednesday, March 16th, so that inspection teams could make sure that 100 miles of underground track would be safe for commuters the following morning. Problems with the Metro system span back decades as reporters from The Washington Post have written on safety reports issued by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) over four decades which include warnings for neglectful safety practices.

Our nationai??i??s capital is not the only major city where public transit systems, especially subway rail lines, are threatened because of aging infrastructure. Damage wrought as a consequence of 2012ai??i??s Hurricane Sandy has forced a decision on behalf of New York Cityai??i??s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to shut down extensive portions of the L train, including a full shutdown of the Canarsie Tube for 18 months, beginning late 2018. Repairs to MTA rail lines continue despite the MTA boardai??i??s approval of a massive $32 billion infrastructure upgrade project in September 2014. Over in Boston, a rail line reliability tracker developed by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) shows significant issues in passenger wait times for trains on the MBTAai??i??s Green Line.

For the full story…..


One Response to “Subways Age Badly”
  1. Haveacow says:

    Your point about making sure you have the a transit agency actually has the ability to maintain its own system is valid. Washington is a special case of “bloc obsolescence”. So much of the Washington Metro system, about 140+km was built between the same 15 year period (1969-1984) that it is now all coming due for upgrade all at once. Which led to a curious condition for funding new subway systems in the US. When spending on the Washington Metro wound down so did the spending on other new subway systems in Miami, Atlanta and Baltimore as well as extensions in Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago and New York. New York’s, Chicago’s, Philadelphia’s and Boston’s rapid transit system are cases of multiple private transit systems going bankrupt over time, then forcing a public body to knit together a coherent rail system out of the wreckage. All of these cities transit agencies have been chronically underfunded for over 70 years and have NEVER had enough money to maintain these systems.

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