NEW YORK (CBS 2) – Commuters are furious after learning that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) released a report revealing incomplete safety checks on the subway.
The MTA report said this week there had been a rush to get crucial safety checks done on the subway, but investigators said the reports were either made up, delayed or skipped altogether.
The report found that inspectors had falsified thousands of subway signal inspections, which are critical safety checks designed to protect straphangers from train derailments and collisions.
“That’s not right. That’s cheating and putting our safety at risk,” one commuter told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.
The falsification of the reports had apparently been going on for years, investigators said.
“You pay good money expected to be safe. That’s messed up,” another commuter said.
The report said a dramatic increase in safety checks following the 2009 rear-end train collision in the Washington, D.C. subway system simply overwhelmed the inspectors.
The D.C. collision killed nine people.
Here in New York, equipment that was supposed to be inspected every 30 days was not being checked until days or even weeks later, if at all. The line most was risk was the L line, whose trains are operated robotically with fewer fail-safes in place.
“It’s scary that no one is checking,” one commuter said.
The MTA said in a statement that it has “changed the leadership of the signals division and took swift action to ensure that none of these deficiencies undermined the signal systems’ safe operation or its underlying components.”
The swift action by the MTA included the demotion of signal department supervisor Tracy Bowdwin and the questioning of others, sources said.
Falsifying an MTA report is a felony offense, but no one has been charged yet as the MTA is still investigating.
Meanwhile, inspectors are now scrambling to conduct new safety checks.
IN OTHER NEWS…