NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Newer does not necessarily mean better when it comes to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority subway cars.
Issues have caused some of the newest cars in the fleet to break down and be taken out of service. This promoted CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas to demand answers from the troubled agency.
In 2017, the MTA rolled out what it promised would be more modern and efficient train cars on the A, C, J and Z lines.
But the Transport Workers Union said the new cars are not living up to the hype, from their design to performance, especially in bad weather.
“We’ve had a laundry list of complaints from conductors and train operators,” TWU VP Eric Loegel said. “They’re going to have to enter stations a bit slower and proceed with more caution because we’ve gotten reports that trains don’t quite stop as well as they should.”
According to the MTA, mechanical failures force the new trains to be taken out of service about every 150,000 miles. In contrast, some of the older trains can go up to four times as long before needing a fix.
“We want to see that number go up higher, a lot higher,” said Sally Librera, the MTA’s senior VP for subways.
The MTA wouldn’t share how much it could improve. When asked what the trickle down effect is for customers when trains have to be taken out of service, Librera said, “We have enough spares built into our early service pattern where we aren’t impacting service as we do that.”
Cline-Thomas was told the agency is working with the company that built the cars to fix the problems. Improvements are incorporated into each new fleet.
Transportation expert Robert Paaswell said the types of issues in question are not uncommon.
“In two or three years you will see the mean distance between failures go up substantially, so I think it’s a temporary problem,” Paaswell said.
Still, customers could experience delays.
According to the MTA, a warranty covers the cost of modifications for two years after the cars are delivered. And the last set of cars are expected to be received by the end of the year.
More than 300 new train cars are being put into service. The MTA stresses the problems have never posed safety concerns.