Renovating The MTA
Renovating the MTA
Renovating the MTA
A few weeks back, I got the chance of riding the subway and the memory of the experience still haunts me. It would not be wrong to say that it was the worst experience of my life, which has given me the lesson of not riding it again. One of the subway trains had derailed from its track, due to the outdated tracks and technology utilized by the service, due to which the schedule of all the other subways for the next day had disturbed. Unaware of the incident, I rode the morning subway and had to face the issues of overcrowding, uneasy travel and reached late to my workplace as well. One of the most important thing that keeps pinching e is that I have the choice of not riding the subway and avoid its dangers and the horrible experience, however, there are thousands of people who do not have any other choice and have to ride the subway to commute to their workplaces and back to their homes essentially (Downey, 2014). They have not done anything wrong to deserve such an experience on a routine basis, so it is very important for the authorities to improve the quality of the service, in order to serve their loyal users. The authorities may have been trying to make the subway experience better for the passengers, however, the safety and stability of the passengers cannot be ensured without the complete restructuring and improvisation of the service.
Andy Byford, the new president of the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority has taken the responsibility of renovating the MTA, however, the task is not as easier as it may seem. Talking about the worst condition of the service, William Finnegan has shared in his article that “With eight million passengers a day, the city has the largest public transit system in North America, and, by every important metric—financial, operational, mechanical—it is in crisis (Finnegan, 2018).” So, the authorities would have to restructure the whole system, In addition to the machinery and the equipment, which is in use for decades and now has reached its limit of repair and reuse. One of the most important example in this regard is that of the vehicles utilizing internal combustion. When the technology had just started making its place in the society, the people were more in favor of the electric and steam engines as they were fast, and had the capability of traveling over the long routes. However, with the passage of time, society realized the horrors of steam and electric engines, which utilized more energy and provided less benefit. Moreover, these were not environmental friendly as well (Volti, 1990). So, Andy Byford needs to learn from the history that the same old technique cannot be utilized for a long period of time. The authorities need to renovate not only the engines of the subway but also need to improve the quality of the tracks, which is contributing to slowing down the speed of the trains and adding to the suffering of the passengers.
People from different classes, genders, and sections of the society utilize the service and have to face the horrible experiences. The horrors of the outdated subway technology are not just limited to the delayed trains and the poor quality and maintenance of the tracks, but there is another important aspect highlighted by Finnegan in his article. He shares that
“Some days, on a crosstown bus or a stalled train or a jam-packed platform, with your nose pressed into a stranger’s sweat-beaded neck and the appointed hour of your business lunch, your second date, your big job interview long past, it can feel like the system is in a death spiral (Finnegan, 2018).”
One of the most important issues of the subway at the moment is the delay, as well as overcrowding of the trains. So Byford needs to focus on this initially. The root cause of these issues is the poor quality of the tracks and the vehicles, so renovating the tracks is the crucial thing towards achieving betterment. In addition to it, the population of the city has increased greatly over the course of years, due to which more people use the subway on the daily basis, contributing to the overcrowding of the vehicles. More subways need to be included in order to resolve this issue. However, doing all of this requires revenue which is not available to the Metropolitan Transit Authority at the moment. The solution to this issue is to increase the price of the tickets slightly for the short span of time, which can help the authorities collect the funds. The passengers buying the expensive tickets can then be provided with the compensatory packages, after the completion of the project. Moreover, the government is also responsible to provide the funding. The authorities also need to renovate the stations by especially focusing on the improvement of the ticket areas, rest areas and the installations of the elevators, in order to provide a better experience to the passengers (Kirsch, 2000).
Riding the subway is an inevitable part of the life of a great majority of the working class population of the New York City, who is facing a number of issues due to the outdated and poor quality service. Byford needs to play an effective role in renovating the structure of the tracks as well as the trains, in order to improve the quality of the service. Moreover, the quality of the stations also needs to be improved. The government should provide the funding for the project, as the citizens are paying the high taxes and deserve better quality service.
Downey, G. J. (2014). Telegraph Messenger Boys: Labor, Communication and Technology, 1850-1950. Routledge.
Finnegan, W. (2018). Can Andy Byford Save the Subways? The New Yorker. Retrieved from: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/07/09/can-andy-byford-save-the-subways
Kirsch, D. A. (2000). The electric vehicle and the burden of history.
Volti, R. (1990). Why internal combustion. American heritage of invention & technology, 6(2).
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