Our weekly “New Starts” roundup of new and newsworthy transportation projects worldwide.
Anyone Know How to Fix New York Subway Woes? Anyone?
Meanwhile, in the other four NYC boroughs, riders of the world’s largest and busiest subway network have had to cope with increasingly frequent breakdowns and unreliable service as they pack onto crowded trains. To tackle these problems, the MTA is launching a competition to develop innovations that can improve capacity and reliability quicker and easier.
Global Rail News reports that the agency will award three prizes of $1 million each for the most innovative methods in three categories: improving the signal system, getting better subway cars and increasing communications connectivity.
In a statement, the MTA said this was needed because current systems and industry practices “cannot improve service as expeditiously as is needed.”
A panel of engineers, industry experts and representatives of New York City will judge the submissions. The competition kicks off with a June 29 conference at the City College of New York.
This program comes on the heels of a previous MTA announcement of a series of internal changes intended to fix trouble spots on the city’s subway network faster.
New York Studies Light Rail on Staten Island
Staten Island’s east shore has had rail transit since the early 20th century. The Staten Island Rapid Transit (now Staten Island Railway) was to have been connected to the rest of the city’s subway system via a tunnel under the Narrows that was never built. Now it looks like West Shore, connected to New Jersey more than it is the rest of New York City, may get a rail line that will strengthen those connections.
The Staten Island Advance reports that New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority is allocating $4 million to an “alternatives analysis” for a light-rail transit line down the West Shore.
As proposed by Staten Island economic development officials, the line would run from Richmond Valley at the island’s southern tip up its west side to Elm Park, where it would continue across the Bayonne Bridge to connect to New Jersey Transit’s Hudson-Bergen LRT line.
Two previous studies in 2004 and 2009 examined whether the corridor could support a light-rail line and developed ridership estimates. The MTA had committed to studying the line last year but didn’t include funding until it added it to its amended capital budget.
Boston Close to Restarting Green Line Extension
Railway Track and Structures reports that the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has asked for final proposals for its revived Green Line extension project from three firms it had shortlisted in February.
(Photo by Adam E. Moreira)
The project, which would take the LRT line from its current terminus at Lechmere in East Cambridge to Somerville and Medford, was put on hold in 2015 after projected costs rose $1 billion above original estimates. The project was restarted last May after the authority hired a new project manager to oversee work through December 2022.
According to the article, both the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the federal government will commit $996.1 million toward the project; the federal share is included in the recent short-term budget deal passed by Congress to avoid a government shutdown.
Know of a project that should be included in this column? Send a Tweet with links to @MarketStEl using the hashtag #newstarts.
Next City contributor Sandy Smith is the home and real estate editor at Philadelphia magazine. Over the years, his work has appeared in Hidden City Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Inquirer and other local and regional publications. His interest in cities stretches back to his youth in Kansas City, and his career in journalism and media relations extends back that far as well.