The MTA and the City Council were at each other's throats yesterday during a meeting to discuss the Chambers Street signal room fire. The City Council balled the MTA out for the subway mess and freaked out when the MTA said it would take 15 years for the signal system to be "in good repair." Come again? The MTA's president of subways, Michael Lombardi, also pooh-poohed worries that the signal rooms were in danger, saying that the non-fireproofed Chambers Street signal room wasn't a significant relay room and that New Yorkers shouldn't worry, because 150+ of almost 200 rooms are fireproofed. Mr. Lombardi, no matter how awesome your job title is ("President of Subways"!), Gothamist would think that ANY signal relay room would be significant - think about the chaos this insignificant room caused! Of course, being able to upgrade the system means money and time, and with the city and state stingy about the former and subway riders not happy with giving up the latter, who knows where anything will go?
And in terms of the lofty computerized train plans, the MTA is saying that it'll take 45 years to computerize the entire NYC subway system. Okay, it's time for MTA Math! Given that there were estimates of 3-5 years to fix the A and C trains, which then turned into 3-9 months, but the repairs are pretty much complete after two weeks, Gothamist believes that it would actually take the MTA anywhere from 9 months to 10 years to get it down. If they seriously hauled ass on it.