Back in 2015, when riding the subway was but one fixture of our complicated lives, when we slept the sleep of the innocent, then-MTA chairman Thomas Prendergast suggested that installing subway countdown clocks might be a superfluous part of the agency’s budget. But this is 2017, year of the Sweaty Subterranean Hand, year of reckoning. As part of his $800 million emergency overhaul of the system, current part-time MTA Chairman Joe Lhota has assured us that the countdown clocks, stalled for years, will be finished by the end of the year. And like a screeching hawk soaring auspiciously above our forest of madness, the C lines now all have countdown clocks. A small, tangible blow against wickedness.
“We’re going to accelerate our systemwide installation of countdown clocks,” Lhota said on Tuesday. “They will be done by the end of this year.”
WNYC and NY1 have also noted the shiny new LED countdown clocks along the A/C/E.
Been putting the new C train countdown clocks to the test this morning. They're hitting .800 - twice as great as Ted Williams! pic.twitter.com/KmLYgtPOyq
— Jose Martinez (@JMartinezNYC) July 28, 2017
MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz tells us they are live in every subway station with a C train, from “Euclid to 168 Street.” Ortiz also confirms Lhota’s commitment: every station will have them before 2018. (Remember this pledge on December 31, 2017.)
The countdown clocks have vexed the MTA for many of the same reasons that train traffic and lost power and track malfunctions continue to plague the system: the system is really three systems, each with their own specifications and personalities.
But the C train stops have countdown clocks, the E and the G lines are next. Download and refresh Subway Time like a worry stone. Keep demanding results.