It is going to be hotttt today (maybe 100 degrees!) and the MTA has been getting ready for the weather just in case the MTA has to reduce power. Which is not a bad thing to prep for, considering a stretch of the 1/2/3 line lost power yesterday, stranding passengers (including former governor David Paterson!) for at least 45 minutes.
The MTA has contracts with power suppliers, and since heat can affect subway and train signals and power lines, the agency may be asked to conserve energy. MTA Chairman John Lhota said, "While extreme temperatures can affect our equipment and infrastructure, we will do everything possible to avoid service disruptions." Elevator and escalator service might be reduced, and trains may go slower.
Here's what the MTA says about the situation, but basically check the status of mass transit at the MTA's website
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has begun preparations for a heat wave slated to blanket the metropolitan area that has the potential to impact riders’ commutes if the MTA has to reduce power consumption as required by contracts with power suppliers.
Severe heat can affect subway and train signals and overhead power lines. Elevator and escalator service may also be reduced to cut energy consumption.
“While we are obligated to reduce power consumption, we will make every effort to provide safe and reliable service throughout our entire network,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota. “While extreme temperatures can affect our equipment and infrastructure, we will do everything possible to avoid service disruptions.”
MTA customers should monitor our "Current Service Status" box on the MTA’s homepage and plan their trips accordingly. Customers who use stations with elevators and escalators should also monitor the NYCT “Elevator & Escalator Status” page for equipment outages and updates.
The New York Power Authority implements Peak Load Management (PLM) to reduce electrical demand during high usage periods, usually from noon to 6:00 p.m. The MTA does its part and reduces power consumption by shutting down some substations that supply traction power. This means subways go a little slower.
In offices at all MTA agencies, power consumption is reduced by turning off unessential office and shop lights and any office machines that can be spared. Air conditioning systems are turned up a few degrees as well.
At Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road departure terminals like Grand Central, Penn Station and Atlantic Terminal, conductors keep every other train door closed until just before departure to keep cool air in and warm air out.
Slow speed orders will be issued when necessary, especially on Metro-North’s New Haven Line, which is powered by overhead catenary wires that droop in extreme heat. Trains are slowed so that pantographs - arm-like apparatus on the roof of the trains that draw the power from the catenary - do not get ensnared in catenary wires. Employees of both railroads are asked to report hot cars and roving air-conditioning crews are dispatched to make needed repairs.
The MTA’s fleets of nearly 6,000 buses and 8,600 subway and rail cars are equipped with climate-control systems that are maintained year round for optimal efficiency and performance. Special attention is paid during extremes in temperatures when system components are carefully monitored in the effort to keep riders as comfortable as possible. Unfortunately, air conditioning of subway stations is not feasible due to the open nature of their construction and the impossibility of cooling an infinite space. The goal remains to run trains on schedule and at regular intervals, thereby minimizing the customers’ wait on platforms.
Throughout the MTA’s system, crews remain at the ready if there are any heat-related issues impacting service. Every effort will be made to minimize any impact and inconvenience, but customers should allow extra time for travel, dress appropriately for the hot weather, and check http://www.mta.info or local radio or television stations for the latest service information before starting their trip.