The City Council took the MTA to task for not moving quickly on security upgrades yesterday. You see, though there was a big $200+ million deal that the MTA signed with Lockheed Martin last summer, you know, three years after the MTA got about a $1 billion to spend on anti-terror initiatives, nothing has really happened since then. Sure, Lockheed Martin has been testing a "protoype artificial intelligence system" but installation won't be complete until 2008. The MTA claims that testing will be done soon, but that's just not soon enough: City Council members complained that the subways don't feel any safer than before September 11 and that the MTA should move quickly, as the attacks were like an "act of war." Gothamist thinks we all could have predicted that things would move like molasses with the MTA and security. There are 468 stations and unions to deal with - and it's the MTA. But when it comes to fining people for putting bags on empty seats, that's fast.
And speaking of unions, the Transit Workers Union had a strategy session this past week to discuss what they're going to do about a new contract, given that the one the executive board endorsed was rejected by 7 votes. And when you look at the votes, it was the train conductors who really rallied against the contract, with 70% of them voting against the proposed contract.