New York City Subway Station Tashka/iStock/Thinkstock

New York Governor Announces Immediate Actions to Improve Subway System Power Service

Con Edison called on to take substantial and immediate actions to increase the subway's reliability and prevent future service failures

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced that the state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) Chair John Rhodes is demanding that Con Edison take substantial and immediate actions to increase the subway's reliability and prevent future service failures. This action follows the PSC and MTA's investigation into Con Edison's equipment failure that resulted in significant delays across the subway system. As the investigation continues, Rhodes asserted that Con Edison must analyze existing equipment failures, perform comprehensive and regular inspections, and commit additional personnel and equipment to improve service. Con Edison must also dedicate and assign a Crisis Response Team for the subway system and track performance through monthly reports to the PSC.

"Over the past 12 months, power-related issues have caused more than 32,000 subway delays, and we will not accept this dangerous and irresponsible status quo," Governor Cuomo said. "Con Edison must safely and effectively provide electricity that powers the subway system, and this order will require Con Edison to bring their equipment and functionality into the 21st century to support the 21st century customers of the subway system."

Con Edison will be expected to allot additional personnel and perform comprehensive inspections of all electronic equipment, install new sensors and monitoring equipment throughout the system, and create an advanced communications network.

Con Edison will be expected to create a pre-deployed stockpile of emergency generators and replace all aluminum cables with new failure-resistant copper cables and install redundant electric supply to eliminate single points of failure in its systems. Con Edison will perform an analysis of power supply and power quality affecting the signals throughout the subway system. Additionally, Con Edison will be required to inspect equipment in manholes, interlocking and station equipment, and equipment serving high-voltage substations.

The PSC will consider an emergency order at its next session, making violations of the order subject to fines.

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