New York City Subways Can Be Fixed With Lessons from Other Transit Systems

Other subway systems give examples for Big Apple's busted railways to follow.

July 6, 2017 9:33 am
Fixing NYC Subways
Morning commuters board a train in a crowded subway station in New York on May 11, 2016.(Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

New York’s subway system has seemingly gone off the rails. But it can get back on track, according to Wired.

As transportation officials embark on a mission to improve New York City railways, other major cities offer positive examples on how to fix them. Paris, Hong Kong, Chicago, and London, for example, have modern subway systems that operate efficiently.

New York’s subways are so bad that Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency to overhaul the 665-mile network, New York Times reports. Despite surging ridership, the 100-year-old signal system inhibits more trains from getting added. The 24-hour service gets no respite for maintenance, which only compounds increased delays.

However, numerous cities have solved this problem already. International cities have leveraged innovative technology and forward-thinking design to create systems that grow with the city. According to Wired, Londoners can pay their subway fare with smartphones, leading to a drop in delays. Hong Kong is one of the few profit-generating subway systems in the world, because the government acts as a landlord, collecting rent from buildings close to the subway.

Sometimes, the solution as simple as closing a system down. Chicago, for instance, recently overhauled its system by boldly shutting down 10 miles of railway in 2013. The city planned for it by adding more buses and providing shuttle services to stations shut down.

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