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JeremiahC99

Cuomo wants Columbia, Cornell "experts" to oversee MTA Projects

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https://nypost.com/2019/02/26/andrew-cuomo-wants-l-train-experts-to-review-mtas-future-projects/

Quote

They’re back!

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to put the eggheads who cooked up his controversial overhaul of the L train’s Canarsie Tunnel in charge of reviewing all of the MTA’s future major construction projects.

The proposal is buried in the 10-point plan that Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio rolled out Tuesday to fund badly needed construction projects at the governor’s struggling transit authority.

“All major construction projects will be reviewed by construction and engineering experts who are not affiliated with the MTA or its consultants,” the plan says. “The construction review team will be headed by the Deans of Cornell School of Engineering and Columbia School of Engineering to assure state of the art design and technology is being deployed.”

That’s the same group Cuomo brought in to evaluate the MTA’s long-planned shutdown and reconstruction of the Canarsie Tube, who The Post revealed had little experience working on subway systems.

That team of engineers made just one hour-long trip to inspect the tunnel as they worked to come up with their plan, which called for ditching the tunnel’s planned reconstruction and instead repairing it with technology largely untested in subway tunnels.

Cuomo sat center stage at the press conference where Mary Boyce, dean of Columbia’s engineering school, and Lance Collins, dean of Cornell’s engineering school, rolled out their recommendations.

Additionally, Cuomo’s transit novices would be tasked with reviewing the technological underpinnings of subway boss Andy Byford’s plan to overhaul the system’s decrepit signal system by rewiring tunnels with a new computerized system.

It calls on the panel to compare the signaling technology Byford recommends — which is already used by virtually every modern subway system across the globe, including London and Paris — with the experimental system that Cuomo loves to tout, which depends on high-frequency radios to keep track of trains in tunnels.

“This group will also review the plans for signal system upgrade methodology and decide the best system to use, specifically comparing Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) to Ultra-Wide-Band (UWB) technology for safety, timeliness and cost,” it says.

The new review comes just two months after Byford hired one of the world’s foremost CBTC experts, Pete Tomlin, away from the London Underground to lead the MTA’s conversion to the technology.

The MTA board’s straphanger advocate slammed Cuomo’s call for yet another review of the subway’s badly needed signaling overhaul.

“We have a world-renowned signaling expert on the property now in Pete Tomlin, I would much rather hear his opinion on signaling,” said Andrew Albert, who sits on the MTA board and heads the New York City Transit Riders Council.

The governor’s office defended the unpaid amateurs.

“They’ve demonstrated with their work on the L train,” said Cuomo spokesman Patrick Muncie. “They are experts with a fresh set of eyes. They brought in innovative ideas that have never been done before.”

 

Edited by JeremiahC99

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2 hours ago, JeremiahC99 said:

The governor’s office defended the unpaid amateurs.

“They’ve demonstrated with their work on the L train,” said Cuomo spokesman Patrick Muncie. “They are experts with a fresh set of eyes. They brought in innovative ideas that have never been done before.”

Well, at least they aren’t “experts” that the Trump administration brought in to study climate change.

  • LMAO! 5

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Just now, CenSin said:

Well, at least they aren’t “experts” that the Trump administration brought in to study climate change.

Totally. The Columbia and Cornell guys may not have subway experience, but at least they have the brains to not dismiss Sandy Tunnel damage as a hoax.

Now if only there was a reason for why Cuomo contacted Cornell and Columbia for the tunnel tour instead of engineering professors and deans at my college (CUNY City Tech) and another CUNY college (City College) instead. They do have as much experience in technology and building stuff (I guess). Heck, even one of the technicians in the department for my major (Computer Engineering Tech) works for (MTA) NYCT, so she can figure things out. Just asking, but then again, a new set of eyes is always welcome. 

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It's nice that we're looking outside the box for answers, but how many studies and reviews do we need to determine how to fix the crumbling subway? With the ever-growing amount of them over the years related to various signal, track and structure repairs, rebuilds and upgrades, it's almost like Cuomo is fishing for a different answer. Or that he wants a cheaper one. Either way, it's becoming readily apparent the answer he's seeking is likely not going to be the one he receives. The subway has been falling apart for years now due to deferred maintenance and the fact that a lot of the underlying infrastructure has reached the end of its expected lifespan. Replacing and upgrading the critical components will not be a quick or cheap fix, but rather one that will take some time and be quite expensive. To compare, after the near collapse of the subway system in the '70s, it took well over a decade to rebuild the derelict subway cars and rehab many of the crumbling stations and line structures that were left to rot for years prior.

As for the experts chosen here, I'm on the fence here. It's obvious they have the knowhow and the expertise to be consultants for the MTA regarding the many upgrades needed to bring the system back into a state of good repair. They're not going to put their reputations on the line by offering recommendations that will not work. On the other hand however, we need to be consider the knowledge and expertise of those familiar with transportation and signaling as well. It's becoming more apparent that we are starting to accept the recommendations of those with one aspect of knowledge (engineering/construction) over the other important one (transportation operations). After all, that was the point behind hiring Byford as transit chief, wasn't it? It's also why we recently hired Pete Tomlin for his knowledge of upgrading the signal system based on his previous work. By relying solely on experts without a transportation background, we run the risk of accepting ideas that may work under some scenarios, but not necessarily so for the subway specifically. I'd also like to see how the changes to the Canarsie closure actually pan out first before accepting their word as gospel.

To address something that stands out...

16 hours ago, JeremiahC99 said:

It calls on the panel to compare the signaling technology Byford recommends — which is already used by virtually every modern subway system across the globe, including London and Paris — with the experimental system that Cuomo loves to tout, which depends on high-frequency radios to keep track of trains in tunnels.

Wouldn't this just create a similar situation to the one we experience right now? Presently, a lot of the components we replace regularly are specialized for only this subway system, which only adds to the expense. Is it really wise to roll out such an experimental signal system that doesn't have wide usage yet? I'm aware that this idea is probably much cheaper than the proposed broad rollout of CBTC signaling in the coming decades, but if we're the only ones using this kind of signaling system, it's quite likely going to cost us more in maintenance upkeep.

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On 2/27/2019 at 10:45 AM, Lance said:

It's nice that we're looking outside the box for answers, but how many studies and reviews do we need to determine how to fix the crumbling subway? With the ever-growing amount of them over the years related to various signal, track and structure repairs, rebuilds and upgrades, it's almost like Cuomo is fishing for a different answer. Or that he wants a cheaper one. Either way, it's becoming readily apparent the answer he's seeking is likely not going to be the one he receives. The subway has been falling apart for years now due to deferred maintenance and the fact that a lot of the underlying infrastructure has reached the end of its expected lifespan. Replacing and upgrading the critical components will not be a quick or cheap fix, but rather one that will take some time and be quite expensive. To compare, after the near collapse of the subway system in the '70s, it took well over a decade to rebuild the derelict subway cars and rehab many of the crumbling stations and line structures that were left to rot for years prior.

As for the experts chosen here, I'm on the fence here. It's obvious they have the knowhow and the expertise to be consultants for the MTA regarding the many upgrades needed to bring the system back into a state of good repair. They're not going to put their reputations on the line by offering recommendations that will not work. On the other hand however, we need to be consider the knowledge and expertise of those familiar with transportation and signaling as well. It's becoming more apparent that we are starting to accept the recommendations of those with one aspect of knowledge (engineering/construction) over the other important one (transportation operations). After all, that was the point behind hiring Byford as transit chief, wasn't it? It's also why we recently hired Pete Tomlin for his knowledge of upgrading the signal system based on his previous work. By relying solely on experts without a transportation background, we run the risk of accepting ideas that may work under some scenarios, but not necessarily so for the subway specifically. I'd also like to see how the changes to the Canarsie closure actually pan out first before accepting their word as gospel.

 

On 2/27/2019 at 10:45 AM, Lance said:

Wouldn't this just create a similar situation to the one we experience right now? Presently, a lot of the components we replace regularly are specialized for only this subway system, which only adds to the expense. Is it really wise to roll out such an experimental signal system that doesn't have wide usage yet? I'm aware that this idea is probably much cheaper than the proposed broad rollout of CBTC signaling in the coming decades, but if we're the only ones using this kind of signaling system, it's quite likely going to cost us more in maintenance upkeep.

I totally agree with you. In fact, I think they should really tread lightly on trusting the Cornell and Columbia Deans to propose a solution on fixing the system. They may be state of the art, but will it really last long in NYC Subway? That should be a criteria when accepting a proposal to fix the subway infrastructure (like a subway Tunnel). I really don’t want this to end up in a situation where the solutions may end up causing hardware problems and maintenance is more expensive than before.

Also as an FYI, this is the very first thread I made since joining the forums. I made this post two hours after the story broke, and there was not one person here that didn’t send it out.

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IDK about you all, but there's no way in hell that I'd be stupid enough to roll the dice in promoting the same under-qualified babysitters..... Matter of fact, I wouldn't have initially hired them to begin with !

 

On 2/26/2019 at 8:34 PM, JeremiahC99 said:

Totally. The Columbia and Cornell guys may not have subway experience, but at least they have the brains to not dismiss Sandy Tunnel damage as a hoax.

Now if only there was a reason for why Cuomo contacted Cornell and Columbia for the tunnel tour instead of engineering professors and deans at my college (CUNY City Tech) and another CUNY college (City College) instead. They do have as much experience in technology and building stuff (I guess). Heck, even one of the technicians in the department for my major (Computer Engineering Tech) works for (MTA) NYCT, so she can figure things out. Just asking, but then again, a new set of eyes is always welcome. 

Nice plug.

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3 hours ago, B35 via Church said:

Nice plug.

Thanks, if I call it a complement. 

3 hours ago, B35 via Church said:

IDK about you all, but there's no way in hell that I'd be stupid enough to roll the dice in promoting the same under-qualified babysitters..... Matter of fact, I wouldn't have initially hired them to begin with 

I wouldn’t hire those guys to be here either. I even don’t know if they have any experience in the real world doing hands on engineering work, let alone working on the subway. In fact, Why didn’t they get engineer and professors who actually have experience in the field and/or in the subways?

Honestly, if the (MTA) needs reform, they should just hire you, East New York, and the other moderators here on the forums to run the damn thing. Then we can get people who actually have experience in both the subways and in the engineering fields (such as CUNY City Tech professors, and the one City Tech technician who works for transit) to oversee the MTA projects, and they should be able to bring (or invent) new ways of doing (MTA) projects faster, cheaper, and safer, and in ways that last ~100 years and provide less maintenance upkeep. 

Also, to check out the work some of the City Tech Professors have done, hit up this link: http://www.citytech.cuny.edu/computer-engineering/faculty.aspx

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