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Subway Derailments Shine Light on Safety Questions in New York City Transit

It appears the austerity that has crumbled the National freight rail structure has come to the New York City Subway system. The MTA New York City Transit Authority has been under fire after 3 derailments in the span of 22 days between December 20th and January 10th.

The worst of these derailments happened on January 4th due to negligence from radio communication failure. About 22 passengers and 3 crew members were reportedly hurt in that collision.  The last of these derailments happened January 10th on the above ground F line in Coney Island, near the New York City Aquarium, due to a missing bolt on the forth car of the train. Thankfully, this took place in winter when the trains in the area aren’t as busy, if this happened six months later this derailment could’ve been catastrophic.

Transit workers have complained that all three of these incidents are indicative of MTA bosses continually putting service and speed before worker safety. Trammell Thompson from the Progressive Action caucus in Transport Workers Union Local 100 has called the safety railings in the vicinity of the F train derailment “rickety”. The MTA continually promotes their safety record with only 23 derailments in the last three years, but in reality are they maintaining the safety of the system or have they just gotten lucky no one has died yet?

We have even talked to Bus Operators who work at the Transit Authority who have told us about the cuts in maintenance on the buses run by the New York City Transit Authority. One Bus Operator who asked to remain anonymous told us, “The MTA puts out alerts on their BusTime app telling riders they’re running limited service because they don’t have enough drivers, but we sit around the yard for hours waiting for buses that they can get away with saying are safe for service but most really aren’t.” He went on to say, “We have drivers who at this point pick their work to pull out at times they know there aren’t any buses … I myself have had days where I didn’t pull out a bus at all.”

It is seems obvious to us here at LUEL that the MTA has started to institute their own version of “Precision Scheduled Railroading” on the New York City Transit Authority. Last year when the New York State Budget was passed MTA Chairman Janno Lieber successfully lobbied for budget cuts for the MTA despite the State added billions in new guaranteed funding to the Transit Authority. With “leadership” like this its only a matter of time before a tragedy at the level of East Palestine comes to the New York City Transit system.

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