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Byford Discusses 7-Train Improvements at MTA Town Hall Meeting, Addresses Falling Debris

MTA President Andy Byford | Flickr

June 11, 2019 By Shane O’Brien

The MTA held a town hall meeting in Long Island City last night and its leader Andy Byford told the audience that the agency will be installing a new system designed to catch falling debris.

Byford, speaking at an MTA Fast Forward event at LaGuardia Community College, said that the system will go up on a trial basis in four locations across the City and may involve protective netting. He did not say where the locations would be, just saying one would be under the elevated 7 train.

If they system—which is expected to implemented over the summer– proves successful it will be added to other locations.

At the meeting, Byford was confronted by attendees upset about the falling debris that has struck cars underneath the 7 line near the 61st Street station this year.

He unequivocally apologized for the incidents and said there was no way to ‘sugar coat’ it.

He said that putting up a new system is not straight forward, since it is important that workers can inspect the line on an ongoing basis.

On Feb. 21 a wooden beam fell from the elevated 7 line near 65th Street and pierced the windshield of a vehicle (Twitter: Van Bramer)

“What we don’t want to do is put up a system that actually potentially makes it less safe than it already is,” Byford said. “Because any system must still give the inspection crews the ability to see what is going on beneath the elevated track, but also must be robust enough to catch anything that does fall off.

“We have been extraditing the process to get companies to design prototypes… As soon as that is done, we will get started in four separate locations, one of which will be on the 7 line,” he concluded.

Byford also said that 7 train service has improved since the completion of a modern signaling system last year.

The Flushing line was upgraded to the Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) system and Byford was keen to emphasize the difference in performance.

“On the 7 line, we’ve already increased the number of trains. We were running at 25 trains per hour, we’re now running at 29 trains per hour. I think we could potentially squeeze a bit more out of the system.”

Sally Librera, a senior vice president at MTA NYC Transit, said that the agency has seen wholesale improvements since Byford took the reins in January 2018 and the system can handle more riders.

“We’ve raised on-time performance by 20 percent,” Librera said, referring to the entire system. “That enhances capacity. The more reliable the system is and the more regularly it operates, we get capacity gains in many different ways.”

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Crackson Heights

How is it her fault ? She has been in office for 6 months and remember your Supreme leader shut down the government for one of those months. You’re right she was a bar tender not a structural engineer do you suppose she should climb up there and manually fix it ? I’m sorry I apologize judging by your stupidity you must have been one of the people hit on the head by falling debris. Hope you have a speedy recovery and they find a cure for stupid .

Top Hat.

Any word from A.O.C on this matter ? or Daniel Dromm ?? . They said and promised so many beautiful things when they were running for office.
God bless America

Why isn't a Congresswoman commenting on a subway platform?!

What is she in Congress or something?

Crackson Heights

Who is charge of the MTA ? Maybe you should ask him. Also something is being done about hence the reason for the meeting. Byford is trying but his Boss isn’t helping him .

TC on 32.

7 line is literally falling down, the MTA is making millions in overtime and bonus, And Mayor DeBlasio campaigning for President


All they did so far on the 7 line was paint over the rusty part , The whole structure is falling apart & and the delays keep on coming with signal malfunctions. Mayor DeBlasio can’t do anything in his own city and he wants to be president ? .


Daniel L.

Actually, there have been ironworkers making repairs to some areas of the steelwork. They even dug out the footings of the columns so they could inspect and make repairs. So, it’s incorrect to say that they are just painting.


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