"We put reliability ahead of expansion."
A recent subway derailment and piling train delays in the world’s financial center has turned into state of emergency, according to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
In response to New York City’s woes, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel pointed toward his own city’s subway system—the nations second most frequented—as an example of what a well-maintained subway system should look like.
In an op-ed published in the New York Times on Monday, Emanuel noted that while the L, Chicago’s transit system, is 125 years old, 85% of its passengers are still satisfied with it.
“How have we done it? First, we put reliability ahead of expansion,” Emanuel wrote. “We focused relentlessly on modernizing tracks, signals, switches, stations and cars before extending lines to new destinations.”
The wording of Emanuel’s op-ed echoes criticism frequently lobbed against New York and its subway issue. Namely, experts have said that New York politicians have favored starting new projects rather than maintaining old ones, as ribbon cutting looks more impactful on a resume than upkeep of an existing piece of infrastructure.
Chicago is currently undertaking a $8.5 billion modernization for its trains. In two years, roughly 40 stations will be new or reconstructed, while half of the tracks will be new, Rahm wrote.