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Queens Chronicle

MTA announces 4-year, $363M safety program

Training, equipment, technology stressed

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Posted: Thursday, July 31, 2014 10:30 am

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has included $363 million for across-the-board safety improvements in a four-year financial plan announced on Monday.

The news came four months after the Federal Railroad Administration found “a deficient safety culture” in its investigation of the MTA’s Metro-North division following a train wreck in the Bronx last December that killed four people and injured more than 70 others.

“Safety is the top priority for all of the MTA’s daily operations, and the investments announced today reinforce that emphasis,” Thomas Prendergast, the MTA’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement issued on Monday.

Investments will include $46 million per year for employee and customer safety training; $21 million per year for increased track inspections and repairs; $8 million per year for upgrades and repairs to the track safety signal system; and $3 million per year for enhanced safety systems and communications with customers and employees.

In the subways, New York City Transit will increase the number of inspections and maintenance on its “critical track corridors.”

The signals division will receive additional resources. The new Help Point intercom system is part of the program.

NYC Transit and MTA Bus Co. buses will get an infusion of driver training and oversight in coordination with the city’s Vision Zero effort to reduce traffic fatalities.

Among the initiatives are increased training to help drivers identify distracted pedestrians and cope with an increase in bicycle riders.

The MTA also is collaborating with the city’s Department of Transportation to identify dangerous intersections, curbs and other infrastructure.

Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road will install video cameras in engineers’ cabs and elsewhere on trains. Both have created new safety and inspection teams.

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