MTA Says It's Speeding Up the Subway

A woman enters the Kew Gardens–Union Turnpike subway station.  Eagle  photo by Jonathan Sperling.

A woman enters the Kew Gardens–Union Turnpike subway station. Eagle photo by Jonathan Sperling.

By Jonathan Sperling

UPDATE MARCH 19, 2019: The MTA provided a statement to the Eagle.

Keep waiting, Queens.

More than a month after an MTA safety committee approved a series of speed limit increases on select areas of city subway track, Queens straphangers have yet to see much improvement to their commutes.

Though more than 20 new areas of track have received speed limit increases since the January 21 update to the Save Safe Seconds campaign, the locations are concentrated in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

“Since I first arrived here, I have been relentless about identifying ways to improve our daily operations and bring better service to the millions who ride our trains each day,” NYC Transit President Andy Byford said in a statement. “Today’s news shows how the SPEED Unit is doing just that. By meticulously examining places where trains can go faster safely, we are bringing tangible daily benefits to our customers. As always, I commend all of our workers who are working so hard to improve the lives of our customers.”

Some speed measures which will allow trains to travel as fast as 45 mph or remove the speed limit altogether, do have an impact on Queens trains, so the borough's straphangers could still stand to benefit, the MTA said.

“Queens is home to one of only two full installations of modern computerized signaling in the entire subway system and is getting the system’s next installation as well – installations that bring an unparalleled level of reliability and throughput to the subway,” the MTA told the Eagle in a statement. “The SPEED Unit has also identified locations throughout the borough that can accommodate speed limit increases and we expect to implement some of those positive changes by the end of this week. All this work combined will bring Queens to the forefront of subway performance and we look forward to delivering these improvements to our customers in the borough.”

Since Jan. 21, the Queens-bound A train has experienced a speed increase near Manhattan's West 4th Street station, as well as Brooklyn's Jay Street-Metrotech station. The Queens-bound R and W trains have also had there speed limits removed when departing the Times Square station.