MTA updating antiquated speed limits along subway lines to cut delays

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The MTA is updating what it says are antiquated speed limits along some of its subway lines.

The transit agency will be increasing speed limits along roughly 100 subway corridors in an effort to help cut delays.

Speeds were increased at select locations over the weekend following months of tests for safety.

The first speed increase came along the N and R line in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, doubling the speed limit in some areas.

The speed increase between 59th and 36th streets under 4th Avenue mean the train will actually go faster than cars. It's 14 seconds faster per train which adds up over the course of a day.

The MTA says over the coming months, they're safely upping the speed limits at 34 locations and recalibrating signals.

The speed limit changes already approved increase speeds generally in the 10 to 20 mile per hour range to speeds that reach the 40s.

As part of the "Save Safe Seconds" campaign, the MTA is also fixing faulty speed-regulating signals called "grade time signals" throughout the subway system.

"Safety is always our top priority, and we're working hard to maximize our subway's potential within the boundaries of stringent safety standards," New York City Transit President Andy Byford said. "Subway cars have come a long way in safety and performance since the system's speed limits were first put in place up to a century ago, and some speed-regulating signals have become miscalibrated over time, forcing trains to go slower than they need to. We're taking a fresh look, with no compromise to safety, at how to reduce delays and get people to their destinations sooner."

Replacing those century-old signals will cost billions of dollars and take years to complete.

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