L Train: MTA Begins Testing New Technology to Speed Up Service

Rainier Harris

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The MTA has reportedly began testing “futuristic technology” on the L line in an effort to speed up service, the New York Daily News reports. 

A memo sent out to train operators on Thursday Sept. 26 shows that “ultra-wideband” (UWB) signaling equipment has been installed along the L line and it is ready for a trial run.

“If the tests are successful, the technology would allow trains to run closer together and at higher speed,” said NYC Transit President Andy Byford in an interview with the New York Daily News.  

The new technology will run on “shadow mode” for MTA experts to begin collecting data and see how it operates without disrupting current service. The technology has already been trialed on a test track in Brooklyn for nearly two years now. 

UWB is expected to be implemented in six more sections of the subway track in the next five years as a part of the MTA’s proposed $51.5 billion capital plan. 

Currently, MTA officials have 20 trains per hour capacity on the L line but the new technology can upgrade this to 22 trains per hour. 

The technology is not a fully-fledged signaling system and not yet safety certified.

Cover image from Bushwick Daily Archives.

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