The MTA has a knack for pushing deadlines to the very last minute, especially ones that are self-imposed. At the start of 2017, the authority opened the first three stops of the Second Avenue subway, exactly as promised (and also roughly a century after the idea began bouncing around town). The new stretch of track saw problems with its escalators—but hey, at least it opened “on time.”
Over the weekend, the MTA met another subway infrastructure deadline just in the nick of time: installing countdown clocks at every single station in the city by the end of 2017. As the Daily News points out, crews rolled out clocks at 22 stations on the 7 line on Sunday, giving everyone waiting on the platform a minute-by-minute update on how screwed their commutes are.
The rollout was fairly ambitious. As of late May, just 179 of New York's 472 subway stations had countdown clocks.
The project first kicked off in 2006, and after a decade of funding fiascos and bungled rollouts, the MTA was finally able to wrap it up at the end of a very trying year for straphangers. In the past decade, subway systems in other major cities like Chicago and Washington, D.C., saw the addition of countdown clocks on platforms.
Now, the MTA can take one more thing off its laundry list of problems. Here's hoping that it takes less than a half a century to update the subway system's arcane signaling system.