Thursday’s Headlines: You Tell Me What’s ‘Infeasible’ Edition

MTA construction boss Jamie Torres-Springer (inset) did not sound enthused on Wednesday about the prospect of testing platform doors at subway stations.
MTA construction big Jamie Torres-Springer (inset) sounded less-than-enthusiastic about bringing platform doors like these to the New York City subway.

It’s finally happening: MTA officials will put out a request for proposals late this spring for possible platform barrier designs — whether they like it or not.

Yes, the MTA may have to be dragged kicking and screaming to accept the technology, which officials have steered clear of despite potential benefits for station climate and keeping tracks clear of trash and other “intrusions.”

MTA Construction and Development President Jamie Torres-Springer suggested the concept may be “infeasible” at most subway stations, and costly at the rest, as he announced the forthcoming RFP at Wednesday’s MTA board meeting.

“We will be piloting platform screen doors,” Torres-Springer said — before running through a litany of reasons he might like to do the opposite.

“There are significant constraints that would prevent a systemwide rollout of platform screen doors. This is not the solution for the New York City subway system given its age and conditions. It includes narrow platforms that cannot accommodate barriers while retaining ADA access … and elevated platforms that can’t support the added weight. There’s also a problem of misaligned door configurations, until we’ve completed our fleet standardization over the next decade, that make a significant number of our stations infeasible for platform screen doors.”

“For the remainder, it will be very costly,” he continued. “Nonetheless, we are going to pilot this at multiple stations and this spring will be releasing the RFP.”

The Daily News dove into all the ways the MTA is working to stop “track intruders.”

In other news:

  • DOT is adding more dedicated carshare parking spots, as previously reported by Streetsblog’s Julianne Cuba. (News 12)
  • Jose Martinez digs into the many potential paths for the MTA’s fiscal crunch as Albany’s wraps up its budget season. (The City)
  • The cost of the MTA’s new OMNY fare payment system continues to increase, while the official end of the MetroCard continues to be pushed back. (NY Post)
  • Disability advocates packed the MTA board room to call out the authority’s piss-poor record on elevator maintenance. (Daily News, CBS New York)
  • Kathryn Garcia “shot down rumors that she is interested in taking over the Port Authority.” (The City)
  • Lest you thought Grand Central Madison isn’t a shopping mall like every other new transit facility in the city, the MTA is still looking for a retail tenant to operate 25 commercial spaces in the subterranean hub. (Commercial Observer)
  • Politico did a deep dive into Chuck Schumer’s support for a contrvoersial Catskills highway project, previously covered by Streetsblog.
  • Big surprise: Upstate politicians don’t want to pay for the MTA. (WRGB)
  • And finally, attention: Later garbage times start this weekend. (Gothamist)