In Expansion of No. 7 Line, One Problem: An Elevator

The subway line’s new terminus in Manhattan was supposed to open in 2013, but a special elevator built in Italy failed its factory test.

Comments: 120

  1. why it never got extended to 41st never made sense to me. so much new development on 41st and 10/11th...seems logical--oh wait, that's why! ;)

  2. The 41st street station is a loss, but the development in that area is all residential and happened without the station. Whereas, there would be no development on 34th and 11th without the station. Better to have the station come in on budget than not.

  3. Funicular anyone?

  4. If the elevator is to run parallel to escalators and stairs, why not open the line initially without the elevator? This should have been explained.

  5. Read the article again. It says the the station can't be opened until “integrated testing for fire protection" is done. And it "requires all structures, including the escalators and incline elevators, to be ready"

    That's the reason for you.

  6. @DRS - The parallel run needs to have al parts in place for fire testing, this was explained in the article.
    "Mr. Horodniceanu said a final hurdle for the project would be completing “integrated testing for fire protection,” which requires all structures, including the escalators and incline elevators, to be ready."

  7. Access for riders in wheelchairs and other persons with disabilities is required for public facilities under both federal and state law. Launching revenue service in such a facility without such required access would subject the MTA to lawsuits and other penalties.

    Escalators are not accessible to wheelchairs.

  8. With every capital project under Dr. Horodniceanu's purview having faced significant delays and cost overruns (East Side Access, Second Avenue Subway, 7 Line Extension), he appears to be incapable of doing his job properly. Why is he still president of capital construction?

  9. Istanbul has one functioning fine.

  10. There's one in Budapest too

  11. A funicular is not really quite the same as an elevator.

  12. What is the difference between this "diagonal elevator" and a funicular? Pittsburgh has had two inclined rail conveyances for many years, and Los Angeles has one (Angels Flight) thought it's out of service again.

  13. Let's not forget the incline in Johnstown, PA!

  14. A funicular uses 2 cars or trains, counterbalanced against each other (one must go up as the other goes down), usually running on separate tracks that overlap, and the tracks diverge in the middle to allow each other to pass. An elevator has a single cab running up and down on a single track. Unless there wasn't space for the 2 passing tracks, I don't know why they chose an elevator over a funicular. Elevators also might be able to travel faster than funiculars, but I'm not sure about this.

  15. There wasn't an American company available? We don't take summers off.

  16. The article clearly states that the guys with the predilection for getting as much content as possible from the good old USA had "led an international search for manufacturers". I'm pretty sure if there had been a remotely qualified US manufacturer, they would have been the preferred option.

  17. baloney -- it's a matter of cheapness... and as my mother would say, "you get what you pay for." i've seen this with every kind of construction and city project. why did the MTA cars get made in japan? why did the bus shelters and news stand kiosks get made in spain? rather than give these jobs to US, possibly union workers? because they would "cost too much." well, now we reap the cost "benefits."

  18. There wasn't a domestic elevator plant that could have made the elevator?

    I think we should have let GM go bankrupt and converted their factories to high speed train and elevator production.

  19. Unreal. Open the line, fix the "fancy" elevator, and get moving. Ridiculous.

  20. Patrick Henry Field (PHF), which is known as Newport News-Williamsburg Airport in Virginia, has had such a diagonal elevator for years, taking patrons (parallel to a set of steps) from parking field level to terminal level. Yes, the total distance is much less, but the essential elements of docking and transport are the same. Nothing new to look at here EXCEPT the requirements that the manufacturer had to use a vast number of pork-barrel parts from the US.

  21. Having lived in pittsburgh with its inclines as they called in everyday language it would seem its not the technology its the implementation. The question that came to mind the other day is this: Is there a technical reason that you can't build escalators with wide enough steps for wheelchairs and strollers etc. Cost, space and safety perhaps.

  22. Yes, there is a reason. And it's not too technical for you, either. Here is a hint: Stairs don't move, and escalators don't stop.

  23. Actually that's not true at all. Larger "steps", and a longer run out at the top and bottom, combined with much greater depth and an escalator could function for wheelchairs.

  24. Anyone who thought that it would be a good idea to require the manufacturer to use parts and software from third parties with whom the manufacturer had not previously worked knows nothing about system design and integration. This is one of the same issues that caused terrible problems and delays with the Boeing Dreamliner, and that crippled the federal website for Obamacare,

  25. I agree with you to a certain degree. There are often valid reasons for owners to request the install of specific components. In this case the MTA likely required these components to be from specific manufacturers so the elevator could be serviced by the existing elevator mechanics here in NYC, and wouldn't require the use of specialist familiar with obscure Italian components to work on only this 1 elevator in the whole system. Also requiring more commonly available US made parts will likely make ordering replacements in the future much easier should they be needed. However the question remains why the MTA would choose to award a contract to a vendor that produces equipment that can't readily be serviced by existing NYC elevator mechanics, and instead required them to use other manufacturers equipment in their installation.

  26. But it's really cool looking, fast, and red!!

  27. I have a money saving idea...Escilator. Please place the cost savings in my account

  28. Read the article. There is an ESCALATOR.

  29. Gold star for this guy. The MTA definitely didn't think of "escilators," and the article definitely didn't address that point.

    /s

  30. Tried to get a wheelchair on an escalator lately? Or a baby stroller on safely if you are alone?

  31. Don't forget the incline in Pittsburgh.

  32. A funicular (like the Pittsburgh incline) is NOT the same thing as an elevator.

  33. As an Italian American, let me just say that if you want to build something that looks beautiful, you ask the Italians. If you want to build something that actually works, ask the Germans.

  34. I wouldn't go that far. Amtrak has Thuyssen-Krupp escalators throughout its stations. The one from the Boston-bound platform to the bridge over the tracks at the Route 128 station in Westwood, MA has been out of order and seemingly unrepairable for 17 straight months now - Amtrak is "seeking funds" to replace it. Of course that one's semi-exposed to the elements which doesn't explain why the ones INSIDE the station building fail regularly as well. Maybe if things were built here of American components there'd be some hope of getting parts. Maybe.

  35. @Cofounded, I guess that explains the new Berlin airport.

  36. Or, maybe there are too many American parts? Why not just use the best materials, software, equipment for the money and appropriate to the location and circumstances, no matter where it is sourced?

  37. Please tell me riders won't be *required* to take an elevator. I absolutely hate not having the option to take an escalator in a high-traffic situation like this.

  38. The elevators run parallel to the escalators.

  39. I've seen the one in DC broken... but so is most of Metro in DC. Can we please get the Chinese in to build/run these projects?

  40. You want it to break down even more? BY all means let the Chinese build it. The steel they provided for the new Oakland Bay Bridge was inferior and already causing problems. Sounds like a great idea.

  41. Where is there one of these in DC?
    On any given day in Washington, DC as part of my commute I negotiate 8 sets of escalators.
    Of them usually only 4 work on an average day.
    Complaining about this to a co-worker and fellow Metro rider my co-worker commented that the escalators work most of the time, meaning to say that it's not so bad.
    I am still laughing at that statement, although said to me about 2 years ago.
    Since then the situation has gone from bad to worse, under the guise of repairing and replacing. The ridiculous part is that most of these escalators aren't even needed as they run short spans, unfortunately the Metro system built stations without stairs in some cases, a situation which has been remedied in some stations.
    The DC Metro resembles a child's toy.

  42. I've been riding the subway for most of my 55 year old life. The Delays are usually worse on the Lexington Line on Monday mornings, Friday evenings, when it rains, snows, it's too hot, it's too cold, when it's windy or humidity is too high, track fires, stalled trains, signal problems, sick passenger etc....even full moon.

    The MTA now has just one more excuse for delays.

    Privatize the entire system.

  43. Right. Make it a profit-driven operation. You'll wind up with two or three lines and the rest will close.
    I'm trying to count the number of successfully-run (profitable) privately-owned major rapid transit systems around the world. So far I haven't found one.

  44. Uh...news flash, Steve. The subways BEGAN as privatized systems: the IRT and the BRT.

  45. The NYC subway system was once a collection of private business. Key word: "was." Look up the reasons why they went bankrupt.

  46. 'Slanted' or not, really.... how often are MTA escalators and elevators actually in service?? It's just a total farce...the hourly-salaried workers take their sweet time applying bandaid type fixes, and then surprise surprise, a few weeks later, the very same elevator or escalator is out of service again. The MTA is an exercise in ineffectiveness and corruption and unprofessionalism. It wouldn't matter if this elevator were made in Germany, Japan or Switzerland...the MTA still would have found a way to ensure it didn't work properly.

  47. Well said and so sad yet true. I have found that most of the MTA workers I have been in contact with over the years has been unprofessional on most/all fronts. There is a rare exception.....but mediocrity breeds mediocrity.

    The subways and platforms are filthy.....and the list goes on and on.

  48. The MTA is of course far from perfect. But they are tasked with a mission undertaken nowhere else in the world. Only the NYC subway runs 24/7/365. Others may do the 7 and a scant 365, but only NYC has no daily hiatus during which cleaning and maintenance can be done absent trains on the tracks and passengers in the stations.

  49. Not true. Two lines in Chicago run 24 hours a day, the PATCO in Philly is 24 hours. London is about to be 24 hours on main lines. Copenhagen is 24 hours a day. PATH. A number of European systems run 24 hours on weekends...

    Are they all pristine? No, but they also don't have the advantage of a 4-track system to ease maintenance...

  50. Should have gotten a Swiss firm to do it. Swiss engineering is the very best.

  51. The Huntington Metro in DC, cited in the article, is 2 stages. The lower kiss and ride (dropoff/bus) area on a larger arterial street is below the station platform and serves buses and transit to the north/south/east. The train platform lies midlevel. Above the platform is another kiss and ride (dropoff/bus) area serving southern commuters and buses from the south - of which there are many since it's the southern terminus for the line. There needs to be a inclined elevator or one would have to dig more tunnels or extend a walkway way out into the air. It's a testament to how well it works that no one even notices it. I remember feeling like I'd never been to that station before when I entered it from a different direction.

    Even better, the multilevel parking lots (built on the lower ground on the north side) are massed up against the 100 ft incline hill and are much less noticeable. But is effective and hidden parking useful? No. The whole area fails in pedestrian friendliness, which has more important than building good road/parking in the last 30 years and will be, at least until the Google Car is widely available. It remains low-rise, low-rent and parking driven, a traffic jammed area with few pedestrians in sight.

  52. For an agency that has an abysmal track record of maintaing the regular escalators and elevators already under their purview, the introduction of such technology in the NYC subway defies logic. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that they will be broken down more often than they will be in service. And to make matters worse, and unless things have changed, there is no parallel stairway within the escalator shaft itself, so when (not if) there is a breakdown in one or more of the standard escalators, there will be a net loss of vertical capacity. Supposedly another "cost savings measure." Brilliant!

  53. And the escalator in the 34th Street Station on the IND 6th Avenue line? Is that working yet...? Jus' sayin'

  54. Sounds like the DC Metro Silver Line, which contractor Bechtel has managed to screw up. The N. Virginia subway extension project was supposed to open at the end of 2013. Maybe by the end of this summer, Metro officials now say. Why is it that we cannot seem to execute big public works projects anymore?

  55. Maybe the employees don't have enough incentive to work hard. No one has the fear of being fired for poor performance.

  56. The Silver Spring Transit Center, a part of D.C. Metro, which was to have opened in 2011 is tens of millions over budget.
    Montgomery County Maryland government supervised and paid for the building of it.
    Metro refuses to accept it due to structural problems. Metro fears structural failures like the decks collapsing, and pieces of concrete falling down and killing people. No one has been canned over this.

  57. It looks as if another project is going down the rat hole of the MTA.
    I'll bet anyone that the extension doesn't open this year or next. They cannot complete anything.
    It's that way with all MTA projects. See the East Side access, the
    Colonial Road Bridge in Great Neck, Republic Airport Station, etc.

  58. I guess the only good thing I can see coming out of this is that it employees people and keeps them off the streets.

  59. "Michael R. Bloomberg, whose administration paid for the project..."?

    CORRECTION: The TAXPAYERS of NYC "paid for the project" via tax revenues and will continue to "pay for" it for years to come in terms of maintenance, repairs, and incurred debt!

    Bloomberg may have committed taxpayers' monies and granted tax-breaks to developers and contractors but the implication that he, or his administration, "paid for" this boondoggle project it seriously misleading!

  60. The implication is that the city hasn't paid for any subway extensions in 60 years - and the Bloomberg admin. made it happen.
    Also to call this project a "boondoggle" goes to show you know nothing about what makes this city tick. That subway extension will pay for itself MANY times over in economic activity. You'll probably be retired elsewhere by then - so why even care?

  61. Instead of the elevator they should have kept the 10th Avenue Station.

  62. This whole thing reminds me of how the Germans described Italian tanks during WWII...... Six speeds: 2 forward and 4 in reverse. With an ally like that, the Germans stood little chance.

  63. You mean an MTA project was delayed???

    No way?!? I mean, that never, ever happens!

    Seriously, though, at this point the only thing about the MTA that should merit newspaper coverage is if a project is completed on time and on budget. It's amazing that a city the size of New York is served by such an inept agency.

    (Fun fact: when work began on the Second Avenue subway, the projected completion date was 2013. It's completion date is now delayed with each passing year, and has been for the past five years or so.)

  64. That's alot of stairs. And if that elevator works the way the MTA's other elevators/escaltors work, it will be quite a work out. Can someone explain why NONE of the escalators on the east end of the Penn Station LIRR platforms are working?

  65. If you gave the handicap cab fare instead of spending millions and billions of dollars on elevators that don't work throughout the subway system 1. You would of spent only a fraction of the cost, and 2. Give the handicap a better experience. The elevators are scary on some stations , if they work at all. Cab fare would have saved billions.

  66. Would "have" Eddie, not would "of."

    You may have an excellent point here, but that's where I stopped taking your comment seriously.

  67. The handicap are not the only ones need of an elevator.

  68. oh please... this is a public blog... type away Eddie, with all the mistakes you want...

  69. Why couldn't the station be built close to the ground, like other subway stations? That way, the inclined elevator wouldn't be necessary, and the station could open with a regular, straight-up elevator.

  70. Probably has to do with the depth of the tunnel at Times Square - the #7 is 3 levels down. Not sure what the grade requirements would have been, but it probably wasn't feasible. Could be other factors as well. I really doubt this was an oversight.

  71. Very deep tunnel. But not sure how a slanted elevator helps other than its artsy-fartsy value.

  72. Building a new subway in 21st century NYC means dealing with over 100 years of other stuff that's already embedded in the ground: sewers, water pipes, gas mains, electrical cables, phone and fiberoptic lines, etc., etc. Rather than relocate all that stuff, it's often easier and cheaper to put everything deeper.

  73. Don't feel so bad New Yorkers that your slanted elevator's having problems. Here in LA, our slanted fenuncular on Bunker Hill, in downtown, had to be shut down too. Of course, that was only after about 100 years worth of operation and it had just rotted to pieces. These new technologies are complicated.

  74. I get all the complaints, but guys cut the MTA a break. We're talking an ancient system that - unlike almost all cities - runs 24 hours a day; where there was deferred maintenance for 25 years. Half escalators don't work in Paris in the Metro and train stations either. And for the 2nd time this year I was on an Amtrak train that just went dead outside of Metropark and we waited to be rescued for an hour.

    Let's face it: nothing works that well in a world where people don't want to pay the bills.

    BTW, in Thinking Fast and Slow Kahneman describes how no major project is ever on schedule or budget around the world, so it is not just the MTA.

  75. " no major project is ever on schedule or budget around the world, so it is not just the MTA."

    Why then was the Empire State Building built so quickly, was it because there was so much less bureaucracy and useless, parasitic bureaucrats back then. Perhaps it is time to eliminate at least half of the bureaucrats that infest all levels of government.

  76. The MTA should maybe take some cuts to their outrageous salaries, benefits, and pension package - that would free up some money ! Tired of excuses. Get the job done and quit whining...

  77. I get that the infrastructure of the system is like 100 years old, but what's stopping the MTA from improving other aspects of the system? The turnstyles and metrocard system could be improved to a smoother, faster Tap and Go system similar to Chicago and other cities. Then no more 'swipe again, swipe again and ...swipe, yet again'. Boarding of buses would also go much faster. Instead of waiting for every single passenger to feed their card into the card reader and wait for it to be spit back out, it could be Tap and Go!

    Why are monies wasted on their nicely-compensated paid-by-the-hour painters to slap a new coat of paint every month, on utility room doors, stairwells, crumbling/oozing support beams on platforms, etc? Does anyone think this new coat of paint makes any improvement in the appearance of our generally decrepit stations? Take all this money and instead use it to make some meaningful long-term improvements in the system.

    Many stairwells have been uneven and falling apart for years, but yet they continue to just slap a coat of paint on it and think that makes it all better?

    The problem is that the MTA is not run in a professional manner and has too many employees and management who have no sense of what professionalism and forward-thinking means.

  78. Like all new rapid transit construction, this one will be late (big deal) but the long-term economic benefits to the city will be enormous. What was incredibly short-sighted was the elimination of the 10th Avenue station option (even the building of a shell, which had been an option). The additional investment would have been paid back many times over.

  79. Another jewel in MTA's crown. Is there any project that MTA has completed on budget on time ? Time for a complete overhaul of this agency, and same for Port Authority as well. Lets make them both a public-private partnership. People in NY and NJ deserve so much better.

    It gives me shivers thinking about just what a boondoggle this proposed modernization of JFK and LGA will be....!!!!

  80. On budget and on time? Those words don't exist in the MTA vocabulary.

  81. I know i will be defying logic to write this, but if the station (and hence the whole line extension) cannot legally be opened without the slanted elevator running, then it stands to reason that everytime it breaks down, the station and whole line extension would have to be closed. Either because of lack of handicapped access or fire hazzard, or both.

    Of course that is not true otherwise half the subway system (at least) would be shut down every day

    So the tens of thousands who would use that station daily will be inconvenienced for another six (maybe more) months.

  82. I doubt they would have to shut it down. Elevators are frequently out of service at stations where they provide the only handicap access; signs or announcements direct people who need elevator service to other options (usually a nearby station and a bus - not great, but an alternative). In any case, the station does not shut down.

  83. If one elevator breaks down, the other elevator will probably be working. Of course, since there are two elevators, I guess the elevators on the new 7 line extension will be breaking down twice as often than in other stations.

  84. Give certifiably handicapped people taxi passes valid only when the subway is out of service. It would be cheaper.

  85. Did you say they bought the system from an "Italian elevator company"? Seriously?

    Italy, the country where most train stations are run with the efficiency of a lemonade stand? Where the state government (which is effectively controlled by Italy's largest businesses) is replaced every 6-8 mos.?

    I would've assumed that the MTA's purchasers were aware of the street translation for Italy's largest automobile company, FIAT...Fix It Again, Tony.

  86. I understand the sentiment.
    But having just returned from a 2 week vacation, and relying on the Italian high speed rail system for several connections, I was duly impressed. The trains ran on time and it was really a pleasure. High speed rail is the way to go.

    Maybe they don't know elevators but rail, well, that's another story.

  87. Had you bothered to read the article, you would have noticed that the problems seems likely to have been caused by the hodgepodge of american components tacked onto the project (for political reasons?). So, yeah...

  88. Look at your calendar, it isn't 1968 anymore. Italy has a high-speed rail system and Fiats have been dependable and desirable in Europe for years now.

  89. No really, why can't they build the entire thing in the U.S.?

  90. They forgot how to build things here; its all about the cost and quality which is often better in other countries
    But, the problem is using many sources to complete something that only should ahve been contracted to italians alone

  91. Have you seen what the horrible elevators look like in the rest of the subway system? They lack any aspect of what most people would define as "design" in any respect whatsoever. They're also slow and unreliable.

  92. Or, why not the entire thing in Italy?

  93. Isn't this just a funicular? I mean these have literally been around for ages, and Italy has many of them. I don't really understand what makes this more complex or difficult. If they can do it up the side of a mountain, certainly a few stories underground shouldn't be an issue.

  94. While relics may persist, aren't funiculars like the same dead technology as steam engines - needing a lot of tlc to keep them running - might have been cheap to build. Both may have cool appeal...

  95. Travel around Italy, Switzerland, or any alpine region and you will see many variations on this theme. Whether it's a funicular or a cog railway, they work well and from what I've seen, they've technologically efficient at moving people up and down steep inclines.

  96. It seems to me that a plain old elevator would have been cheaper.
    Assuming a 45 degree slope, the funicular would be 1.4 times as long as an elevator shaft. Plus it has wheels, tracks, etc instead of just plain old cables- a proven US technology that could be made here. I mean, new york probably has more elevators than anywhere else in the world, and qualified companies and people to maintain them. But I guess they're too boring for the crowd in power.
    Also, since they are moving sidewards in addition to up and down, they will probably need wheelchair tie-downs and an attendant to tie them down, etc, etc.

  97. Can we please single source equipment? Please? Attempts to spread pork around usually turn into a dog's breakfast.

  98. Why would we ask Italians to handle and engineering project?. Weren't there any German or Japanese companies available?

  99. Or an American or at least a Canadian company.

  100. Or American?

  101. Ordinarily, subway elevators are only destined to fail - regularly - once they've been installed, so in a sense, they're ahead of schedule.

  102. Are subway elevators different than building elevators?
    I don't hear much about building elevators failing.

  103. In addition to the kookie elevators, it appears that there are escalators and stairways. Presumably they are usable.

    So why do non-functioning elevators need to keep the station closed? It's not like there aren't another few stations around in the system with elevators that don't work. There's no talk of shutting them down.

  104. You try to explain to the politicians why you opened the latest subway station in New York for the first time in decades without handicap access. Special interest groups are not kind in case you haven't noticed.

  105. It is amazing the article rattles on about some over engineered elevator but never goes into why others cannot benefit from the new station? Sees like the ADA trumps the need of the greater good.

  106. To provide "...a similar experience, irrespective of your handicap." On the taxpayer's and fare payer's dime, needless to say.

  107. "“It failed in July,” said Michael Horodniceanu, the president of capital construction at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. “What happens in August in Europe? They said, ‘O.K., we’ll see you after vacation.' ”"

    This should have been cause for immediate termination of the contract for the elevator. Utterly ridiculous that a supplier would blow off a major contract for a month.

  108. You've obviously never worked with a European firm in the summer. They didn't blow off the contract, they simply took a scheduled shutdown that the MTA should have been well aware of. MTA forced the use of nonstandard components on a specialized piece of equipment -- and now wonders why they don't work? That is simply bad project management that added to the engineering and component costs of the project. If you're going to go to a specialist in another country (because it simply turns out that they are the only qualified bidders), it's a waste of time and money to add a couple of penny-pinching or politically-correct "Made-in-America" components.

  109. Real commuter never us the elevators.

    Something about the confining mug-ability and the aroma.

  110. Fine for you to say, but with the lack of escalators and steep, often poorly designed stairs everywhere, there are a lot of elderly and disabled people for whom the subways (and places like the dreadful Penn Station) are an obstacle course.

  111. What about the escalator to be used in Grand Central, will it work?

  112. Did I miss it?
    The article says the elevator failed factory tests. What tests? What components failed? How did they fail? Did a chunk of steel break? Did the pulleys fall off their axles? Did the motor burn up? Did the software use yards instead of meters?

  113. The MTA has had more than its share of blunders over the years. Much of this seems to be due to a lack of experience in actually using the system. Remember the waist high horizontal bars placed in the middle of the bus aisles? This was supposed to give people a place to hold on, but only succeeded in making it impossible to move through a crowded bus.

    More recently, the slam gates were removed to prevent fare evasion. This has resulted in people entering and exiting the stations fighting for passage through the turnstiles. Previously, we had a nice one way traffic system. One can still hop the turnstile despite the locking "emergency" gates.

    At the other end of the Flushing line, we were blessed with escalators during the last station renovation. These were made in Britain and plagued with problems. The company went out of business shortly thereafter.

    My advice to the MTA is try to use well-established technologies made by well established firms.

  114. There are other well-known incline elevators and funiculars not mentioned in the article: one in Montmartre, Paris; another in Quebec City, Canada; and Angel's Flight in Los Angeles. The one in Naples, Italy even inspired a song, "Funiculi, funicula". Other readers' comments mentioned more European examples. As usual, New York assumes it has the first of everything. The other systems mentioned seem to work very well and I'm sure they were built using only one source for all of the design and engineering. Were there some "sweeteners" supplied to the MTA from the US subcontractors?

  115. Wait, we can't build an elevator in America?

  116. A two minute ride to go just 200 feet? Is this designed to be a sight-seeing elevator? Or are original subway plans from 1904 being used?

    The elevators in any average older Manhattan office building from the 1920s go at least 4 times that speed. Surely it would be faster for passengers to take a regular vertical elevator and walk the extra distance (and would have been faster and much cheaper to build). The good ol' MTA strikes again!

  117. Well, i think the point is that it would be a lot more expensive to dig down and across than diagonally - the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, after all. Much less tunneling. Whether this offsets the "costs" of having elevators that are one-tenth the speed of those in highrise office buildings is probably harder to answer. I imagine that the elevator wont be any slower than the escalators...

  118. The most likely culprit here is too many cooks in the kitchen, i.e., outsourcing components to too many different companies (probably for political reasons). Boeing tried this with the 787 Dreamliner, and had similar results. On paper the pieces from all the different suppliers were *supposed* to fit together and work properly; in practice they didn't.

  119. "plans for an additional station at 41st Street and 10th Avenue were scrapped"
    This is a major mistake, and we will be stuck with it for at least a century. It would have been better to build the No. 7 Line more slowly, but to do it right.

    Note:There are incline elevators in Montreal Canada (Olympic stadium tower) and in Quebec City Canada (Quebec City funicular near Chateau Frontenac).