Public Service Commission Chair Demands that Con Edison Improve Subway Reliability and Prevent Future Service Failures
Con Edison will Dedicate Crisis Response Team for the Subway System to Immediately Combat Power Failures and Disruptions
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Public Service Commission Chair John Rhodes is demanding that Con Edison take significant and immediate actions to improve the subway's reliability and prevent future service failures. This action follows the PSC and MTA's investigation into Con Edison's equipment failure that led to significant delays across the subway system. As the investigation continues, PSC's Chair, John Rhodes declared that Con Edison must analyze existing equipment failures, perform thorough and regular inspections and dedicate additional personnel and equipment to improve service. Con Edison must dedicate and assign a Crisis Response Team for the subway system and track performance through monthly reports to the PSC.
"Over the past 12 months, power-related issues have caused more than 32,000 subway delays, and we will not accept this dangerous and irresponsible status quo," Governor Cuomo said. "Con Edison must safely and effectively provide electricity that powers the subway system, and this order will require Con Edison to bring their equipment and functionality into the 21st century to support the 21st century customers of the subway system."
Con Edison will be expected to dedicate additional personnel and perform comprehensive inspections of all electronic equipment, install new sensors and monitoring equipment throughout the system and create an advanced communications network.
Con Edison will be expected to create a pre-deployed stockpile of emergency generators and replace all aluminum cables with new failure-resistant copper cables and install redundant electric supply to eliminate single points of failure in its systems. Con Edison will perform an analysis of power supply and power quality affecting the signals throughout the subway system. Additionally, Con Edison will be required to inspect equipment in manholes, interlocking and station equipment and equipment serving high-voltage substations.
The Public Service Commission will consider an emergency order at its session next week, making violations of the Commission order subject to fines.
Public Service Commission Chair John Rhodes said, "DPS staff will identify the electrical equipment owned and operated by Con Edison and that owned and operated by MTA, the condition of the equipment, and the party responsible for maintaining the equipment in a state of good repair. Given the increasing frequency of service outages and disruptions on the MTA subway system, it is imperative that Con Edison dedicate additional resources to improve the condition of its equipment and the quality of power it supplies to the MTA system. These events are particularly harmful to the public during the hot and humid summer months as such events often result in the loss of power and air conditioning on the trains."