New 7 line signals delayed, again

Riders on the 7 line may have to wait several more months before the line’s new signal system is fully enabled, according to an M.T.A. presentation on Monday.

The agency reported that the new communications-based train control system (better known as CBTC), which allows trains to run closer together and increased service, is now forecasted to be completed by the end of the year, a setback compared to the previous estimate of this summer. The revised, longer schedule was submitted by the contractor, but is still under negotiation with the M.T.A.

When asked about the new year-end deadline, New York City Transit Andy Byford commented, “I’m not that confident at the moment, if I’m honest.”

Thales Transport & Security, Inc., the company responsible for the project, had started working on the half-billion dollar project in June 2010.

A previous investigation in January by The Big Board found that the project was running many months behind schedule, and almost $40 million over budget. The system is currently enabled on weekends, as well as nighttime and off-peak hours, between Flushing-Main St. and 74 St stations, but has not been turned on for the entire line due to software and technical issues.

Byford said that he was discussing the project with Thales at the “CEO level,” and was heavily pushing the firm to finish the project by this summer.

The revised schedule comes at a time when the M.T.A. is under increased pressure to come up with long-term fixes for the subway’s aging, century-old signals. Byford has said that signal modernization, across the entire system, will be a key component of his corporate plan to be released in May.

“We are working diligently with NYCT to determine feasibility for moving up the proposed full in-service date of Flushing,” said Mario Péloquin, the President and CEO of Thales, said in a statement.

“It is our goal to deliver a safe system which everyone can be proud of and provides better reliability and on-time performance.”

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