L Train Autopilot System Continues to Suck

08/02/2010 12:39 PM |


  • “Please, bleep, move to the middle of the train, bloop.”

The $340 million L train autopilot system has a bug in it that locks the brakes. If you’ve been on an L-train platform in the last decade, you’ll understand just how bad that is: even a five-minute delay during rush hour is enough to clog any platform between Sixth Avenue and Graham at least three deep, so it’s scary to think that some of these seize-ups have lasted as long as an hour. The “glitch” in question happens over 100 times a year, and has happened ten times in the last three weeks, creating serious havoc for evening commuters.

The good news, sort of? The MTA is paying $2 million to keep contractors on the ready to deal with the problem. The bad? The 7 line is set for a $500 million robotrain “upgrade” in 2015. Awesome.