The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that 298 R179 subway cars that had been removed from service have been returned to operation when the cars were deemed fit for after safety inspections were completed.
On January 7, MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) pulled the R179 cars out of service after Bombardier Transportation notified New York City Transit that two incidents occurred in which the locking mechanism on the subway car doors was not secured. The incidents happened on December 24 and January 3.
New York City Transit pulled the fleet from service and replace them with spare cars that same night. Full subway service on these lines was maintained during the inspection and upgrade process using the spare cars.
“Safety is the MTA’s first priority, which has guided the entire review and inspection process of the R179 fleet,” said MTA Chief Operating Officer Mario Péloquin. “We were determined not to return cars to service one day before we were satisfied the issues identified were fully resolved and the safety of the cars was assured.”
“We diligently sought and received independent confirmation from third-party engineering firm LTK,“ said New York City Transit President Andy Byford, “and assurance from Bombardier that the cars are safe and ready for service.”
Over the course of the past two weeks, third-party engineering firm LTK, New York City Transit, and Bombardier completed inspections and adjustments of all door systems, as well as software upgrades and testing for the entire R179 fleet. 318 cars, 2,544 doorways and more than 5,000 separate doors were inspected and certified for safety. In addition, a software upgrade was installed, which provides a redundant safety measure.
These older train cars have been returned to transit yards to be used as spares, with some scheduled to be phased into retirement.