MTA Press Releases

Press Release
October 29, 2019
New York City Transit Launches Systemwide 7 -Day Inspection Blitz of Protective Baskets

NYCT to Inspect More Than 325,000 Baskets Over 60 Miles of Elevated Track Through In Person Hand-Check and Video Evaluations Over the Next Week

NYCT Expedites the Deployment of Approximately 1.5 Miles of Pilot Netting Under Elevated Track Structures in The Bronx 

New York City Transit President Andy Byford today launched a systemwide seven-day inspection blitz to immediately begin hand-checking every containment basket in the Subway system to ensure they are properly aligned and secured. Inspectors will physically check more than 325,000 baskets within the course of the next seven days, with the work set to begin tomorrow morning across the system’s 60 miles of elevated track. Additionally, NYCT is expediting the review of all video footage of elevated structures by cameras mounted on track geometry inspection cars fitted with GPS over the course of the next week.

Statement from Andy Byford, MTA NYC Transit President: “I take such incidents extremely seriously and have directed my team on an ongoing basis to take all necessary actions and expend all resources to prevent debris from falling from elevated structures. In addition to post-incident inspections, we are taking aggressive action to proactively prevent debris from dislodging and to catch it if it does come loose. Any of my team found to be derelict in maintaining or inspecting safety equipment, including elevated structure containment baskets, will be held fully accountable."

The inspection blitz follows an October 29 incident in which a 15 pound D-Wedge, a component that is designed to maintain correct spacing between the running rail and a guardrail, became separated from the a line elevated structure. The metal component fell into a protective basket that was not properly secured, and which came loose. A similar incident took place on October 23 when a bolt came loose and fell from the nwline near Queensboro Plaza. A containment basket was found to be misaligned at that location. Disciplinary action has been initiated regarding this incident.

The enhanced inspections bolster an already robust maintenance and safety program that includes track level inspections, detailed inspections from below and consultation on best practices with peer transportation networks. Additionally, netting has been deployed under elevated structures at four test locations, including the Jamaica j/z Subway line’s elevated structure between 121st Street and 111th Street, below the elevated structure on the Astoria nw line near the 39 Av station, the 61 St-Woodside station on the Flushing 7 Subway line and the 125 St station on the Broadway 1 Subway line.

Additionally NYCT is accelerating the deployment of approximately 1.5 miles of netting at two additional new locations:

  • 167th on the 4 line, River Ave between 162 and Marcy
  • 231st on the 1 line, Broadway between 239th and Kimberly

The 2020-2024 Capital Plan includes approximately $200 million for additional netting throughout the system to prevent fallen debris incidents. An additional $75 million has been allotted in the current Capital Plan.