Beating the Heat

Severe heat can affect subway and train signals and overhead power lines. Elevator and escalator service may also be reduced to cut energy consumption.

MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) customers should monitor our "Service Status" box on the MTA's homepage and plan their trips accordingly. Customers who use stations with elevators and escalators should also monitor the NYCT Elevator & Escalator Status page for equipment outages and updates.

The New York Power Authority implements Peak Load Management (PLM) to reduce electrical demand during high usage periods, usually from noon to 6:00 p.m. New York City Transit does its part and reduces power consumption by shutting down some substations that supply traction power. This means subways go a little slower.

In offices at all MTA agencies, power consumption is reduced by turning off unessential office and shop lights and any office machines that can be spared. Air conditioning systems are turned up a few degrees too.

At MTA Metro-North Railroad and MTA Long Island Rail Road departure terminals like Grand Central, Penn Station and Atlantic Terminal, conductors keep every other train door closed until just before departure to keep cool air in and warm air out.

Slow speed orders will be issued when necessary, especially on Metro-North's New Haven Line, which is powered by overhead catenary wires that droop in extreme heat. Trains are slowed so that pantographs -; arm-like apparatus on the roof of the trains that draw the power from the catenary - do not get ensnared in catenary wires. Employees of both railroads are asked to report hot cars and roving air-conditioning crews are dispatched to make needed repairs.

Throughout the MTA's system, crews remain at the ready if there are any heat-related issues impacting service. While we will do everything possible to minimize any impact and inconvenience, we advise our customers to allow extra time for their commutes, dress appropriately for the hot weather, and check the MTA website or local radio or television stations for the latest service information before starting their trip.