New York MTA leans towards sticking with contractor despite PTC delays

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
Long Island Rail Road
LIRR

Fair is never a good word when it applies to chances. But that is what a consultant is saying regarding the installation of Positive Train Control (PTC) on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Long Island Rail Road as far as the chances of meeting the December 2020 federal deadline.

The MTA has decided not to terminate the working relationship with the contractor, despite several delays that has put PTC installation behind schedule. An independent engineering consultant says there is a “fair” chance everything is complete by the federal deadline. MTA approved a deal where the contractor will be responsible for up to $100 million in fines if the project is late. In exchange, MTA would agree to still consider the companies for future contracts.

The MTA was expected to vote on the agreement on Oct. 23, but put it on hold until next month so some board members could get more information on the deal.

MTA has blamed the contractor for delays and cost overruns. Some of the delays have been caused by installation errors and inadequate resources.

New York’s new “debarrment” statute gives MTA the right to ban underperforming contractors from future projects. Siemens and Bombardier say they has cranked up efforts in the PTC installation in order to meet the 2020 deadline.

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