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(CBS News)   "It will take six years to fix NY subway. Make that six months. Did we say six months? We meant six days"   ( divider line
    More: Followup  
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27625 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Feb 2005 at 8:07 AM (12 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

79 Comments     (+0 »)
2005-02-02 08:09:43 AM  
well wtf
2005-02-02 08:11:03 AM  
Thank You Mr. Scott.
2005-02-02 08:12:43 AM  
What we actually meant to say was "$6,000,000,000"
2005-02-02 08:13:49 AM  
"That's not good enough, you have to do better than that, Mr. Scott"

"Boy, he's in a snit"

"he is a man of deep feelings"

2005-02-02 08:18:03 AM  
Scotty's law of engineering.
2005-02-02 08:19:43 AM  
Came in to make a Scotty joke, but there's not much point now...
2005-02-02 08:20:26 AM  
It's not fixed, just patched up a bit.
2005-02-02 08:21:07 AM  
They knew it would only take six days. They originally said that it would take six years so that when they actually fixed it in six days, they would look like subway-gods.
2005-02-02 08:21:08 AM  
Now THIS is a case of pulling a Scotty.

/late, yes, but I don't care
2005-02-02 08:22:36 AM  
Sipowicz threatened to tune them up, so they got it together
2005-02-02 08:30:39 AM  
they must have used non-union labor to fix the problem. almost always, what takes union labor five years takes non-union labor eight days.
2005-02-02 08:32:04 AM  
I came to make a Scotty comment, then decided it would be pointless, then decided I might as well bandwagon.

They got Scotty'ed - miracle workers.
2005-02-02 08:34:31 AM  
"According to myth, the (NY subway system) was (fixed) in six days. Now, watch out! Here comes Genesis! We'll do it for you in six minutes!"

Trying to see if I can be an uber-nerd and fit TWO Star Trek references into this thread.
2005-02-02 08:38:56 AM  
yea. i guess its the thing to do. i might try doing it at work.
2005-02-02 08:40:00 AM  
2005-02-02 08:22:36 AM RoscoePColtrane

Sipowicz threatened to tune them up, so they got it together

I wish I was Sipowicz...
2005-02-02 08:40:11 AM  
Whoa, did I say six weeks? I meant 6 seconds!
If you ever handled a penny, the governments got your DNA!
2005-02-02 08:40:30 AM  
Actually, The subway system is fixing itself, so all of our workers can go back home now.
2005-02-02 08:42:10 AM  
ROFL JudgeItoBox goodstuff
I didnt think of that one! and ST II was my fav trek movie.
2005-02-02 08:42:18 AM  

2005-02-02 08:42:45 AM  
And on the seventh day God rested.....
2005-02-02 08:43:53 AM  

Except for that whole short, dumpy, bald, saggy ass thing, right?
2005-02-02 08:45:47 AM  
Let's do the math.

We'll throw out the 5 year estimate and assume that meant a major overhaul and not a repair.

It took 8 days working around the clock to get it to 70% so to get it too 100% lets assume that's 11.5 days.

11.5 days around the clock is 270 hours.

They estimated it would take 9 months or roughly 270 days.

So we can conclude that under normal circumstances the crews would work about 1 hour a day.

Not so unbeliveable a story when you break it down is it?
2005-02-02 08:58:49 AM  
What do you need 6 hours for?
2005-02-02 09:01:17 AM  
I bet someone had to give up a kickback or two in order to pull this off. Who will think of the corupt, money laundering subway officials. I mean they actualy had to spend money on the subway system.
2005-02-02 09:04:34 AM  
And people wonder why there is vandalism...
2005-02-02 09:04:44 AM  
Damn, fire the people who said it would take 6 years, and promote the guys who actually fixed it! What a bunch of asshats!
2005-02-02 09:07:12 AM  
Well, companies always have top resources and normal, not-so-top resources. My company contracts the former out for $200 an hour, and the latter for $125 an hour.

When you first bid on a contract, you bid with your normal resources. First, because you have a lot more of them, and they have to keep busy. Second, because your top resources are a lot more valuable than their increased rates suggest, so you save them for emergencies.

Normal resources only know how to do the basics. In the case of the subway control system, a team of typical workers would give up, and rebuild the entire system from scratch. Even the non-damaged parts, as they wouldn't know how to work around incompatibilities.

Bring in a top resource to manage the project, and suddenly, it takes 1/10 the time. Not the team is working faster, but because the top resource knows what actually needs to be done and can direct the normal resources accordingly. Now you are fixing instead of replacing.

Bring in a team of top engineers to replace everyone, and it takes 1/100 of the time. Not only do they know how to fix instead of replace, they can focus on the important fixes, and put in temporary solutions.

In my experience, it really does work that way. A top worker is worth 10 of a typical worker, and a team of top workers is worth 100 of a team of typical workers.

But, companies don't always have sufficient work for the Scotties of the world, and when a company gets paid by the hour, slow workers aren't so bad :P
2005-02-02 09:14:20 AM  
[image from too old to be available]

is not amused.

2005-02-02 09:17:39 AM  
Blah, Earth was created in 6 days and New York couldn't beat that?
2005-02-02 09:18:58 AM  
My 2 cents:
What happened here is analogous to say, ENIAC burned down, and some manager said it would take five years to replace all those vacuum tubes. While that manager would be correct in that assessment, they would not be thinking of up-to-date alternatives. Like buying a refurbished Dell.
2005-02-02 09:29:25 AM  
"In communist Russia, the subway fixes you!"
2005-02-02 09:33:38 AM  
""Originally those service disruptions were predicted to last as long as five years, then it was bumped to nine months. Now, guess what: It'll end up being about eight days.""

Where does the six years, six months, six days come from?
2005-02-02 09:34:07 AM  
Admiral, if we go by the book, like Lieutenant Saavik, [days] could seem like [years].

//3rd Star Trek reference
2005-02-02 09:34:55 AM  
Don't really care about the subway, but that Big Brothers and Sisters ad on the side really kind of freaked me out.

Ach mine eyes, the goggles they do nothing!
2005-02-02 09:36:21 AM  
Aye Captain, I drinkin' as fast as I can!
2005-02-02 09:36:30 AM  
Hello? Do any of you live in NYC? 80% service in Brooklyn is you might as well walk across the bridge. A one fifth reduction of service is incredibly hosed. Probably add 30-45 minutes to the commute.
2005-02-02 09:37:56 AM  
They got it done because they're Ameri-CANS, not Ameri-CAN'TS.

/end jingo cliche
2005-02-02 09:39:51 AM  
Great now I have the Alphabet song stuck in my head.....
2005-02-02 09:42:43 AM  

you moran, the subway doesn't run on vacuum tubed ENIACs!

It's a hamster-wheel punchcard system. Except the 5. That's been fit with a flux capacitor.
2005-02-02 09:47:28 AM  
70-80-% there? On a line that's over 100% capacity? Crunchy!

It took 6 days to get a _temporary_ system going. To get the full replacement, yeah, that'll be 6 years.

In any case, 70-80% capacity isn't gonna cut it.

The real question is why the NYCTA still has these little fire things happening, and why they're so severe, given that Halon, etc has been around for years and really works well on this stuff.

I'm also going to guess the cause wasn't a homeless guy or arson, but water / salt seepage from the big snowstorm and salting effort the prior few days. I.e., it happened cause they had a leak that they hjadn't yet patched. Better to blame iton a homeless guy than fess up that it was your screwup, esp when everyone's already pissed about your service cuts, fare hikes, etc.

FWIW, the FDNY hasn't conclusively settled on arson as a cause, and they generally don't like to cover for other agency's screwups...
2005-02-02 09:52:38 AM  
One again, all it means is that the 2nd Ave line won't get built, again...
Had anyone else from NYC wondered what they were going to call that line?
All that's left is the H,I,K,O,P,T,U,X,Y,Z and 8
I think they would have gone with the "2" and change the "2" to the "8"...

Someone else in NYC thought about this, right?
2005-02-02 09:54:28 AM  

Whoa, did I say six weeks? I meant 6 seconds!
If you ever handled a penny, the governments got your DNA!

Nice reference.
/Why do you think they keep them in circulation.
2005-02-02 09:55:06 AM  
005-02-02 08:43:53 AM buntz


Except for that whole short, dumpy, bald, saggy ass thing, right?

Already got that... Well, not bald (knock wood).
2005-02-02 09:59:09 AM  
Well, the 2nd ave line is only going to have two tracks, so no express service. There will be two lines as I recall, with one downtown line going over the broadway lines or something way downtown. So, pick two letters.

Also, the "Z" is in service, from Jamiaca, to the myrtle ave line in brooklyn and goes to downtown.
2005-02-02 09:59:12 AM  
JohnHall: Just call it the P U T Z line
2005-02-02 09:59:35 AM  
Actually JohnHall, that gives me hope for the 2nd ave line. They keep saying it will take years to finish it...maybe they mean months?
2005-02-02 10:05:33 AM  
fark the MTA. I'm glad we have subways here in NYC, but the people who run the system are idiots.
2005-02-02 10:10:47 AM  
I peese on your so-called "sub"-way! HAH

/it reim's with geese
2005-02-02 10:23:45 AM  

Halon is a CFC and was banned from use in 2002.

Is preventing a few pounds of CFC release (the equivalent of a couple cars that run on r-12) worth disrupting subway service in NYC for a week? Apparently.
2005-02-02 10:23:50 AM  
"Mr. Scott, do you always multiply your estimations by a factor of four?"

"Aye, why d'you think they call me the miracle worker?"
2005-02-02 10:30:50 AM  
Good enough for government work.
2005-02-02 10:43:35 AM  
I just want to know how long it will take to get the smell of urine out of there
2005-02-02 10:52:04 AM  

Urine for a long wait on that one.
2005-02-02 10:54:10 AM  
Redsox312: One might as well ask how long to take the salt from the sea.
2005-02-02 10:55:50 AM  
We've done things that have never been done before to the signal system

Cue music...?
2005-02-02 11:00:52 AM  
The MTA is maddening. No accountability, multiple sources of revenue and it just keeps getting worse.

They're now having meetings to discuss renaming stations for corporate sponsors. Pretty soon it'll be 42nd St.... 34th St.... Viagra Station....

[image from too old to be available]
Today's MTA... what are you going to do, walk?
2005-02-02 11:23:04 AM  
Another reason New York sucks... go Sox!
2005-02-02 11:32:13 AM  
Fat Tony: [emerges from behind a tree] Did I hear the word "astronomical"? If so, my construction outfit "Valdezzo Brothers Olive Oil" is poised
to help.
Skinner: No, no, no, no. We're not building anything.
Fat Tony: How can you say that when construction has already begun?
[construction workers arrive and start massive construction]
Skinner: How did those trucks get here so fast?!
Fat Tony: In order to avoid certain legal complications, the trucks are always
rolling. Now for the groundbreaking ceremony
2005-02-02 11:36:31 AM  
White Sox?
Seriously... Your city has spent 30 years digging a tunnel with no results.
And in NYC we can take the subway at any time... Sometimes it catches on fire, but hey, small price for 330am drunkeness and a metrocard away from home... rather then 2am and a cab ride.

Even with Boston becoming the city of champions, I'd rather drink at until 4am at a bar do try and forget Doug Brien's inability to make a field goal
2005-02-02 11:38:02 AM  
They just went "by the book", and hours could turn into days.

2005-02-02 11:39:20 AM  
My guess would be that's how the MTA works, slow as S***. So if nobody biatched about it they would have taken 5 years. They got their asses handed to them on a silver platter by the public and the politicians. Bloomberg is up for re-election and knows all his oppenent needed to do what promise people city control over the MTA and they would have won. So the MTA merely fixed it in the time it would normally take, 6 days. It's the same excuse as the 2nd ave line they were planning on building, 15 years at 15 billion dollars, basically 3 times the time it took to build the entire subway at 15 times the cost. People didn't have a huge uproar, so they continued at that time schedule.
2005-02-02 11:42:40 AM  
JohnHall and everyone else asking about the Second Avenue Subway:

Linky linky

They're going to call it the Q and the T lines. I've heard estimates of it being available in 2012, but with recent funding nonsense, it's more like never.

/starts crying
2005-02-02 11:48:32 AM  
It doesn't matter when they say it will be done. It won't. Being that the local mafia has its hands in most of the construction contractors (including state and city contractors) that means that they'll just have guys sitting around the site, all day, apparently on a coffee break.

This will go on for years and years.

Anyone seen any road projects around the city? Notice that they never actually accomplish anything? They'll tear up the road, close lanes, then do nothing else. They'll have guys sitting there every day, walking around, looking at things, but they won't actually take it a step further than that.
2005-02-02 11:52:01 AM  
CampDog: 2012, just in time for the olympics. I love how "we" don't have money to pay for firefighters or schools, and we have to jack up MTA fares but can still consider dumping billions into olympic arenas.
2005-02-02 12:02:25 PM  
2005-02-02 12:32:54 PM  
Privatization means that routes that are out of the way will run fewer trains, customer service will be poorer than it is, and prices may actually rise. Why? Because MTA is a monopoly, and when a private company has a monopoly, they give crap product.

I was in NYC twice last year and the subways and buses are the lifeblood of the city. Down here in Florida there's 1/2 to 1 hour between buses. Takes about 3 times as long as driving. Just about everyone has a car because of this.

Compare that to: it takes about 30 minutes to get from 43rd and Lexington, where our Hostel was, to Spanish Harlem (over 100 blocks). Faster than driving. That's just badass.
2005-02-02 12:59:10 PM  
2005-02-02 12:32:54 PM Miskatonic University
Privatization means that routes that are out of the way will run fewer trains, customer service will be poorer than it is, and prices may actually rise. Why? Because MTA is a monopoly, and when a private company has a monopoly, they give crap product.

And you can't go back to competing train systems because the routes are so intertwined. The train companies would have to split the revenue, and instead of a monopoly, you have a trust.
2005-02-02 01:10:49 PM  
..and those of us in Seattle care about how long it takes to fix the NYC subway why?
2005-02-02 03:04:30 PM  
Take the A Hole Train
2005-02-02 03:05:54 PM  
and we care that people from Seattle are not interested in this story Why?
2005-02-02 03:41:23 PM  
I'm James Doohan and I find this topic highly offensive.
2005-02-02 04:22:27 PM  
OK, so they look like hysterical asshats.

Better to goof up this way than the other way around, as Boston officials would have done-- they'd have said it would take 6 days and then shut it down and barricaded it for 6 years while they milked taxpayers dry.
2005-02-02 04:23:53 PM  
Good stuff from SurfaceTension and harryjrf.
2005-02-02 04:26:58 PM  
...and b1t r0t, I guess.
2005-02-02 06:31:43 PM  
The train companies [if the system were split] would have to split the revenue

They'd also have to cross-honor each other's fares. The only mass transit systems in New York City that don't accept Metrocard are PATH, AirTran, the Roosevelt Island tram, and some private bus lines in the outer boroughs (and the PATH is in the process of replacing their turnstiles to fix that).

NYC commuters are used to universal access and won't accept a return to paying separate fares for IRT, BMT, and Independent subway lines.
2005-02-02 10:16:32 PM  
What the hell is scott's law/scotty's law? where is this from?
2005-02-02 10:40:56 PM  
The 2nd ave line won't be a numbered line because it won't be an 'IRT' line, i.e. it will use IND/BMT sized equipment (longer, wider cars). Numbers = ex IRT, letters = ex BMT/IND.
I, O and P won't get used as route letters for obvious reasons. That leaves V, W, X, K, H, T.

Be glad they don't use obscure symbols like some city out west does.

As much of a pain as the NYC subway is to figure out, ever try to make sense of Septa's R codes for their commuter lines?
2005-02-03 01:47:00 AM  
Actually, the Roosevelt Island tram does take metrocard, and so all the private bus lines in the other boroughs... actually, so does AirTRAIN... only the PATH doesn't.

They don't take unlimiteds, but they do take the pay per ride (or in airtrain's case $5 off a pay-per ride).
2005-02-03 01:50:23 AM  
+5 insightful SomeAmerican
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