Remember the “weird” fire near Ravenswood, suspected of shutting down the subways? Not guilty!

Remember the “weird” fire near Ravenswood, suspected of shutting down the subways? Not guilty!

Nearly two weeks ago, reports of a “weird” fire at or near the Ravenswood power station tumbled across Twitter. Shortly after, a lot of subways went down, prompting evacuations, and the MTA was quick to blame Con Ed. But they were wrong.

By David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

No, the “weird” fire did not shut down the subways. An MTA gaff did.

As we reported at that time, new Governor Kathy Hochul immediately ordered an independent investigation, brushing aside the finger pointing in favor of finding the facts. It was an abrupt departure from the abrasive style favored by Andrew Cuomo.

And now, the investigations are complete, and the cause of the subway shutdowns was clearly within the MTA, according to a report in The Gothamist.

“While the source of the power outage was identified as one person that pushed a power button,” The Gothamist reported, “the reason it took 84 minutes to restore the power was more of a systematic failure.”

That’s right. In fact, a single person flipping the wrong switch took down multiple lines. Fixed within an hour, the error still caused a several hour shutdown because passengers on a couple of trains self-evacuated. The MTA swept the tunnels, making sure they were clear before resuming service.

Among the reports findings was a discovery that the switch lacked a protective plastic cover. This made the whole mess easier, but poorly set up policies added trouble.

No systemic method for pinpointing weak links exists. The absence of redundancy, in fact, left open a single point of failure. That’s a cardinal sin among engineers.

After reading the report showing that the MTA, not some weird fire at Ravenswood, was at fault, Hochul issued a statement:

“New Yorkers deserve absolute confidence in a fully functioning subway system, and it is our job to restore that confidence. I am also directing the MTA to review all operation control centers across the entire system to identify any further potential weaknesses and provide assurance in preventing a situation like this from happening ever again. We will deliver the modernization, enhancements, and reliability that riders deserve.”

Amen to that and apologies to Con Ed.

More from the Roosevelt Island Daily

  • Julie Menin takes the helm of the New York City Council’s Committee on Small Business
    The Roosevelt Island Daily News “I ran for City Council on a platform to help support our struggling small businesses with a detailed plan of action focused on reducing onerous fines, implementing legacy small business legislation, reducing the commercial rent tax and creating a one stop portal for licenses and permits,” Menin said in a
  • Nobody beats the Wiz, but fortunately Roosevelt Island did…
    Nobody beats the Wiz? What’s that got to do with Roosevelt Island? Nothing now, and that’s the good news. Here’s why… by David Stone The Roosevelt Island Daily News Carhartt Men’s Knit Cuffed Beanie Here’s how it looked in 2000 – when RIOC agreed to let Nobody beats the Wiz founder Stephen S. Jemal build
  • Robert K. Hughes, After 35 Years, Ends His Service on Roosevelt Island
    Rob Hughes started work on Roosevelt Island in 1982 as a hospital care investigator at Goldwater Hospital, now the site of Cornell Tech. He leaves as Coler-Goldwater’s executive director after nearly 13 years in the post. by David Stone The Roosevelt Island Daily News Hughes service on Roosevelt Island was interrupted in 1997 when he
  • Slow Job Growth Reflects Omicron’s Economic Toll
    Greg David, THE CITY This article was originally publishedon Jan 20 at 7:55pm ESTby THE CITY/Sign up here to get the latest stories from THE CITY delivered to you each morning. Even with the city filled with tourists and office workers coming back to their desks, New York gained only 26,000 jobs in December, a pace that would put
  • Who killed the Tram Plaza Reindeer?
    Property destruction comes in all flavors, but some land in a whole new category of stupid – like what happened to the Tram Plaza Reindeer… by David Stone The Roosevelt Island Daily News More from the Roosevelt Island Daily davidstone1313 See author's posts
Share

Written by:

812 Posts

View All Posts
Follow Me :

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: