ast week, a Citi Bike tossed onto the tracks, several basketballs and a trash bag caught on braking equipment spurred multiple subway delays.

But it isn’t just unpredictable junk clogging up the rails, it’s aging infrastructure that fails and stalls trains, or people who have fallen onto tracks or are trespassing in the system that turns precious commuting minutes into lost time.

Modern signal upgrades can enable the MTA not just to run more reliable subway service but also improve how transit crews maintain and monitor the system. To that end, the MTA is piloting emerging technologies from four companies selected by the Transit Tech Lab—a public-private partnership between the MTA and the Partnership for New York City—through its Signaling Challenge initiative.

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