photo © Elvert Barnes via Creative Commons
The MTA has turned to green energy to help make subway rides a little more pleasant for riders. A system of solar panels has been installed at the Smith-Ninth Street F and G train stop near the elevated Culver Viaduct. The solar energy harnessed from the panels will fuel track lubricators, creating a smoother ride.
We’ve all experienced herky-jerky subway rides, with the occasional embarrassing stumble into the rider next to us. With enhanced track lubricators, those of us unlucky enough to not get a seat will experience a less bumpy ride. The solar panels will provide renewable energy to the track lubricators from the Carroll Street Station to Fourth Avenue. Aside from cutting electricity bills, the panels will help protect the tracks in the area from excess wear and tear. The Smith-Ninth Street station has been under renovation for some time, with the work not expected to be complete until this fall, six months later than originally planned.
Despite the consistent conflict between the MTA’s construction schedule and riders’ needs, the solar panels are a step forward, showing that the organization is thinking of its future. The solar panels will help the system reduce its carbon footprint, cutting back on fossil fuels, and possibly setting a standard for the future.
The Culver Viaduct system is just one area where the MTA looked to the sun for power; a large solar PV array covers the Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue stop. Should the MTA find the new solar panels profitable, they could easily justify a transition to renewable energy in the future.
Via Brooklyn Paper