MTA Countdown Clocks Could Be Delayed Until 2011

The MTA's new chairman, Jay Walder, has made subway and bus countdown clocks a top priority. But after 100 days in the job, he's already had to scale back his expectations about when they'll arrive.

Walder says the countdown clocks will make the transit system friendlier by letting straphangers know just how long they have to wait for the next bus or subway. Now the question is, when will the countdown clocks get here? In November, transit officials said the digital signs would go up in 132 subway stations -- that is, in almost all stations on the numbered subway lines -- by the end of 2010. In a report released this past week, Walder quietly pushed the arrival back to sometime in 2011. Just 75 clocks will be ready by the end of this year. The clocks are being produced under a contract that predated Walder's appointment as MTA chairman. Spokesman Paul Fleuranges says the contractor is having technical problems designing the software.