Video Wall-Filled Bus “War Room” Sitting Unused In New York: Report

October 18, 2021 by Dave Haynes

Photo: NY Post

The public transport authority for the city of New York opened a flashy, video wall-driven command and control center in Brooklyn a a couple of years ago, but those big screens have few or no viewers because the bus dispatch “war room” is already falling apart, the New York Post is reporting.

Reports the Post:

The MTA spent $86 million on a state-of-the-art, NASA-like “bus command center” that has gone unused for more than two years because it’s already falling apart, The Post has learned. 

Transit officials have said the eastern Brooklyn command center, which replaces a smaller facility across the street, will serve as a “war room” for bus dispatchers. But the building has sat empty since former Transit President Andy Byford and other bigwigs held a celebratory ribbon-cutting there in June 2019.

With the building at Jamaica Avenue and Fanchon Place having suffered leaks, faulty heating and bug-infested bathrooms, dispatchers who are supposed to work there have refused to relocate from across the street, sources said.

Adds the Post:

The MTA has not communicated plans for when the building will reopen.

“It’s falling apart. It had roof leaks. The place is empty and the employees refuse to work there,” said one bus worker. “They have to put in electric heaters just to keep warm.”

The building has sat empty since a celebratory ribbon-cutting there in June 2019.

MTA officials have promised to hire additional dispatchers to fill the new command center’s massive theater, but photos obtained by The Post show the so-called “war room” empty — with the computers running and cable playing on the TVs.

“They’re keeping the heating and ventilation system running. They can’t let it freeze up. They’re paying thousands of dollars in cable bills with TVs on and no one’s there,” said the source. “It’s a brand new building and it looks horrible.”

“That place has been a mess since it started,” said another worker, who shared photos of dropped ceilings, an infested bathroom and cracked glass in a section of the building meant to protect workers from chemical attacks.

The command center was initially supposed to cost $55 million and wrap up in 2017. Completion was ultimately kicked to June 2019 due to issues with the building’s drainage and sprinkler systems.

The only good news here is the video wall system seems fine!

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