Sen. Chuck Schumer criticism comes days after President Trump signed an order that restricts domestic telecommunications firms from installing foreign-manufactured equipment, including some train signaling technology that might be included in new railcars.
(TNS) — Sen. Chuck Schumer wants the MTA to cut ties with the planet’s largest train car producer because it’s owned by the Chinese government.
Schumer’s demand comes days after President Trump signed an order that restricts domestic telecommunications firms from installing foreign-manufactured equipment, including some train signaling technology that might be included in new railcars.
China Railway Rolling Stock Corp. (CRRC) was a winner of the “Genius Transit Challenge,” a contest launched by Gov. Cuomo and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in 2017.
The company was awarded a $330,000 prize last year for their proposal to design a lightweight, wifi-equipped subway car for the MTA, and committed to invest $50 million of its own money into the project.
Given the less-than-friendly state of affairs between the U.S. and China, Schumer doesn’t think CRRC should be designing equipment used by millions of New Yorkers every day.
"We just cannot be too careful here, especially now, amidst these tensions,” said Schumer. “The MTA and other big-city transit systems should not have to foot the burden of going it alone to assess whether or not CRRC’s low bids for work, and current contracts across the country, are part of some larger strategy.”
MTA spokesman Max Young said the agency has no CRRC cars in service, and has no open contracts with the company. He added that the Genius Transit Challenge was meant to bring new ideas to the MTA’s attention, and doesn’t give companies a leg up on future work with the agency.
Following the contest, CRRC Vice President Jia Bo said the company was excited to work with the MTA. "We look forward to introducing CRRC’s design philosophy focused on accelerating the pace subway vehicles are procured and deployed to the New York transit system,” Bo said in a statement.
Young touted the agency’s “robust, multilayered and vigorously enforced safety and security standards.”
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