NYC Transit Selects Icom for Fleet-wide Communications
(Bellevue, WA) As part of their goal to build a “state-of-the-art communication-based signal
system to replace the mechanical signals dating to 1904,” New York City (NYC) Transit is now
using a custom system of more than 8,800 Icom F70 radios to manage fleet-wide
communications across their train, subway and bus system.
With 47,000 employees working a network that covers more than 5,000 square miles and 734
train stations, efficient communication is the lifeblood of a system that 8 million passengers in all
five New York boroughs and surrounding counties use each day.
The RFP went out last year and the competition was tough, but the requirements were even
“NYC Transit needed nearly 9,000 radios, each customized for the operator using it,” reports
Chris Lougee, Vice President of Icom America Inc. “Beyond that, they needed things like
custom firmware, custom circuit boards that could be swapped, a database allowing them to
track every radio and even engraving on the hardware itself. All of which they wanted to be able
to maintain themselves and train people on, which meant the winning bid would also need to
create training manuals and teach NYC Transit’s own technicians how to physically maintain the
In December 2010, Icom delivered 8,825 of these highly customized packages to NYC Transit.
Each package contained: an engraved radio, belt clip, antenna, charger, extra extended life
battery, noise cancelling speaker microphone, adjustable shoulder strap, and user manual. All
the equipment is intrinsically safe, each serial number is part of a customized database enabling
them to track each radio and all of them include safety features like man-down function. And, as
requested, Icom will be training NYC Transit’s technicians to repair the radios, as well as
providing spare parts and 300 printed circuit boards for swapping.
“This is what we do, it’s what makes Icom special,” explains Lougee. “We are a big enough
company that we can deliver top-of-the-line equipment at a competitive price. But we’re also
nimble enough that we can customize any aspect of an order to meet a client’s unique needs.
Further, because so many of our operations are domestic, we have relationships with vendors
who can do everything from engraving to custom leather carrying cases. That’s what makes us
Indeed, as big as this project was, it is right in line with what Icom does for clients all over the
world, in both the public and the private sector. Icom put together similar packages for the
public and private sector alike: The US Army and Marine Corps, the Afghan National Police,
Iraqi Minister of the Interior, the US National Park Service and JC Penney, among others.
The NYC Transit project, as many of Icom’s projects have been lately, is geared towards
migrating existing communication systems to meet or exceed the FCCs narrowband regulations
that go into effect in 2013. These new radios not only meet the narrowband standards, but are
interoperable with existing legacy systems and upgradable to P25 digital in the future. This
makes it possible for organizations of all sizes to upgrade at a pace that is feasible while
building a system that will last well into the digital future.
Interoperability with an eye to the future is a hallmark of Icom equipment, which is also used by
Amtrak and other AAR carriers like BNSF, CSX and other major transport companies.
“This is a great time for all of us,” says Lougee. “The switch to greater efficiency is an obvious
win for operators, and because of our relationships and attention to detail, we’ve seen clients
create systems that seemed out of their reach just a short time ago. It’s very rewarding for us to
be able to do this.”
For more information about Icom America, visit www.icomamerica.com.