Cuomo reportedly asked Elon Musk's Tesla to help fix NYC's subway system

The governor wants Tesla to help modernize the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's signal system, says a report.

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Marrian Zhou is a Beijing-born Californian living in New York City. She joined CNET as a staff reporter upon graduation from Columbia Journalism School. When Marrian is not reporting, she is probably binge watching, playing saxophone or eating hot pot.
Marrian Zhou
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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks at a microphone and points into the crowd during an outdoor union rally in September. On Wednesday, Cuomo enacted net neutrality rules for the state of New York with an executive order.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reportedly asked Tesla to help modernize the MTA's signal system.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Tesla may weigh in on how to fix the New York City subway.

On Friday, according to NBC News, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he'd asked Elon Musk's electric-car company to help brainstorm ways to improve the subway's signal system, which is one of the main issues being grappled with by subway overseer the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The conversation reportedly came up when Cuomo talked during a conference call about his new plan to avoid a shutdown of the L train, which runs between Manhattan and Brooklyn.

"I called Tesla because it's outside the box," Cuomo reportedly said. "I said, how can this be that we can't have technology that can monitor the proximity of subway cars all on the same track to move them faster together.

"I don't believe [that in] a time where they're talking about flying cars and you can get into a car and drive 100 miles on the LIE and never touch the steering wheel, that there's not a better technology that can regulate the trains!" Cuomo reportedly told reporters.

Neither Tesla nor Cuomo's office immediately responded to a request for comment.

Musk has a definite interest in public transportation. In July 2017, he tweeted that his tunnel-building firm, The Boring Company, had gotten a "verbal" thumbs-up from the Trump administration to build a hyperloop from New York to Washington, DC, which would, according to Musk, shorten the train ride to less than half an hour. The Boring Company also has a contract to build a loop to O'Hare International Airport in Chicago.

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