Statement of the New York City Transit Riders Council
On the NYC Transit Corporate Plan before the MTA Board
MTA Headquarters, 2 Broadway, New York, NY
May 23, 2018
I’m Bill Henderson, Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA. Along with our fellow advocates and members of the board, we’ve been eagerly anticipating the release of the new corporate plan for New York City Transit. We’ll be listening intently when President Byford presents the work that he has done, but we are confident that the plan will make substantial moves in the right direction. We base this confidence on the style of management that we’ve seen in Mr. Byford’s first four months leading NYC Transit. There will certainly be an intense discussion on the elements of the plan, and we will do all that we can to marshal the necessary resources and support actions that are in the long term interests of our riders.
I’d like to address the elements that must underlie this corporate plan and must be kept in mind as the plan is implemented. The first of these is engagement between the riders and NYC Transit management. Not only does engagement help discern what riders are thinking and feeling, a robust two way exchange can often be the difference between riders perceiving that the plan is something done to them and their belief that the plan is being done with them. A second related element is communication. Riders must not only be engaged as plans are being developed, they must have access to information about both how and how well the plan is being implemented and where changes in the path forward or in direction must be made.
Accountability is another element that must support the overall corporate plan. We have been pleased to hear President Byford speak of his accountability for the performance of his agency, as well the accountability of individuals and groups of individuals for keeping the system running efficiently. We believe in giving people the resources necessary to do the job and holding them to the expectation that, barring extraordinary circumstances, the job will be done and done well.
Finally, we believe that the plan must be developed, maintained, and implemented within an atmosphere of integrity. Without trust that the information presented accurately represents conditions that in fact exist, the other elements that we have discussed are meaningless. Engagement and communication must be conducted using information that honestly represents the state of the system and the environment in which it operates. Accountability is useless if it is not based on real performance measures and realistic performance standards.
We applaud President Byford for taking this bold step to lay out a vision of what the NYC Transit system should be. We will do all we can to help make that vision a reality that benefits our riders.
Download here: 052318 NYCTRC NYCT Corporate Plan