Testimony of the New York City Transit Riders Council
to the Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority
on the Proposed Second Avenue Subway Phase 1 Service Plan
Board Room, MTA Headquarters, 2 Broadway, New York, NY
April 7, 2016
Good evening. I am Trudy L. Mason, the Manhattan Borough President’s representative on the New York City Transit Riders Council (NYCTRC). The NYCTRC is one of three New York State legislatively mandated councils that make up the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA (PCAC), and I am speaking on the NYCTRC’s behalf.
I reside on the East Side of Manhattan and am a regular user of subway and bus lines in this area and throughout the City. The changes that are being discussed this evening are critically necessary to relieve pressure on transit infrastructure in my home area that is operating dangerously over its capacity. Overcrowding of the Lexington Line in this part of Manhattan has become a way of life, and when there are service disruptions, riders face intolerable conditions with limited transportation options. We welcome the opening of the first phase of the Second Avenue Subway as an initial step to give this area the transit infrastructure that it needs.
There are several questions about the service changes considered in this hearing that should be discussed publicly by New York City Transit officials. The frequency of service is one area that requires fuller explication. The NYCTRC recognizes that New York City Transit operates subways in accord with policy headways that establish a minimum service frequency and periodically adjust service levels based on ridership. The changes in the service plan will clearly lead to schedule adjustments, but we have not heard a definitive discussion by NYC Transit concerning the future frequency of Q service and whether it will differ from headways under current schedules. Since the proposed plan also includes changes on other services on the Broadway line, NYC Transit should also publicly discuss any changes to headways of other Broadway Line trains, as well as any potential service impacts on other lines as a result of the reconfiguration of service..
The new service resulting from the initial opening of the Second Avenue Subway is a significant addition to the subway system and only the beginning of an expansion that will provide much needed capacity and options for riders. We are pleased to see the additional service that will result from this project and believe that riders should hear more about these benefits.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide the NYCTRC’s comments on these changes.