Good morning, I am Lisa Daglian, Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA, PCAC. It is a real pleasure to be here today to testify at the first in-person New York City Transit Committee Meeting in more than a year.
What a year it’s been! We’re heartened that riders are getting back on board and that new post-pandemic records are being regularly set. Hopefully, real numbers leave McKinsey projections in the dust and transit rebounds faster than anticipated. That would benefit our entire region and the larger economy.
However, as riders return, they have been faced with delays due to crew shortages and major incidents. We’d hoped the types of incidents resulting from signal and track-related issues would be behind us with the extensive work that’s been done through the Subway Action Plan and Fast Forward – and the installation of CBTC – but clearly, additional steps need to be taken to address these significant concerns, and quickly.
As far as crew shortages, it is essential that you do whatever is safely possible to staff up as quickly as possible to bring people on and up through the ranks to keep service on time and on track. We understand the dire financial situation the MTA faced and perhaps the shortfalls were unavoidable, we just don’t know. But now is the time to look at every possible tool – whether within the civil service system, through process review, IT advancements, operational upgrades, whatever it takes – to get enough of these essential employees onto subways and buses so that riders will get back on subways and buses and know they will get where they need to go safely and reliably – and on time.
Sarah, this may be your last time before this Committee as Interim Head of New York City Transit. Thank you for your work leading the system through the darkest days of the pandemic. The hardships and losses felt by the Transit family were felt by all of us, and we appreciate all the work that everyone has done and continues to do to keep the city moving. Even as we expect to see you at this table again in another capacity, on behalf of riders, thank you for your service.
Download Here: NYCTRC Transit Committee Testimony 7.19.2021