NYCTRC Testimony – July 22, 2019 – Creating Silos Dividing up NYCT


Full testimony:07.22.19 Transit Committee Reorganization Plan Dividing NYCT

Good Morning, I am Ellyn Shannon, I am speaking on behalf of the New York City Transit Riders Council.  We would like to express our appreciation on behalf of the riders we represent for the value and significant momentum the Subway Action Plan, Fast Forward and the Save Safe Seconds programs have had on the system’s performance.

We thank Governor Cuomo for putting the strongest global transit leader in place at NYC Transit.  Andy Byford has energized his staff, harnessed the confidence of riders and beyond, and he and his team have created a vision for the future in the Fast Forward program, the vision that riders want.

  • Weekday train delays are down 46% from a year ago.
  • Line run times are shortening!

But, we also want to express serious concern that several elements of the Reorganization Plan will jeopardize that momentum, and the system’s resiliency by splitting it apart and having it serve two bosses. During last Friday’s outage Andy, and HIS team quickly worked to troubleshoot, and insure the safety of the riders. His team methodically, identified the nature of the problem and returned service as soon as possible.

Had the system been split the way the reorg proposes – separating Operations Planning. Engineering, capital program management and buses from Transit, we question if service would have returned to normal when it did.  Removing these departments to work not just for a different leader, but to an entirely different reporting structure that ends at the board, who do not have subject matter expertise regarding our complex, nearly 115-year-old system.

We are deeply concerned that this change will have a direct and negative impact on the riders.  Friday’s outage, as difficult as it was, could have been much worse, if it was siloed, instead of a one System Team.  Please keep this in mind when you vote on Wednesday.  Thank you