At the October meeting of the NYCTRC, Carmen Bianco, Sr. Vice President, Subways, brought the Council up to date on a variety of issues. He was joined by Herbie Lambert, Chief Transportation Officer for Subways.
Mr. Bianco’s first topic was Terminal On-Time Performance (OTP)* versus Wait Assessement,** measure of service regularity. He noted that Terminal OTP is more meaningful to commuter railroads, while wait assessment means more to subway riders. Most riders don’t care when the train gets to its final destination; what’s more important is how long they have to wait for the next train. He cautioned, however, that safety is still the priority and that maintenance would not be sacrificed for regularity.
Next, Mr. Bianco addressed the FasTrack program, whereby certain sections of lines are shut down in the overnight hours to perform needed cleaning and repair of tracks and tunnels. This method is opposed to “flagging” whereby the line is kept in service implementing slow speeds near workers. Not only is this method more dangerous for workers, it is more expensive due to additional set up and take down time. He indicated that to date the FasTrack program has saved the agency $11 million over flagging.
On a more specific note, Mr. Bianco talked about the removal of trash cans in certain subway stations. He noted that many systems have done this. NYCT removes 30 tons of refuse per day. Nine trains at night and nine trucks during the day are assigned to remove bags of trash. The goal in removing trash cans is to get riders to take trash with them and decrease attraction for vermin. In the three months of the pilot program trash on the tracks has decreased and the program is being expanded. Mr. Bianco concluded by mentioning the two vacuum trains owned by NYCT. These trains pick up trash on the tracks between stations. The trash in stations is picked up by hand.
* On-time Performance is calculated as the percentage of scheduled trains, based on the schedule in effect, arriving at terminal locations within five minutes of their scheduled arrival time during a 24-hour weekday period. An on-time train is defined as a train arriving at its destination terminal on-time, early, or no more than five minutes late, and has not skipped any planned station stops. Terminal OTP is designated as “Absolute” and “Controllable”, the latter measure excluding trains that are late due to incidents beyond NYCT’s control.
**A subway Weekday Wait Assessment is measured weekdays 6:00 AM–midnight and defined as the percent of actual intervals between trains that are no more than the scheduled interval plus 25%.