Mr. Steve Feil, NYCT Senior Vice-President – Department of Subways, recently appeared before the Council to describe some of the changes that he is implementing to make the system more efficient. He noted that the NYCT system is incredibly complex and often runs in spite of itself. Further, some signals are over 75 years old, yet they are still operational.
The Department of Subways has 28,600 employees and in light of possible service cuts as a result of budget problems, he indicated that he wants to reorganize and refocus on service quality in making reductions, rather than blindly cutting positions and costs. While training doesn’t seem to be significant in the short term it has sizable impacts for the long term. It is important to have constant training for employees who are assigned to the R160 cars because these cars contain so much technology that they are in effect big computers. There are always changes to the programming of the R160 systems and new information about the cars, so those who work with them must be kept current.
Mr. Feil explained how the General Manager program is being implemented in the subways. The pilot program of General Managers assigned to the L line and the 7 line has proven to be successful. The concept is now being extended to Lexington Avenue lines (4,5,6), to be known as the IRT East, and the 7th Avenue lines (1,2,3), to be known as IRT West. He said there will be shared services components of this new system, such as track and power, but line managers will be responsible for the performance of their lines.