Statement of the New York City Transit Riders Council
Before the MTA Board New York City Transit Committee
November 16, 2009
In a few minutes you will be discussing the Monthly Operations Report for NYC Transit. The subway operations report in the agenda book today differs from that presented several years ago. One of the significant changes that have been made is that the report now tracks absolute on time performance, or on time performance relative to the normal schedule for a line. Absolute on-time performance measures service as compared with the rider’s expectations based on the normal schedule of a line, and we believe that measurement is an important element of assessing subway performance.
In his two and one half years leading NYC Transit, President Howard Roberts has made a point of focusing on the rider’s experience in the Transit system, and we would like to take a few minutes to express our appreciation for the rider oriented initiatives that have been implemented under his leadership. New bus services, including S89 service between Staten Island and Bayonne, New Jersey and the Select Bus Service currently operating in the Bronx and planned for the City’s other boroughs, provide riders with new connections and meet needs for more rapid service. Instead of waiting until funding is available to completely rehabilitate stations, Transit will be repairing or replacing the worst elements of our subway stations through Station Renewal and Component Campaign strategies. The longstanding promise of restored overnight service at the uptown end of the Lenox Avenue line has been fulfilled. Riders have a commitment to relieve delays from station flooding. There have also been efforts to provide better service with existing resources, such as the 4 line express service that is operating in morning rush periods.
We now have Subway Line General Managers, so riders know that there is an individual who is accountable for the quality of their experience on each of the system’s 23 lines. As part of the process of building accountability, there are rider report cards. We’ve had a number of discussions with Transit about this tool, but the important thing is that Transit is seriously asking riders about their experiences with the service that they use. The flow of information to riders has also been improved, with enhanced service alert, elevator and escalator status, and lost and found information and Transit’s trip planner. On the L line we see not only the long planned PA/CIS system, but also a pilot test of video screens that display the real time location of trains on the line.
Every organization has its internal goals, but under President Roberts we heard much more about the importance of NYC Transit meeting the expectations of its riders. The NYCTRC thanks you for this new direction and initiatives advanced on your watch that will benefit riders far into the future and wishes you all the best going forward.