PCAC has just released its review of the MTA’s performance for 2010. This is the fourth annual assessment that PCAC has produced evaluating the MTA progress at Headquarters, Capital Construction and the three operating agencies.
Last year the MTA was fortunate to have sustained and capable leadership at Headquarters and the Agencies. However, the organization faced extreme financial pressures that required not only a fare hike but painful service cuts. Chairman and CEO Jay Walder has committed the MTA to “Making Every Dollar Count” and finding efficiencies within the system that will enable the MTA to overcome deficits without additional outside funding. The PCAC will be looking for performance measures and more accountability to accompany this slogan.
Despite the gloomy financial environment, the MTA and the Agencies did make strides in a number of areas: an improved website; technology applications to operations and communication; streamlining the MTA Board Committee structure; progress in the long stalled installation of CCTV cameras in subways and countdown clocks; much greater transparency as a result of the capital program and performance dashboards on the website; and continued support of transit-oriented development projects. The year saw the Mega projects and other capital projects move forward, but the Capital Program could be in serious jeopardy if funding is not provided to complete the current five-year plan. At the end of 2010, the MTA appeared to be walking a very fine line, taking careful steps in order to keep moving ahead while avoiding a financial crisis.
PCAC has added a new feature this year at the end of the report, a “Watch List for 2011”. These points highlight the key areas that we believe the MTA needs to address in order to improve the rider experience.