Management & Operations

Transit watchdog group criticizes N.Y. MTA

Posted on August 18, 2005

A committee of transportation advocates in New York said this week that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and its transit divisions must improve their emergency communications plans to inform passengers and employees and keep them safe during a terrorist attack or emergency.

In its report, "Ladies and Gentlemen: This Is Not A Drill," the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA criticizes New York City Transit (NYCT) and Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) for inadequate emergency plans, while praising the Metro-North Railroad for its communications and employee training.

According to the New York Times, the report also claims that NYCT and LIRR have not clearly outlined employee responsibilities in the event of a crisis and have not set up emergency task forces to develop strategies and review and update existing plans.

In a written statement, MTA Executive Director Katherine Lapp disputed some of the report’s claims, but conceded that the agency will perform “a thorough review of our emergency operating procedures in our communications with the public to ensure uniformity in our established protocols.”

The advisory committee is a state-sponsored body, comprising three commuter councils that represent riders of the MTA’s two commuter railroads and the city's subways and buses.

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