New York MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota unveiled the NYC Subway Action Plan on Tuesday, the MTA’s new plan to stabilize and improve the system and lay the foundation for modernizing the New York City Subway.

The announcement comes fewer than 30 days after Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared New York City’s subways to be in a state of emergency and directed Chairman Lhota to provide a plan for immediate action that puts customers first. The plan addresses a New York City subway system in need of solutions following years of stress by factors including: a record volume of customers, aging infrastructure, and lack of capital expenditure necessary to grow the system. The initial phase of the plan will attack the key drivers of 79% of the major incidents causing delays on the system, including signals, track, and power.

“New Yorkers are rightfully frustrated with the current state of the subways, and their demands for better service have been heard,” said Lhota. “We are committed to earning back their trust by implementing solutions that will enhance the customer experience in the short- and long-term. The NYC Subway Action Plan marks the beginning of a new chapter for the MTA and provides an opportunity to stabilize and improve the system and lay the foundation for modernization. As we work to build a better system, customers can expect to see progress in ways both big and small.”

Phase One of the NYC Subway Action Plan will start immediately and be in place and deliver improvements within one year. It will focus on a better customer experience through increased reliability and capacity, enhanced stations and safety, and clear and accurate communication.

The five components of Phase One will attack the key drivers of 79% of the major incidents causing delays in the system including signals, track, and power issues — which alone cause 54% of major incidents — as well as water-related damage and corrosion, track fires, car breakdowns, police activity, and station issues. Phase One strategically targets additional personnel and equipment to focus on the critical components of the system that have the highest incidence of failure.

The five components of Phase One are:

  • Signal and Track Maintenance
  • Car Reliability
  • System Safety & Cleanliness
  • Customer Communications
  • Critical Management Group

Phase Two of the NYC Subway Action Plan will be outlined in the coming weeks and will focus on modernizing the system including:

  • Addressing long-term, system-wide improvements, including better subway cars, the adoption of a new signal system, and modern communications technology to facilitate new signaling and enable customer benefits.
  • Incorporating the most promising innovations from the MTA Genius Transit Challenge.

In addition, the MTA will be launching a public dashboard to measure categories important to customers, including reliability, safety, and customer experience.


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