Andy Byford, MTA’s new head of subways and buses talks first new changes to improve service
Andy Byford has promised to shake things up following his first day as the MTA's new transit President. The UK native, who reportedly never owned a car in his life, has highlighted his key plans for improving the subway and buses dwindling service.
The MTA, which has reported a 200 percent increase in delays in 2017, has experienced a decline in ridership in the subway system. Bus ridership has declined much harder with about 100 million less commuters over the last eight years. Any New Yorker can tell you, their commute is getting worse.
Andy's first plan is to improve the existing system. “The short term is getting the existing system to work reliably,” Byford said. “Doors typically are the Achilles’ heel of trains; particularly aging trains. You’ve got to maintain your doors, and you’ve got to maintain your signal equipment.”
By improving the current system, more trains can run more efficiently, giving riders a better commute. Gov. Cuomo had estimated that such a project, would cost tens of billions of dollars and take 50 years to complete.
However, Byford's strategy for quickening the process is sacrificing New York's 24/7 public transportation schedule. “You cannot upgrade signals effectively … unless you give crews access to the track and that does mean that we will have to find a way of doing that,” Byford said. “I do appreciate that this is a 24/7 city. New Yorkers rightfully hold the (24-hour) subway dear to their hearts. But equally, they expect me to provide more reliable service. If we’re to do that, there is no gain without some pain.”
How is your commute experience currently? How do you feel about sacrificing 24/7 subway service in order to speed up transit repairs? Comment below your suggestions!