MTA shakes up subway management across the system
By Heather Haddon
The MTA is completing its overhaul of subway management this week, with managers now assigned to oversee every line in the system.
The 36 managers act as the CEOs of their lines, coordinating all departments, from platform cleaning to track maintenance. Six of the general managers oversee more than one line.
Officials must analyze train performance and respond to customer complaints, according to the job description. The managers take training before starting, and are to ride trains and visit stations along their lines.
Transit estimated it would save $7 million by cutting managerial jobs. The program is the first major managerial reorganization of the subways in more than 50 years.
Its a positive step to have an actual person to go to with complaints, said Gene Russianoff, of the Straphangers Campaign.Officials predict the massive reorganization will also improve the cleanliness and timeliness of individual lines.
Advocates generally support the overhaul, but said performance will depend on the skill of individual managers and their ability to grasp a lot of terrain quickly. The jury is still out, said William Henderson, executive director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA.
The line general managers debuted on the No. 7 and L in 2007 before moving to all the numbered lines last fall. This week the program is being extended to all the lettered lines.
Car cleanliness and overall performance improved on the No. 7 and the L lines after the program debuted. But those lines benefited from additional cleaners, which the expanded program wont deliver.