Ask the MTA | Penn Station vendors, job opportunities and traveling with pets

Penn Station concourse
The Penn Station concourse in September 2022.
Marc A. Hermann / MTA

amNewYork Metro, in conjunction with the MTA, present “Ask the MTA,” a column where MTA officials answer your questions about transit service in New York City. If you have a question for the MTA about subways, buses, commuter rails and more, email askthemta[@]amny.com.

Q: I’ve noticed more and more vendors are opening along the new Penn Station corridor. What other establishments will be arriving this year? Nick M., Tribeca

A: Dos Toros Taqueria is opening an outpost at Penn Station this week, joining Rose Pizza, Insomnia Cookies, and Gotham News, which started welcoming customers in the last month. Pret A Manger, Shake Shack, and Le Café should also be opening in January, with Chick-fil-A, Chopt, and Raising Canes following sometime this spring. Locations for Duane Reade, Starbucks and H&H Bagels are under construction. All tenants are subtenants to Vornado Realty Trust, our master lessee at Penn who manages retail on the concourse. – Chantay D’Ambrosio, Director of Tenant Management, MTA Real Estate Department

Q: Is the MTA planning any job recruitment fairs this year? Lynette E., Port Richmond

A: We are always looking for dynamic individuals with a passion for public service to join the MTA team. Right now, we’re especially focused on hiring bus operators. Interested applicants must take an exam to qualify. Details are available on our website.

We also have two in-person recruitment fairs scheduled for the first part of this year. On Friday, February 9, there will be a Subways Career Event highlighting all kinds of professional and technical roles like Analyst, Engineer, and more at the New York City Transit Learning Center at P.S. 248 in Brooklyn. And on Wednesday, March 13, our team is holding a Women in Transportation Career Event at the New York Public Library.

If you’re not able to make it, all job postings are available to browse online at the MTA Career Center. The MTA needs new talent from all kinds of backgrounds, with the full range of interests and expertise – from engineering and design to finance, law, and environmental science. – Hugo Pizarro, MTA Chief People Officer

Q: What’s the MTA’s policy for traveling with pets? I’ve seen leashed dogs riding on Metro-North Railroad before. Spencer P., Irvington

A: All MTA agencies, railroads included, employ the same Code of Conduct, which states that riders may not bring animals onto trains or buses unless enclosed in a container, like a pet carrier or bag, and carried in a manner that would not annoy fellow passengers – so no taking up extra seats. Licensed service animals are exempt from the rule, but they must be leashed. Look out for new messaging on this across the system coming soon. – Shanifah Rieara, Acting MTA Chief Customer Officer

Q: Will there be another MTA memorabilia sale anytime soon? Mia H., Flushing

A: There likely won’t be another in-person sale until next holiday season, though we do sell collectibles like station signs and fixtures, vintage tokens, and more online year-round on the MTA website. Sales are suspended at the moment as we fulfill orders from the December memorabilia sale, but we should have things back up and running in February. We got a ton of interest from buyers looking to own a piece of New York City Transit history; there are still 3,000 inquiries and 300 orders for our team to sort through. – Vivian Ng, Materials Management Supervisor, New York City Transit