Op-ed | Busy summer for NYC Transit as they make subways ‘faster, cleaner, safer’

MTA New York City Transit President Richard Davey
Richard Davey speaks to the press on his first day as New York City Transit President in Jackson Heights, Queens, May 2.
Photo by Kevin Duggan

School’s out for summer but New York City Transit won’t be taking a break. We’re actually ramping up improvements so riders can get to the beach, ballpark, or wherever they want to go “Faster, Cleaner and Safer” all season long.

The first round of service increases we announced back in May are now in effect on the G, J and M lines. With this additional weekend service – which was made possible by additional funding provided in the State budget — trains in Brooklyn and Queens will now be arriving every eight to nine minutes apart instead of every 10 to 11.

The goal was to increase service at off-peak times of day and on weekends, when ridership on some lines has recovered faster than during the traditional commuting hours, to give riders the best travel experience possible. We’re going to monitor trends closely to gauge the impact before we roll out the next three phases of enhancements before next summer. Look out for round two in August, when we increase weekday midday service on the C, N, and R lines, and add more weekend trains to 1 and 6 service.

In addition, customers on the A line can look forward to riding in style on another new R211. We’re adding a second full set of the most modern train cars into passenger service. The R211s are the future of Transit, with factory-installed security cameras, digital displays, and wider doorways that will speed up boarding times and help us run more reliable service.

On cleanliness, we just announced the next 14 stations that will receive aesthetic and functional upgrades as part of the Station Re-NEW-vation program. Crews will be taking advantage of planned weekend outages – which you can keep track of by signing up for the MTA Weekender newsletter– to perform repairs and do deep cleaning. That way, customers can return to a fully refreshed station once it reopens for a new week.

It’s important to me that our stations are a welcoming place. After all, the transit system is where people from all walks of life come together and prove out the world’s greatest experience in tolerance – and music helps bring us together.

The MTA’s Music Under New York program is back this summer, and thanks to a new partnership with WE❤️NYC and Shutterstock, New Yorkers have a chance to vote for their favorite new act among 50 finalists. Voting will be available on the MTA’s website from July 19 to July 27.

Here’s to a fantastic summer on the rails.

Richard Davey is MTA New York City Transit President.