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Ask the MTA | Winter weather prep, Access-a-Ride and Train Time

MTA winter weather
Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit

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: Given the incredible snowfall in Buffalo and predictions about a very harsh winter, how is the MTA preparing for the upcoming season? — Steven M., Inwood 

A: We have a robust Winter Weather Plan that addresses not only snowfall accumulation, but also freezing rain, ice, strong winds, freezing temperatures and limited visibility. It’s set in motion well before the first flakes of any blizzard fall, so we can keep our riders, employees, and equipment safe. 

Step one is to closely monitor the forecast. Then, once it’s clear a storm is coming, thousands of MTA workers are mobilized to get snow fighting equipment into place across the city, move trains from yards to be stored underground, outfit buses with tire chains, start de-icing, and more.

This intense preparation allows us to avoid significant delays and reductions in service; in fact, snow has forced the subways to shut down just once in the system’s 118-year history. – Colin Stimmler, Deputy Chief, MTA Emergency Management 

Q: I’m an Access-a-Ride customer, and drivers are frequently taking longer routes to avoid tolls because they claim they are not getting reimbursed for them. Does the MTA provide toll payment reimbursement for Access-a-Ride drivers?  — Sharon Y., Clifton

Access-A-Ride drivers should take the safest and quickest route to your destination, even if it requires tolls, which are included in the cost of your ride.

If this problem persists, you can file a complaint by calling our Paratransit hotline at 877-337-2017, writing to the Customer Relations office (MTA New York City Transit, Paratransit Division, Customer Relations, 130 Livingston Street, Brooklyn, NY 1120) or emailing us using our online form. – Chris Pangilinan, Vice President, Paratransit

Q: I love the MTA Train Time App for Metro-North and LIRR and how seamless it is.  When will the MTA upgrade the MYmta app for subway and bus riders? Will you eventually create one app for all services? — Chad L., Lower East Side

A: We’re so glad you enjoy the TrainTime app. The MTA is always working to make public transit easier to use through our digital tools, whether it’s regularly fixing bugs or adding features that provide better and more relevant information to riders. Stay tuned for some significant improvements to MYmta coming next year. As for creating a single MTA app, there are no current plans. But we’re always reviewing our app strategy based on the needs of subway, bus, and railroad riders so we can deliver an excellent customer experience. Your feedback is an important part of the process, and we look forward to hearing from more riders in this fall’s customer survey. – Molly Washam, Senior Director of Customer Experience 

Send us your questions at [email protected].

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