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: Can the LIRR place more wayfinding signage at Grand Central Madison? — John H., Port Washington
A: As visually impressive as Grand Central Madison is, functionality is always key. That’s why we held a wayfinding exercise with 200 volunteers back in November to get early feedback on station navigation – how easy it is to find exits, platforms, and elevators.
Rider input is even more important now that we’re officially open and these first few weeks are going to be a learning experience for all of us as New Yorkers get acquainted with this massive new space.
To help the process along, we’ve deployed hundreds of customer ambassadors to answer questions and give directions during the rollout. We also have an internal working group that is tackling specific wayfinding concerns. New temporary signage has already been installed while we work on more permanent solutions.
A map of Grand Central Madison is available on the MTA website. You can submit additional comments about the new terminal online as well. – Shanifah Rieara, MTA Chief Customer Officer
Q: Is the MTA still making adjustments to the Bronx Local Bus Network Redesign? — Barry L., Pelham Bay, The Bronx
A: We will continue to monitor bus service and customer feedback post-Redesign, but the response so far shows we’re off to a successful start. Six months in, there have been solid improvements in every measure of bus performance, with shorter wait times and faster, more reliable trips.
Before the Redesign, the Bronx had some of the slowest bus speeds in the city. Now the borough is outperforming citywide trends in Customer Journey Time Performance. Average speeds on the thirteen routes modified are now 4% faster overall on weekdays, with the morning peak up by 5%. That translates to precious minutes saved by our riders, who are clearly noticing the difference.
Overall customer satisfaction with Bronx local bus service jumped two points to 61% in fall 2022, up from 59% in the spring. And ridership has increased 6% from the rolling baseline average, with the greatest gains on the Bx18. Ridership on that route has tripled in line with its expanded geographic coverage and added frequency, along with continued general recovery from the pandemic.
After those results so far, we’re eager to keep the momentum going. Riders can submit further comments on Bronx local service on the MTA website. – Frank Annicaro, Senior Vice President, New York City Transit Department of Buses/MTA Bus Company
Q: Will MTA employees be marching in the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day Parade? — Ian S., Murray Hill
A: The MTA will be represented at this year’s parade by members of the New York City Transit and MaBSTOA (Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority) Emerald Societies. Both groups are made up of employees from across the MTA, including bus and train operators, train conductors, and MTAPD officers.
The MTA has a proud tradition of parade participation going back decades. Michael J. Quill, who helped found the Transport Workers Union of America in 1934, encouraged Emerald Society members to march and they have been ever since. Transit Police even had their own pipe band for many years until the department merged with the NYPD. – Reilly Dundon, Formation Chairman, NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade