MTA to host town halls on Fast Forward improvement plan, hosted by NYC Transit President Byford

Andy Byford is taking his show on the road.

The MTA will be hosting a series of town halls for residents looking to get more information on Fast Forward — the NYC Transit president’s roughly $40 billion plan to modernize the city’s subways, buses, paratransit service and other elements of accessibility.

“The Fast Forward Plan is a massive undertaking that requires buy-in from all stakeholders — our customers, our colleagues, advocates, the business community, and elected officials at every level of government,” Byford said in a statement. “The future success of New York City depends upon the success of this comprehensive plan to modernize our transit system, and we’ll be out there in every borough making the case.”

The first public meeting will be held Tuesday evening at the Milton G. Bassin Performing Arts Center at York College in Jamaica, Queens. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m., with the event running from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Members of the public looking to speak at the event must register and will be called in the order in which they sign up, according to the MTA.

In a news release Sunday, the MTA promised that additional meetings to be held “across the city” will be announced soon.

Unveiled in May, Fast Forward offers a 10-year blueprint for turning around a slow and unreliable transit service that has experienced a steady ridership decline in recent years. A centerpiece of Byford’s plan is to modernize the subway’s ancient and often-failing signal system with a modern equivalent known as Communications-Based Train Control, or CBTC.

The plan also calls for redesigning each borough’s bus network and more aggressively installing station elevators along the notoriously inaccessible subway system so that, within five years, riders will be no more than two stations away from a wheelchair-accessible station.

Byford will be presenting the plan at the meetings before attendees get the opportunity to speak to him and other MTA executives in attendance.

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