Op-Ed | MTA will make traveling to baseball games a home run this season

161st street yankee stadium
Photo via Google Maps

Baseball is back, and the best way to get to the game is by taking mass transit. While the Mets and Yankees spent the off-season signing and trading new players, the team at New York City Transit was making changes we hope will send customer satisfaction over the fences.

First up, we initiated a deal with our labor partners to bring subway station agents out of booths and into the station environment. They’ve been on the move for the last two weeks, helping customers navigate the system and utilize OMNY. It’s a better role for our knowledgeable staff, who can now literally meet New Yorkers where they are.  Feel free to stop and ask customer service agents, easy to spot in yellow vests, a question on your way to or from the game.

Riders have another new resource in our Customer Service Centers, nine of which are now open around the clock in stations across the city, including at 161 St-Yankee Stadium Station and Flushing-Main St on the 7. We expect to open an additional six locations by the end of the year. It’s part of a larger focus on stations in general – how we can make them a more welcoming and safe space. The Mets and Yankees treat their stadiums like temples, and we are looking to do the same with our stations.

That’s what the Station ReNEWvations program is all about. We just announced plans to refurbish another 13 stations this spring, bringing the systemwide total to 34 stations now currently receiving cosmetic upgrades and repairs – things like replacing tile, repainting and deep cleaning the entire station from top to bottom. Fans heading to the game should notice ReNEWvated stations on the B/D lines in the Bronx and along the 7 in Queens.  And as I mentioned in this space last month, we’ve been sprucing up and reopening bathrooms as another amenity for riders.

The best incentive to take transit though is strong service–and we are knocking that out of the park. Subway service is the best it’s been in a decade, with on-time performance above 85% for two straight months. On Buses, service delivery hit 96% in February, a major improvement, and Access-A-Ride (AAR) is breaking records all the time. AAR is performing so well that we’re actually in the process of tightening the time frame we use to measure on-time performance, because we know we can do even better for paratransit customers.

No matter your mode of choice, you deserve a grand slam experience heading to ballparks and beyond this spring—and that’s exactly what the 49,000 women and men in New York City Transit’s line up are excited to deliver.