BY PAT FOYE
It’s a new year, and while we’re still facing some challenges, the MTA is more committed than ever to delivering progress for New Yorkers. Our core mission is to provide safe, reliable transportation, and that remains the guiding principle in everything we do.
The good news is our $51.5 billion Capital Plan was deemed approved on schedule for the first time since 1981, and we’re not wasting any time. Our new Construction and Development division has already begun on accessibility projects.
On Jan. 2 — the day after the Capital Plan was approved — we started reaching out to contractors to find qualified candidates to complete this work. As you may have read, the plan calls for the addition of 70 new accessible stations. That will more than achieve our goal to ensure that no rider is ever more than two stations away from an accessible station.
This year, we’ll also begin modernizing signal technology on six subway line segments. This will finally bring our outdated system into the 21st century, allowing us to deliver faster and more dependable service.
We’re not only moving the ball forward in 2020, we’re also raising our standards.
We expect our agencies to perform and deliver, and right now we’re seeing promising improvements in on-time performance on the subways and commuter rails. On-time performance on the subways reached 83.4% in November, the sixth consecutive month with OTP above 80%. And Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North also saw gains overall in 2019, arriving on-time 92.4% and 94.4% of the time, respectively.
On our buses, we’re pushing forward with borough-by-borough Bus Network Redesigns, with an ambitious proposal in Queens. Our draft plan envisions shorter and more direct routes, more links between the borough and the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan, and faster ways to get around within Queens.
This is a once-in-a-generation chance to reimagine how buses can best serve the riding public, and we’re looking for your input every step of the way to make it a success.
Agency-wide transformation is the final key to enacting lasting reform at the MTA. With new leadership in place, we’re streamlining operations to renew our focus on core service delivery. Our senior leaders are dedicated to creating the world-class transit system New Yorkers deserve.
We know there’s a lot of work to do, but we’re committed to showing our customers that it’s truly a new day at the MTA.
Pat Foye is chairman and CEO of the MTA.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in all op-eds are those of the author, and are not necessarily the views of amNewYork Metro or its staff.