Hope you’re enjoying your summer, NYC.
I am – I'm excited to build on some awesome progress from the last quarter. Subway on-time performance surpassed 80% after months of steady improvement. And while a continued increase at the same rate will be challenging without modernizing the entire signaling system, we believe we’ve reached a “new normal” of reliability and speed.
We’ve also corrected hundreds of slow-clearing signals and increased over 100 speed limits to speed up your commute. Now, we are beginning to work through signals that may require more intensive modifications.
Our efforts to modernize the bus network progressed, too. In addition to meeting all our commitments last quarter, we installed traffic signal priority on the M1 route, and made good on our previous commitment to add real-time seat availability info for SIM buses to the MYmta app.
More variations on a theme of speed: Access-A-Ride trips can now utilize bus lanes — and we launched OMNY, a new, faster way to pay for your rides.
This quarter, we’re spending a lot of time looking to learn from you and hear about your experiences at several community events and info sessions.
Keep reading to learn where to find us the next few months, and what else we’re working on to improve your trips.
Chief Customer Officer, New York City Transit
What we promised and delivered
in Q3 2019: July – September
✓ Launch limited peak-direction rush hour express service on the F line, to speed up the commutes of thousands of customers
- You asked, we listened! Peak-direction express service on the F in Brooklyn began in September. Check out more
✓ Increase speed limits at another 40 locations throughout the system.
- We increased or removed speed limits altogether (when safe to do so, of course) in 41 locations, including near Hoyt Schermerhorn (C) and approaching Fordham Rd (4)
✓ Complete extensive structural repairs along Fourth Ave in Brooklyn, which allows us to re-instate express N service, speed up commutes, and add back 59 St as a key transfer point for South Brooklyn riders.
- Express yourself, B! Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, and Borough Park riders have more express options now that N express service has been restored and peak-direction F express service has launched. Plus, we worked to ensure that tracks under Fourth Ave and the infrastructure that supports them are strong and resilient for years to come.
Read all about it here.
✓ Finish inspections of elevated structures to identify locations that need repairs and otherwise ensure state of good repair — and we'll follow up with a pilot to install netting in four locations.
- We inspected elevated structures systemwide, installed netting – an out-of-the-box solution – in four locations:
- Between 111 St – 121 St (J)
- 125 St (1)
- 61 St-Woodside (7)
- Between Queensboro Plaza – 39 Av (N, W)
✓ Restore service at four stations after we:
- Repair platforms, columns, and beams at President St and Winthrop St (2, 5) (Manhattan-bound)
- Rehabilitate the northbound platform at Gun Hill Rd (5)
- Complete the most intrusive phase of elevator installation on the Manhattan-bound platform at Eastern Pkwy (2, 3, 4)
- Install flood protection equipment that temporarily closed the entrance to the northbound platform at Franklin (1)
X Reopen the bathrooms at 5 Av/53 St (E)(M) and make targeted improvements at 10 stations in four boroughs, as identified by Group Station Managers and informed by customer need.
- We just missed the deadline — the restroom reopened the morning of October 1 — but we did clean, repair, and replace equipment at stations throughout the system:
- 125 St (A, B, C, D)
- 161 St-Yankee Stadium (4, B, D)
- 34 St-Herald Sq (B, D, F, M, N, Q, R, W)
- Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr (B, Q, 2, 3, 4, 5)
- Brighton Beach (B, Q)
- Coney Island-Stillwell Av (D, F, N, Q)
- Euclid Av (A, C)
- Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Av (7, E, F, M, R)
- Jamaica Center-Parsons Archer (E, J, Z)
✓ Launch Select Bus Service on the M14A/D routes to keep buses moving on 14th St and through the Lower East Side.
- Big things are happening on the M14 route: it officially got the SBS treatment in July, when we added off-board fare collection, all-door boarding, and better bus stop spacing. And you may have heard about an exciting update in October, but we’ll save that for our Q4 report.
✓ Publish our analysis around population density, travel patterns, future developments, ridership, and service quality in Queens. This report, along with input from customers and community leaders, will inform the Queens bus network redesign plan.
- After months of community input, we released a state of the bus network-style report. What do Queens customers want? Increased reliability, shorter travel time, better connections, and ease of use. Next, we’ll release a draft plan for the new network that reflects these findings. For now, you can read the report here.
X Launch the M15 “showcase route” — a vision of what bus service could look like with the features we know speed up service.
- On October 7th, we launched the final feature of the M15 showcase route: camera-powered bus lane enforcement (aka LaserBus). What else does a “showcase route” have? Street design improvements, new service management resources, bus priority status at traffic lights, and traffic enforcement. No plans to stop there: We'll be evaluating success and expanding on these features in the future.
✓ DOT will install or upgrade dedicated bus lanes on six critical bus corridors.
- NYCDOT over-delivered, installing improvements at 11 locations:
- Installed bus-only signals that allow buses to proceed first through several intersections on Broadway from 75th St to Queens Blvd, and at Dekalb Ave/Flatbush Ave.
- Added new bus lanes on Allen St, Utica Ave, Webster Ave, and Fresh Pond Rd.
- Added a protected bus lane on Archer Ave.
- Provided safe walking access to and from bus stops on Mosholu Pkwy and Paul Ave.
- Added bus boarders on 23rd St and 2nd Ave that allow buses to remain in the flow of traffic without having to yield and merge back into traffic at the bus stop — precious seconds that add up.
- Provided buses with dedicated green light time to make the right turn from westbound 34th St to northbound 6th Ave, which is a known chokepoint.
- Upgraded the Bx41-SBS bus lane by installing bus bulbs, which extend the curb to meet the bus lane, making it easier and safer to board and exit the bus.
X Release the Bronx bus network redesign plan, using input from extensive outreach, research, and prediction modeling.
- We delayed the release of the final Bronx bus network redesign plan until we had further discussions with community partners about ideas to make the bus an attractive option for many more people. Expect to see the final plan soon.
X Modernize our Access-A-Ride fleet, replacing more than 500 of our older model dedicated carrier vans with newer vehicles that are more reliable, more comfortable for customers and easier to drive on city streets.
- We introduced 471 cleaner vehicles with reduced emissions and more capacity for customers who use wheelchairs from July – September, and halfway through October, that number had reached 553.
✓ Begin making elevator availability announcements within the subway system – bringing the information you need directly to you during your trip.
- 1 line riders, have you heard these announcements? Let us know what you think!
✓ Celebrate Disability Pride Month at the Disability Pride Parade and with events at MTA facilities throughout NYC.
- We held several training sessions for employees and events for community members to learn about disability etiquette and the accessibility features on our buses and subways. Plus, we celebrated! We had a great time at the Disability Pride Parade (year two for us).
✓ Launch new video to educate the public on the accessibility features in the transit system.
- This disability etiquette training video gives you insight into how we train our bus operators, and can teach you about some of our features and policies, too.
½ (half complete) - Open four new elevators at the New Utrecht Av/62 St (D)(N) station complex, making both express lines and the transfer accessible; continue elevator construction at 13 stations; and finish design for two stations.
- The New Utrecht Av/62 station re-opened, complete with four elevators, in July. Beyond that, a few technicalities led us to take a half point for this commitment. The important thing is we are still on track, delivering on our commitment to accelerate accessibility in the subway system.
- Our move to design-build construction means that we no longer have distinct phases for design and construction, which saves time during construction and gives our contractors more flexibility to design a better solution, often using existing best practices.
- And, we're currently installing elevators or making platforms accessible through other infrastructure at 14 stations:
- Greenpoint Av (G)
- Astoria Blvd (N, W)
- Eastern Pkwy–Brooklyn Museum (2, 3)
- Bedford Park Blvd–Lehman College (4)
- Times Sq–42 St (S) - reconstructing platforms
- 8 Av (N)
- Chambers St (J, Z)
- 86 St (R)
- 57 St–7 Av (N, Q, R, W)
- 59 St (N, R)
- Gun Hill Rd/Dyre Av Bound (5)
- Canarsie–Rockaway Pkwy (L) - installing a ramp
- 1st Av (L)
- Bedford Av (L)
X Release an updated Access-A-Ride dashboard with additional metrics on performance and customer experience needs as part of our commitment to transparent governance.
- We decided to extend the release of our updated Access-A-Ride dashboard to review additional metrics on performance and customer experience needs. The updated dashboard will be released at the October committee meeting.
✓ Reconfigure fare areas at six subway stations to improve passenger flow and make it easier to enter and exit the system.
- Entering the subway is now a little breezier at six stations:
- Two entrances at 14 St–8 Av (A, C, E, L)
- 57 St–7 Av (N, Q, R, W)
- 72 St (1, 2, 3)
- Forest Hills–71 Av (E, F, M, R)
- Grand Central–42 St (4, 5, 6, 7, S)
- Union Sq (4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R, W)
- We canvassed more than a dozen locations in the Bronx and Queens and gathered feedback from hundreds of customers that will inform each redesign plan. Stay tuned for more.
✓ Launch new strategy deploying cross-functional teams to engage the community and keep customers informed around major capital projects, like the switch and track replacement we’re performing at 96 St on the (1)(2)(3) and the upcoming elevator closures at 181 St on the (A).
- Our community engagement teams were busy finding new ways to keep you informed, like pop-up help desks and new videos to visualize changes.
X Host Fast Forward community conversations about the future of the MTA in the Bronx and Queens. Get details and RSVP here.
- We held a community conversation at IN-Tech Academy in the Bronx on July 18, and we are still working to secure a venue in the Rockaways that meets all of our requirements, including accessibility and high capacity.
X Introduce a second iteration of new, more detailed service status categories designed to better reflect what’s happening in the subway system — as a follow up to the June update, our first in almost 10 years.
- "Saturday schedule”, “Sunday schedule”, and “No scheduled service” — statuses meant to make it easier to understand scheduled service — made their first appearances on mta.info and MYmta the weekend of October 4th.
✓ Host Group Station Manager meet & greets along with local elected officials at Sheepshead Bay (B)(Q) and 25 Av (D).
✓ Release a new API gateway so that third party app developers have access to more accurate data, more reliably.
- Check! We’re continuing to find ways to work more nimbly and transparently. This release tees up NYC's tech community to create innovative products that help customers using our data. Get the documentation here.