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MTA Announces Station Agents to Begin Assisting Riders Outside of Booths This Week

Updated March 28, 2023 4:45 p.m.
3 customer agents stand outside of newly opened customer service center with one booth agent inside

Authority Also Unveils Three Additional Customer Service Centers in the New York City Subway

Nine Total Customer Service Centers Now Open in All Five Boroughs

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Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) New York City Transit today announced that customer service in the transit system will be further enhanced as subway station agents begin to support customers outside of station booths. Station agents will begin assisting riders outside of station booths by helping customers wherever they are located answering questions and providing directional support; walking around mezzanines, turnstile areas, and platforms; helping customers at fare machines; monitoring safety and cleanliness on platforms and across station areas, and reporting issues as they arise in a timely manner. 

In December, the MTA and TWU Local 100 announced the future role of station agents to enhance the customer experience, by performing duties outside of booths. In preparation for the enhanced role, station agents are receiving training on enhanced customer service and OMNY equipment. Starting this week, the enhanced station agent role will provide customer support outside of station booths through: 

  • Wayfinding throughout the transit system
  • Assistance for customers with disabilities and seniors
  • Assistance at fare machines
  • Enhanced customer service during service disruptions and major planned changes
  • OMNY guidance and information, including conversion and use
  • Timely reporting of any issues related to customer amenities, including elevators, escalators, digital signage, Help Points, and turnstiles
  • Maintenance of a safe and clean customer environment
  • Reporting of quality-of-life issues

“Today is yet another day of progress as we improve the customer experience and deliver faster, cleaner, and safer service,” said NYC Transit President Richard Davey. “Customer Service Centers are opening across the system, bringing service directly to riders at the stations they use. And in a double win, our station agents will begin their new, enhanced role out of the booth, directly assisting customers. As we continue to see customer satisfaction on subways climb, these two announcements are further momentum towards our North Star goal of 70% satisfaction.” 

“The MTA is committed to enhancing the way customers receive support throughout the transit system,” said MTA Acting Chief Customer Officer Shanifah Rieara. “As we continue to smash OMNY records, with two million taps recorded in one day recently, the enhancements to customer service we are implementing by bringing station agents out of the booths and opening more customer service centers will help more riders make the switch to OMNY and start tapping.” 

“Our new Customer Service Centers were developed in collaboration with TWU Local 100, and we are happy with how they are working out,” said TWU Local 100 Vice President for Stations Robert Kelley. “Today’s three new customer service centers are helping to make the transit system more friendly and convenient. They are staffed by the best customer service representatives in the world. We are showing the world what a world-class transit system looks like.”

Additionally, the Authority announced the opening of three additional Customer Service Centers in the subway. The newly opened centers are located at Fulton St in Manhattan, Myrtle-Wyckoff Avs  in Brooklyn, and 74 St–Jackson Heights–Roosevelt Av in Queens. All three centers are repurposed station booths and feature enhanced lighting, canopy, and wrapped signage to create a more inviting and welcoming customer environment. 

The MTA opened its first Customer Service Centers on Feb. 7 at Stillwell Av-Coney Island, 161 St-Yankee Stadium, and Atlantic Av-Barclays Center. On Feb. 28, the program expanded to all five boroughs with centers opening at 34 St-Penn Station, Flushing-Main St, and St. George. Six additional Customer Service Centers will open in the subway system by the end of 2023 at the following stations: 

  • E 180 St:     
  • 125 St:      
  • Fordham Rd:   
  • Times Square-42 St:              
  • Sutphin Blvd-Archer Av-JFK Airport:       
  • 168 St:       

Customer Service Centers feature services historically provided by the MTA exclusively at 3 Stone Street in Lower Manhattan in the neighborhoods where riders live. The centers comprise repurposed booths and new retail outlets and feature enhanced accessibility, OMNY technology, and a dedicated, more welcoming visual presentation for customers through new lighting, branded wrapping, and canopies. 

Station agents working at Customer Service Centers assist customers with switching to OMNY, including helping Reduced-Fare MetroCard customers switch to OMNY and providing applications to first-time Reduced-Fare customers. Additionally, Customer Service Centers will provide customers with information about how to submit complaints and receive updates and information on travel delays. Customer Service Center agents also assist customers with wayfinding through the transit system. 

Agents working at Customer Service Centers receive dedicated training on OMNY equipment and all dedicated customer service functions the centers provide. Customer Service Centers are staffed by station agents 24/7, apart from St George, which is open Monday to Friday from 5:30 am to 9:00 pm. 

“I always welcome new ways to make the MTA more accessible,” said Assembly Member Grace Lee. “After their successful implementation in stations in Brooklyn and the Bronx, I am happy to see that a Customer Service Center will be made available to riders at the Fulton Street station, which as the sixth-most used station in the city, will be able to offer a high number of riders new services that will ease travel across the city.” 

“Navigating our city’s mass transit system can sometimes be confusing, so riders need to have places to go where knowledgeable MTA employees can help them with directions and address their other customer service needs,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “The Customer Service Centers being opened in our subway system are intended to be those places and should do a great deal to help make our transit system more user-friendly. I’m glad three of these centers will be open in Queens before the end of this year, and I encourage riders to take full advantage of the services these centers will be offering.”