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MTA New York City Transit Announces Graduation of New Group of Train Conductors

New York City Transit
Updated September 13, 2021 11:45 p.m.

Class Is Part of a Push to Rebuild Front Line Workforce in Aftermath of Pandemic-Induced Hiring Freeze Last Year   

Authority Using Innovative Approaches to Train Front Line Employees  

View Photos From the Event Here 

Top ranking MTA officials today celebrated a newly trained class of subway conductors as part of a small transition ceremony at New York City Transit’s training school in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. The 24 conductors are set to be placed alongside train operators later in the week, helping the Authority tackle recent crew shortage challenges and bolstering the frequency of train service throughout the system. The transition ceremony marked the formal end of roughly seven weeks of intensive training.  

 “This is an exciting day for New York City Transit and the first of many to come,” said  New York City Transit Interim President Craig Cipriano. “We have increased class sizes and shortened the training curriculum for train operators without sacrificing safety so we can move more crews into the system more quickly. This will help us ensure that trains arrive more frequently and allow us to begin overcoming some of the challenges that we’ve been grappling with as a result of the pandemic. We are taking a fresh look and joining our labor partners to help mitigate the impact of crew shortages.”  

 “The arrival of a new class of conductors couldn’t come at a better time,” said New York City Transit Senior Vice President of Subways Demetrius Crichlow. “Due to the hiring freeze that began during the earlier phases of the pandemic, we’ve experienced challenges when it comes to staffing train crews. Today marks the start of a turn back toward more regular service as more New Yorkers continue to return to the system.” 

The new employees are among hundreds who are expected to be onboarded in the months ahead, part of a deliberate effort undertaken by the MTA to rapidly grow the number of subway train operators and conductors in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. New train operators will have their training reduced by upwards of seven to eight weeks. The pandemic—and the fiscal uncertainty that followed -- depleted the ranks of subway conductors and operators, with many veteran workers retiring or leaving their frontline posts.