Classes Accelerate Front Line Workforce Regrowth Following Pandemic-Induced Hiring Freeze
New Classes Join Hundreds of Train Conductors, Train Operators and Bus Operators Who Completed Training in 2021 and 2022
New York City Transit today announced the graduation of 84 new train operators and 10 new conductors at the New York City Transit (NYCT) Learning Center in Brooklyn, following their successful completion of six months of training.
The graduation took place days after subways set a weekend ridership record on Marathon Sunday, November 6, carrying 2.11 million riders, surpassing the previous pandemic-era Sunday ridership record set on June 26, 2022, of 2.01 million, and 84 percent of the pre-pandemic baseline for the comparable second Sunday of November in 2019.
These operators will help NYCT tackle crew shortage challenges and bolster the frequency of subway service. This marked the formal end of intensive training that began in May 2022.
“The best way to travel through New York City is on the subway, and NYC Transit is dedicated to increasing staffing levels to provide faster, better and more efficient service,” said New York City Transit President Richard Davey. “And the recent ridership records show we are moving in the right direction.”
“Building up the workforce remains a top initiative to provide better subway service for New Yorkers,” said New York City Transit Senior Vice President of Subways Demetrius Crichlow. “Whether riders are using mass transit to get to work, school, or to explore all the city has to offer this holiday season, they can count on this group of operators and conductors to get them where they need to go.”
The new employees join the hundreds of bus operators, train operators and conductors who recently completed their training — part of a deliberate effort by the MTA to rapidly grow the number of bus operators, subway train operators and conductors. A hiring freeze, necessitated by a fiscal crisis that developed during the pandemic, depleted the ranks of train operators and conductors with many veteran workers retiring or leaving their frontline posts. Along with improved recruiting efforts and speeding up training for new employees, the MTA addressed the staff shortage by bringing back recently retired train operators, scheduling additional overtime and buying back vacation time.