As Frustration Grows, MTA Plans to Ease Subway Delays With $20M Plan

What to Know

  • The MTA announced a $20-million plan to help commuters and ease extensive subway delays
  • The MTA said it will deploy a rapid response team to fix signal and switches when they break
  • The plan will roll out within the next six months and they’re starting it on the Eight Avenue line between 125th Street and Fulton Street

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is getting ready to deploy a $20-million plan to help ease extensive delays around New York’s subways, a system that is over a century old, the MTA announced Monday.

The MTA said it is tackling one of its biggest problems. It will deploy a rapid response team to fix signal and switches when they break, and even order color-coded signs to steer commuters to emptier spaces on the platform to ease the boarding process.

“It happens more than 20 times a week,” subway rider Datari Peterson, of the Bronx, said of the on-going delays. “It’s definitely frustrating. Everybody has somewhere to be.”

Delays have soared by 42,000 a month compared to just five years ago, which is a sign that the 100-plus-year-old subway system is showing its age.

Transit advocates say the man responsible is Gov. Cuomo. The governor, not the mayor, runs the MTA.

And while he's touted big successes like the opening of the Second Avenue Subway – John Raskin of the Riders Alliance said Cuomo has been too slow to react as delays have surged across the subway system.

“The problem is delays are getting worse and worse,” Raskin said. “And the governor has not been treating it as an emergency."

While many think the plan is much needed, some think it’s way too steep a price to pay for such a common sense step.

“That's a lot of money to spend when people should be able to figure that out themselves,” Susan Maier, of Lower Manhattan, said. 

Other components to the MTA’s delay plan include a management shakeup, which would bring a separate chairman and chief executive and possibly be more focused on maintenance issues.

A new team, including the rapid response team, would be assigned to intensive signal maintenance and would go out and fix signal issues if something goes out much quicker than they currently do.

The new plan is expected to roll out within the next six months and they’re starting it on the Eighth Avenue line between 125th Street and Fulton Street.

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