HoldingDoors

Every year, New York City Transit evaluates why its trains are late, and every year, the leading cause of subway delays is generally straphanger-generated. People holding the doors and people preventing the doors from closing are the two leading culprits behind delayed trains.

To combat this epidemic of door-holding, New York City Transit has unveiled a new public-service campaign. The poster, above, now appears in 2200 subway cars throughout the system, and the message is a simple one. Don’t hold the doors. It delays this train; it delays the next one. Everyone will see — the red person — and everyone will know that you are responsible for the train delays. (In addition to the posters, a new automated announcement will debut soon as well.)

“The selfish act of holding the doors while one tries to board or exit a train can delay several trains along a line, particularly during rush hour when trains run more closely together,” Steven Feil, senior vice president of Subways for NYC Transit, said. “But aside from that aspect, you can get hurt.”

It’s a simple message, but will it resonate with New Yorkers? The question is one of subway ethics. It involves why we hold doors, why we shimmy into trains too full to fit us and why it doesn’t really matter if this train or the one right behind it is delayed. The delay, after all, is on paper only. The train isn’t delayed if everyone expects to wait at crowded stations during rush hour as people inevitably block or hold the doors.

We start the first questions: Why do we hold doors and why do we block doors? The answer to this conundrum brings us back to my on-again, off-again series of pieces about underground ethics. On the one hand are the people who block doors. These people either cram themselves into subway cars too crowded for another person or insert their arms, legs and backpacks into closing train doors. These are introverted masses. They hold the doors for themselves because they don’t want to be late and can’t deign to wait four minutes for the next train. They don’t really care about this PSA.

On the other hand are the people who hold train doors. Sometimes, these people hold train doors because they see a harried commuter rushing down the staircase, hoping the train won’t leave. Sometimes, these people hold train doors because their friends are right behind them, because the baby stroller is slowly getting on board, because the conductor can’t see the lines of people at the far end of the platform. These are the extroverted helpers, and the PSA probably won’t impact their generally altruistic behavior too much.

In the end, then, I posit that this PSA doesn’t add much to the realm of underground ethics. The subways are delayed only if New York City Transit considers them to be delayed. When I board a rush hour train in the morning or afternoon, I expect a few slow station stops. I expect people to cram into a crowded car, too impatient to wait for the next train. I expect a modicum of door-holding. I expect door-related delays to slow down my ride, and in the end, it’s not really slowing down my ride because I am expecting it.

Maybe this PSA will help. Maybe a few people won’t hold the doors, and a few more people may find themselves waiting for another train. But none of us like to wait; we all want to get to where we need to be as soon as possible. For that, straphangers will continue to hold doors.

It’s time for the unofficial end of summer, and I’m out of the city for a few days. The subways are going to be running on a Sunday schedule on Monday but with few service disruptions. The following though are in place for the weekend. Remember: These come to me from the MTA and are subject to change without notice. Check signs at your local station and listen to on-board announcements for the latest and greatest.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, September 5 to 5 a.m. Monday, August 7, 1 trains skip 28th, 23rd, and 18th Streets in both directions due to a track chip-out at Chambers Street station. 2 and 3 trains provide alternate service.


From 11:30 p.m. Friday, September 4 to 5 a.m. Monday, September 7, there are no 1 trains operating between 14th Street and South Ferry due to a track chip-out at Chambers Street station. 2 and 3 trains provide alternate service between 14th Street and Chambers Street. Free shuttle buses replace 1 trains between Chambers Street and South Ferry.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, September 5 to 5 a.m. Monday, September 7, 2 trains run local between 96th Street and Chambers Street due to a track chip-out at Chambers Street station.


From 6:30 a.m. to midnight, Saturday, September 5 and Sunday, September 6, 3 trains run local between 96th Street and Chambers Street due to a track chip-out at Chambers Street station.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, September 5 to 5 a.m. Monday, September 7, Manhattan-bound 6 trains run express from Hunts Point Avenue to 3rd Avenue-138th Street due to a track chip-out at East 143rd Street.


From 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, September 5 and Sunday, September 6, Manhattan-bound A trains skip 111th and 104th Streets (in Woodhaven, Queens) due to track rail and tie installation.


From 5 a.m. Saturday, September 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday, September 6, Coney Island-bound D trains run on the N line from 36th Street to Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue due to 38th Street Yard work.


From 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday, September 6, D trains run local between DeKalb Avenue and 36th Street due to cable work south of 59th Street-4th Avenue.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, September 5 to 5 a.m. Tuesday, September 8, D trains run local between 34th Street and West 4th Street due to a track chip-out in the 53rd Street tunnel.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, September 5 to 5 a.m. Tuesday, September 8, E trains are rerouted on the F line in Manhattan and Queens due to a track chip-out in the 53rd Street tunnel:

  • There are no E trains between 34th Street-Penn Station and World Trade Center. Customers should take the A or C instead.
  • Manhattan-bound E trains run on the F from 21st Street-Queensbridge to 34th Street-Herald Square/6 Avenue.
  • Queens-bound E trains run on the F from 34th Street-Herald Square/6th Avenue to 47th-50th Sts. Trains resume normal E service from 5th Avenue-53rd Street to Roosevelt Avenue.
  • In Queens, the Manhattan-bound E platforms at Queens Plaza and 23rd Street-Ely Avenue are closed. Free shuttle buses connect these stations with the 21st Street-Queensbridge F station where Manhattan-bound service is available.


From 12:30 a.m. Saturday, September 5 to 5 a.m. Tuesday, September 8, Jamaica-bound E trains run local from Queens Plaza to Roosevelt Avenue due to track maintenance.


From 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m. Saturday, September 5, Manhattan-bound E trains run express from Forest Hills-71st Avenue to Roosevelt Avenue due to track cleaning.


From 12:30 a.m. Saturday, September 5 to 5 a.m. Tuesday, September 8, F trains run local between Roosevelt Avenue and 21st Street-Queensbridge due to track maintenance.


From 6:30 a.m. to midnight, Saturday, September 5, Sunday, September 6, and Monday, September 7, there is no Queens-bound G train service from Court Square to Forest Hills-71st Avenue due to a track chip-out in the 53rd Street tunnel. Customers should take the E or R trains instead.

  • Manhattan-bound F trains run local from Roosevelt Avenue to 21st Street-Queensbridge during this time.
  • Free shuttle buses connect stations at Court Square G/23rd Street-Ely Avenue, Queens Plaza, and 21st Street Queensbridge F stations.


From 6:30 a.m. to midnight, Saturday, September 5, Sunday, September 6, and Monday, September 7, there are no Brooklyn-bound G trains from Forest Hills-71st Avenue to Court Square due to a track chip-out in the 53rd Street tunnel. Customers may take the R instead.


From 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m. Saturday, September 5, Brooklyn-bound G trains run express from Forest Hills-71st Street to Roosevelt Avenue due to track cleaning.


From 4:30 a.m. Saturday, September 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday, September 6, there are no J trains between Myrtle Avenue and Broadway Junction due to switch renewal north of Broadway Junction. Free shuttle buses provide alternate service. Customers may transfer to and from shuttle buses and J trains at Myrtle Avenue and Broadway Junction.


From 5 a.m. Saturday, September 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday, September 6, there are no M trains running due to switch renewal north of Broadway Junction. Rerouted J trains replace the M between Myrtle and Metropolitan Avenues.


From 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday, September 6, N trains run on the R between Canal Street and 59th Street (Brooklyn) due to conduit and cable work south of 59th Street-4th Avenue.


From 4:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday, September 6, there are no R trains between Whitehall Street and Bay Ridge-95th Street due to conduit and cable work south of 59th Street-4th Avenue.

  • N trains provide alternate service between Whitehall Street and 59th Street (Brooklyn)
  • Free shuttle buses replace R trains between 59th Street and 95th Street.
Categories : Service Advisories
Comments (6)
  • Inside the mysterious Capital Review Board · During yesterday’s Walder confirmation hearings, transparency was the name of the game. While the MTA has increased its level of public participation and now puts every single budget document on its website, our State Senators cannot be bothered with such a reality, and they spent much of the hearing asking Jay Walder how he would improve the MTA’s transparency and public image issues. It’s typical Albany machinations.

    Meanwhile, an in ironic twist of fate, Mobilizing the Region profiled the Capital Review Board yesterday. This four-member oversight committee, with one representative appointed by the Senate, Assembly, Governor and Mayor each, will have the final approval over the MTA’s proposed $25.5 billion five-year capital plan. While we can watch the MTA Board and participate in public hearings, as the Tri-State Transportation Campaign notes, the CRB is practically opaque. Its members do not have to reveal why they voted the way they do, and its decisions often do not make sense. Transparency might earn headlines during a confirmation hearing, but apparently, Albany is more adverse to open government than the MTA. Shocking, I know. · (1)

After this summer, it’s really hard to take the New York State Senate seriously. In the eyes of the nation, they have become a laughingstock, and in the eyes of this New York City-based straphanger, they are generally anti-home rule and anti-transit.

Yesterday, as I briefly mentioned late in the afternoon, the Senate finally got around to starting the confirmation process for Jay Walder, Gov. David Paterson’s nominee to head up the MTA. Walder was nominated when the highly qualified Elliot Sander was pushed out in a bit of Senatorial back-stabbing and unnecessary politicking. The MTA didn’t need a new head to straighten itself out; the state needed a new government. But I digress.

Some of the hearing in Mineola was for show. The Senators took issue with Walder’s compensation — pegged at $350,000 and with a golden parachute of around $800,000 should he be kicked out within a certain time period. It took a chart showing the compensation of transit executives around the nation from RPA head Robert Yaro just to get these Senators to come to grips with the fact that a $350,000 for the CEO and Chair position of an agency the size of the MTA just isn’t that much.

After the compensation issue passed, the Senators moved on to what they do best: sounding like idiots. Newsday’s Alfonso Castillo was on hand:

Walder, a Queens native, avoided details on how he would address several of MTA’s specific problems and said he still has “a lot of catching up to do” after being away from New York for 14 years. But he cited his record as Transport For London’s managing director of finance and planning as a hint of what he could do at the MTA.

He listed his top accomplishments there as putting together the city’s largest capital investment plan in transit in recent history; expanding bus service; developing an innovative and cost-reducing fare collection system; and putting together the transportation plan that helped London secure the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Walder agreed that the MTA needs to become more credible and accountable and rebuild its relationship with policy-makers and customers, and show that the ever-increasing cost of operating the agency is being put to good use. “Simply put, the MTA has the responsibility to present information that matters and present it in a way that people can understand,” he said.

While most of the lawmakers and public speakers suggested that Walder was the man for the job, Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset) said he was disappointed with what he heard from Walder, especially his support for a recently imposed payroll tax for employers – the foundation for the state’s bailout of the MTA, which faced a $1.8-billion deficit this year. Walder called the tax “absolutely essential” for keeping the MTA running. “If I had to vote today, I tell you right now, my vote would be no,” said Marcellino, who called the tax a “job killer.”

What Marcellino fails to understand is that underfunded transit scaled back to the barest of services and train frequency would be a real job killer. The increase in traffic and congestion coupled with the lack of transit options would kill the entire region’s economy. Heaven forbid a Senator actually know anything about the words coming out of his month.

Meanwhile, Walder also said during the hearings that he would not push for congestion pricing. Unfortunately, the article in The Post doesn’t explore why he said this, but Walder should not be making that promise right now.

In the end, I wish Walder had been more open. He’s had nearly two months to get through that catching up, and he should have some answers as to how he will address the MTA’s problems. We can’t afford for him to learn on the job. Once the Senate votes on his confirmation on September 10, he has to hit the ground running with Albany’s support or without.

Categories : MTA Politics
Comments (5)
  • Senate begins Walder confirmation process · Politicker NY’s Jimmy Vielkind was on hand in Mineola this morning as the New York State Senate finally got around to starting the Jay Walder confirmation process. In the first report from the circus sideshow, Vielkind notes that the issue of compensation dominate the conversation. Apparently, our illustrious state senators are worried that $350,000 is to high an annual salary for someone overseeing such an extensive public transit agency. In testimony you can read here as a PDF, Robert Yaro, president of the Regional Plan Association, supported Walder and defended his compensation package.

    The Senate still plans to hold one more hearing on Walder. This one is set for Tuesday in Harlem, and the governing body will vote on the nomination on Sept. 10. Meanwhile, the MTA continues to be an agency adrift with a $10 billion hole in its capital plan and both short- and long-term economic concerns. We’ll just keep on waiting though for the Senate to respond to these challenges. · (2)

It’s hard these days to miss Mayor Bloomberg’s call to reform the MTA. His brochures land in my mailbox, his ads on my TV. His plan — details here — has become a ubiquitous attempt to tap into populist unrest with the MTA. Nothing he offers is too ground-breaking; much, such as the F express, is old hat; and all of it requires more money than the transit agency has.

Yesterday, John Petro of the Drum Major Institute for Urban Policy, took Bloomberg to task for exactly that last problem. While the mayor can call for MTA reforms until he is blue in the face, if he doesn’t give the MTA more money to enact these reforms, his calls will come off as nothing more than the pandering of a politician.

Noting that the mayor doesn’t really have enough control over the MTA or its Board to effect the changes in his proposal, Petro highlights the one thing the mayor does control: the city’s substantial capital budget. He writes:

The capital budget is huge–$60 billion dollars over ten years. It includes a wide range of different city capital needs, like school construction and rehabilitation, expansion and repair of the sewer and water systems, and housing preservation and development. It also includes money for mass transit, but not nearly enough.

The Mayor’s capital budget allocates a measly $60 million a year toward mass transit. This equals about one percent of the MTA’s capital budget, which is much less than the city has allocated to the MTA in the past. Historically, the city’s contributions equaled about ten percent of the MTA’s capital budget.

The MTA has said that it needs about $100 million every year from the city to support the transit system’s program of rehabilitation and expansion. Why is the Mayor shortchanging the city’s mass transit system? If the Mayor is keen to improve mass transit in New York City, he should begin by making a larger commitment from the city’s huge capital budget.

From 2005-2009, the city was contributing much more to the MTA. But that money went towards the #7 line extension, a project that will be a huge boon for real estate developer Related Companies. The #7 line will be extended to the Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s far west side, where Related Companies has plans to build office and condo towers. (This is the same Related Companies that refuses to pay living wages at the Kingsbridge Armory redevelopment in the Bronx). Meanwhile, communities in the outer boroughs continue to deal with rapid population increases and inadequate levels of service.

I’ve argued before that Albany and the federal government need to step up to the plate to fund long-term investments in the city’s mass transit system. For New York City to meet its full potential, we need to expand and improve our current levels of mass transit service. The federal government has prioritized highway and road projects over transit projects, and the Mayor, as well as the state’s Congressional delegation, need to lobby Congress for a more significant contribution to New York City’s mass transit system. After all, New York is the center of the largest metropolitan economy in the country and mass transit is the backbone of that economy. But the Mayor also needs to get his priorities in order. The city will be devoting $8.9 billion to roads and bridges over the next ten years, but less than one-tenth that amount to transit. In a city where most people don’t drive, these priorities seem out of whack.

No further comments, your honor.

Categories : MTA Economics
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While the MTA’s Doomsday budget with fare hikes and service cuts for all is but a memory, one aspect of the plan — the reduction of station agents throughout the system — remains set for a Sept. 20 rollout. On that day, the MTA will begin phasing out station agents through attrition, and eventually, the system will be leaner the payroll and quite possibly meaner for straphangers fearing for their safety at half-empty stations.

As it became clear after the Albany bailout passed that the MTA would still be cutting these agents, I’ve looked skeptically at their roles in the system. In my non-verified opinion, these station agents provide the illusion of safety. They can’t stop crime and are forbidden from leaving their booths to assist passengers in need. They can provide directions, place phone calls and just sit there as a deterrent presence.

During the build-up to these staffing cuts, the MTA has pursued this line of thinking as well. Straphangers support the agents, but the MTA has claimed that agents field on average less than a handful of support requests every hour. They are, says the transit authority, largely superfluous.

Our city comptroller disagrees. William C. Thompson has written to the MTA Board a scathing indictment of the MTA’s internal report on the station agent program. While the letter, as of this writing, isn’t up yet on Thompson’s website, Heather Haddon has more:

An internal MTA study used to justify the closure of station agent booths across the subway system is “faulty” and “defective,” according to city Comptroller William Thompson.

In a letter sent to the MTA board Wednesday, Thompson blasted the agency’s reasoning in closing 105 booths manned by red-vested station agents later this month, countering many of the MTA’s arguments and the way the survey was conducted. “The report appears to have been written … with the goal of demonstrating that the (station agent) program is a failure,” he wrote…

Thompson’s office said it found that the station agents were busy, helping passengers a total of 820 times during the observation period. Workers assisted riders every three minutes at more than a third of the stations. The transit survey also said that agents did not deter crime, with felonies in the system down drastically since 2002. But Thompson argued that the report did not address misdemeanor crimes like theft or harassment, which are more common than felonies.

I’ll reserver further judgment until I have a chance to review Thompson’s charges, but if rigorous, his claims would give me pause. The MTA is going to save $16 million through 2010 as they eliminate these station agents. If Thompson’s charges hold water, the city could easily see those savings vanish through inefficiencies and an increase in subway crimes — including vandalism.

The station agents are indicative of a larger problem with running a system such as New York’s. Because the city is open for business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, the subways must be too. Because the track mileage is vast, the system is relatively open, and controlled access points — along with people to man those points — are relatively scarce. The MTA can only cut back so many services, so many station agents, before the cuts take a collective toll on the safety, security and stability of the subway system.

As the station agents hit the chopping block in less than three weeks, the MTA will engage in a real-life experiment in subway security. Can the subways operate without the station agents? Can they operate efficiently with them? We’ll find out, but this debate is far from over.

Categories : Service Cuts
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The car lobby in New York State is ramping up its rhetoric this week as driver licensing and registration fees jumped significantly on Tuesday. The hikes, passed earlier this year as part of Albany’s efforts to save the MTA, are significant — 60 percent for licensing fees and 140 percent for registration charges — and motorists aren’t happy.

Newsday’s Alfonso Castillo spoke to a few disgruntled car advocates this week who, in the words of Robert Sinclair of the AAA Auto Club of New York, bemoaned “being made scapegoats for the state’s insolvency.” He continued, “It wouldn’t be so bad if the money were going toward motorist-related issues.”

Of course, Sinclair would never admit it, but the fees are going toward motorist-related issues. The fees are going toward a mass transit system that is vital to the health of New York City. They’re going to a system that keeps the roads clearer than they would be and contributes to a healthy environment for everyone. Those are most decidedly “motorist-related issues.”

Throughout the state, politicians looking to secure votes are speaking out against the fee hikes. Politicians, of course, will always speak out against the fee hikes, but so far, none of them have taken up Gov. David Paterson’s challenge to propose another way to generate this much-needed revenue. Congestion pricing, as always, remains on the table.

Personally, though, I side with the politicians but for different reasons. Unlike Kemp Hannon, a Republican from Garden City, I do not subscribe to the believe that “the use of a car is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.” Plenty of New Yorkers — millions, in fact — do not own cars and lead very successful lives. I do think, however, that licensing fees are at the same time too steep and not steep enough.

In December, when Comptroller William Thompson issued his call for increased fees, I examined his proposal with skeptical eye. He wanted to bump driver licensing fees up from $50 every eight years to $50 every year. For a mandated form of government ID, I thought this charge to be excessive.

In the end, though, the fee hike was far less onerous. Instead of paying $50 for an eight-year renewal, drivers in the region serviced by the MTA have to pay $80.50 for an eight-year renewal. Car registration rises from $44 every two years to $105 every two years. In effect, then, my driver license costs $10.63 a year while I pay $1056 a year to ride the subway (12 Unlimited 30-Day MetroCards at $88 a piece). In that regard, the state is practically giving away driver licenses for next to nothing. Maybe Thompson’s proposal isn’t as burdensome as I thought.

The real solution is, as I mentioned, a congestion fee: Drivers should be charged for the driving they do in areas serviced by mass transit and the social and environmental costs that driving accrues. We shouldn’t pay more for our identification cards just because politicians can’t challenge the vocal car-driving minority.

One day, the MTA will rely on congestion pricing to thrive, and the City will rely on it to become a cleaner and easier-to-navigate metropolis. For now, though, we shouldn’t give AAA spokespeople a pass for their complaints about “motorist related issues.” It just doesn’t ring true.

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In 1990, as the New York City subways were beginning their long, slow climb back to respectability, then-Chariman Robert Kiley brought in Alan F. Kiepper to oversee New York City Transit. Kiepper made his name in Atlanta where he helped develop and build the MARTA system, and to New York’s subways, he tried to bring charm and poetry.

Kiepper, 81, died today of a ruptured aortic aneurysm, and The Times’ Mike Grynbaum remembers Kiepper’s tenure in the city:

He became president of the New York City Transit Authority in 1990, overseeing the nation’s largest subway and bus system, which was struggling to emerge from a long decline. Mr. Kiepper grappled with major fires, accidents and crimes, including an explosion and fire in a Brooklyn subway tunnel in which two passengers died, a derailment in the Union Square station that killed five people and the death of Brian Watkins, a young Utah tourist killed while trying to defend his parents from robbers.

Mr. Kiepper also hired William J. Bratton, a transit police chief from Boston, to run the New York Transit Police. Mr. Bratton led an aggressive campaign against fare beating and robbery. (He left after about 21 months to lead the Boston Police Department and later led those in New York and Los Angeles.)

Subway crime fell by 50 percent during Mr. Kiepper’s tenure. Ridership also rebounded to its highest level in two decades, and Mr. Kiepper pushed for cleaner trains and placed additional managers in the stations.

A lifelong lover of poetry, Mr. Kiepper introduced the popular Poetry in Motion program that placed verses alongside advertisements for skin treatments and technical schools in subway cars and buses; the program ended last year. He worked with the Poetry Society of America to start the program.

Kiepper was one of the key figures in the MTA’s current push to bring its stations and system into a state of good repair, and the transit community lost a key voice today.

Comments (1)

7th Ave. Tiles 1

The 7th Ave. station on the IND Culver Line would probably pass the MTA’s Eyeball Test. (Photo by Benjamin Kabak)

Generally, I try to give those running the MTA and its subdivision the benefit of the doubt. It’s not easy to oversee a 24/7 transit network that includes three different rail divisions, a whole slew of buses, thousands of track miles and hundreds of stations spread out over 12 counties and parts of two states.

Sometimes, though, news comes along that makes me wonder just what is going on inside the upper reaches of 2 Broadway. Take, for instance, the welcome news that Transit is going to ramp up station inspections in the aftermath of the ceiling collapse at 181st St. I’ve been pushing this angle of the story for the last two weeks, and as a daily rider of the subways, I’m comforted to know that Transit will be making a concerted effort to ensure our collective safety.

That’s not the crazy part. The crazy part is how they used to it. Before Aug. 16, Transit inspectors would employ the “Eyeball Test.” To paraphrase a friend of mine, that’s how I generally assess the security of subway ceilings as well. Anyway, Heather Haddon has both the good and absurd of it:

The MTA will conduct tougher station inspections in the wake of last month’s ceiling collapse at the 181st Street stop on the No. 1 train, transit officials said Tuesday. Engineers are beefing up NYC Transit’s protocol for station inspections to include new technology that can “spot potentially serious latent defects,” transit spokesman Charles Seaton said. Officials yesterday did not further elaborate.

Currently, inspectors primarily eyeball a station to determine its soundness. After the ceiling collapse on Aug. 16, relying on visual inspections is “obviously inadequate,” NYC Transit President Howard Roberts stated in internal communication Friday…

Transit advocates are hoping the MTA will start using devices that can detect water damage through sound waves. Water seepage is believed to have played some role in the ceiling collapse, which knocked out service for two weeks.

So just to recap: The MTA has been assessing the structural integrity of its 105-year-old tunnels by eyeballing a station to “determine its soundness.” Stunningly, it took a chunk of ceiling to fall on the tracks for Howard Roberts to realize just how “obviously inadequate” that method is.

Over the last few years, with some solid leaders in place, Transit and the MTA have made strides to improve their public image. The agency’s finances are far more transparent than they used to be, and Roberts has led an era of improved customer relations for Transit. Still, vestiges of the old ways — of secrecy, of lean times, of barely getting by — still seep through the progress. This is one of those times.

As Transit inspectors fan out to look for those “serious latent defects,” I wouldn’t be surprised if the news about structural problems in the subway system picked up over the next few months. It may be enough to attract more money for transit investment, but somehow, the MTA will have to counteract this new story. After all, if the best test those running our trains have involves just looking at ceiling, I have to wonder how any station passed that test and what the MTA is going to find with its more in-depth examinations.

Categories : MTA Absurdity
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