We know you're frustrated, so we have a plan to improve a 113-year-old system that’s failing our customers and give you the quality service you expect. We're making improvements to stabilize the system and laying the foundation for modernization.

Here’s a snapshot of key actions we’re taking:

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New programs:
Expedited signal repair, emergency water management, seat removal pilot, system-wide station cleaning

New installations:
Continuous welded rail and friction pads

Stronger response:
More maintenance and repair workers, on-location incident and emergency response teams, police and EMT presence

Longer trains, more countdown clocks, clearer service updates, anti-littering public awareness campaign

Read our plan to improve the MTA.

Stabilize and improve the system by attacking the key drivers of 79 percent of major incidents causing delays on the system

Signal & Track Maintenance

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  • Fifty-six percent of signal equipment is more than 50 years old. Increasingly, this older equipment is breaking down and causing signal issues that trigger nearly one-third of major incidents. To reduce the rate at which signal equipment breaks down, we are creating dedicated teams to execute an expedited repair program that will fix 1,300 of the most problematic signals.

  • Over the last 12 months, power-related issues have caused tens of thousands of delays. The New York State Public Service Commission will announce a plan this week to improve the power signals throughout the system.

  • Water on the tracks erodes the infrastructure over time and is a root cause of track-related incidents that cause delays. We’re launching an emergency Water Management Initiative in which teams will seal leaks with chemical grouting, clean 40,000 street grates to ensure proper water diversion and eliminate debris clogging drains.

  • To accelerate the repair of potential track issues across the entire underground system, we’re dispatching 31 specialized teams to target locations with the highest rate of incidents. We’re also cleaning the entire underground subway system to remove debris and reduce fire hazards.

  • Rail joints on our aging tracks cause most rail breakdowns and lead to increased wear and tear on trains. To reduce the number of breakdowns and provide a smoother ride, we are tripling the installation rate of a continuous welded rail and increasing track welding capacity by 30 percent. In addition, 50,000 new friction pads being installed will increase resiliency of the rail and reduce incidents impacting service.

  • To expedite a range of track, power and signal repairs and cut response time dramatically from 45 minutes to 15 minutes, we’re tripling the MTA Combined Action Teams equipped to respond to issues when they arise.

Car Reliability

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  • Mechanical issues and malfunctions on subway cars prohibit us from using the entire fleet, which is – on average – 22 years old. We’re expanding our major overhaul capacity from 950 to 1,100 cars per year to rapidly improve the performance of our fleet and prioritizing the inspection and repair of doors, which cause 40 percent of car breakdowns.

  • We're pre-positioning 20 Emergency Subway Car Response teams at 12 locations with five mobile repair trucks for quicker on-location repairs and maximizing shop capacity by adding an additional shift to run repair and maintenance shops effectively 24/7.

  • A majority of lines are already operating with as many subway cars as station platforms can accommodate, but we’re able to add cars to trains on the C Line, where platforms are long enough. Each additional car holds approximately 145 more customers.

  • We’re launching a new pilot program on the Times Square Shuttle (S) and L lines to remove seats from select cars and increase passenger capacity by 25 riders per car.

  • We’re also including interior upgrades as part of the regular maintenance cycle to improve the customer experience onboard.

System Safety & Cleanliness

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  • New York City Subways is policed by the NYPD. We’re calling on New York City to increase police presence and calling on the NYPD to enforce the law and deter illegal activity, such as harassment, sexually inappropriate behavior, loitering, aggressive panhandling and littering.

  • Littering on the subway tracks is not only illegal – it’s also a major nuisance and contributes to 700 fire-related delays every year. We’re launching an aggressive public service campaign to educate customers on the consequences of littering.

  • When a customer becomes ill on the subway, train staff are required to remain with the passenger until help arrives – effectively stopping the train and delaying all passengers. Following a successful pilot on the A/C/E Line, we’re more than doubling the number of stations with dedicated EMTs in an effort to reduce wait time.

  • We’re increasing the frequency of heavy-duty station cleaning by 30 percent to provide a better customer experience. At priority stations across the system, we’re launching a program to deep clean, repaint, repair tile and service elevators and escalators, which will help improve accessibility.

Customer Communications

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  • We’re revising communications protocols to provide clearer, more timely information to our customers during incidents and better information about the work we’re doing to the system.

  • We’re overhauling our digital communications assets to provide more detailed and personalized information, including the launch of a new integrated MTA app, and introducing new signage and employee training to improve the way we communicate service changes and alternative options.

  • System-wide completion of countdown clock installations has been accelerated, and MTA Customer Representatives are being deployed at high-traffic stations to help customers in real time.

Critical Management Group

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  • We’re rebuilding the management and operations organizations, resulting in faster and more effective solutions.

  • In addition, we’re bringing key decision makers together to monitor incidents in real time and more rapidly dispatch resources.


Modernizing the entire system

System-Wide Modernization

We’ll be introducing a long-term, system-wide improvement plan, including better subway cars, a new signaling system, modern communications technology to facilitate new signaling and the deployment of the most promising innovations submitted to the MTA’s Genius Transit Challenge, which is currently underway.