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.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Will this plan make subway service more consistent and on schedule?

    Yes, Phase I of the NYC Subway Action Plan will attack the key drivers of 79 percent of the major incidents causing delays on the system. The goal of this plan is to make subway service more reliable for our customers. This plan will stabilize and improve the system and lay the foundation for modernizing the New York City Subway.

  2. When will subway improvements be visible to me?

    You will start to see the following changes across the system:

    • Cleaner subway stations and tracks
    • Repainting and repairs at stations, including servicing of escalators and elevators to increase accessibility
    • Increased passenger capacity on certain trains
    • Increased police and EMT presence at certain stations
    • Clearer station signage, more countdown clocks and better customer service
    • Additional MTA staff in stations

    Some of the initial improvements may not be visible to commuters but will help the MTA provide better service, including:

    • Additional staff to increase maintenance and repairs on subway cars and tracks, including on-location incident and emergency response teams
    • Critical signal system repairs and power improvements
    • Emergency water management and debris removal
    • Installation of continuous welded rail and friction pads

    For additional details of subway improvements, click here.

  3. How is this plan addressing signal and track issues?

    We are working to reduce signal issues in several ways, including creating an expedited repair program that will fix 1,300 signals.

    We are also taking action to improve track conditions in the following ways:

    • Establishing a Water Management Initiative which will seal leaks with chemical grouting, clean 40,000 street grates to ensure proper water diversion and eliminate debris clogging drains
    • Dispatching 31 repair teams across the system to target locations with the highest rate of incidents
    • Tripling the installation rate of a seamless track and increasing track welding capacity by 30 percent
    • Installing 50,000 new friction pads to increase resilience of the rail and reduce incidents impacting service
    • Cutting response time from 45 minutes to 15 minutes by tripling the MTA Combined Action Teams equipped to respond to track, power and signal issues when they arise
  4. Will this plan include any efforts to improve car reliability?

    Yes, we are focused on improving car reliability across the system.

    To streamline and bolster our car maintenance processes, we’re doing the following:

    • Increasing our major overhaul capacity from 950 to 1,100 cars per year to increase reliability
    • Maximizing shop capacity by adding an additional shift to run repair and maintenance shops effectively 24/7
    • Inspecting and repairing every car door system
    • Adding 20 pre-positioned Emergency Subway Car Response teams at 12 locations supported by five mobile repair trucks for quicker on-location repairs
    • Including interior upgrades as part of the regular maintenance cycle to improve the customer experience onboard

    We’re also looking at ways to improve capacity, including:

    • Launching a new pilot program on the Times Square Shuttle and lines to remove seats from some cars and increase passenger capacity by 25 riders per car
    • Adding cars where platforms are long enough, on the Line for example, where each additional car can hold approximately 145 more customers
  5. I heard the plan includes a program to remove seats from subway cars. How will this be carried out? What if I need to sit for health or safety reasons?

    The NYC Subway Action Plan includes a pilot program to create extra passenger capacity through a limited number of designated seat-less subway cars on the Line and the Times Square Shuttle Line. The goal is to increase capacity by 25 riders per car on these trains. On both lines only a designated number of cars per train would be seat-less, offering seated car options for customers who prefer to sit. Seat-less cars will be clearly marked such that riders can choose the appropriate car prior to boarding.

    Before this pilot program launches, we will make sure customers are aware of the changes due to this program and make information on seated options available.

    For this pilot program, the MTA will measure efficacy and customer response before making a decision to implement it more broadly.

    If you have accessibility concerns please call 511 or NYC ParaTransit Services 877-337-2017.

  6. Does this plan include any improvements to public safety and cleanliness in the system?

    Our plan includes initiatives focused on improving station cleanliness and reducing litter throughout the system:

    • Increasing the frequency of heavy-duty station cleaning by 30 percent to provide a better customer experience
    • Launching a program at priority stations across the system that includes deep cleaning, repainting, tile repair and servicing elevator and escalator repairs, which will help improve accessibility
    • Launching an aggressive public service campaign to educate customers about the consequences of littering
    • Calling on New York City to increase police presence in our stations and calling on the NYPD to enforce the law and deter illegal activity such as harassment, panhandling and littering

    We are also addressing delays related to sick passengers by more than doubling the number of stations with dedicated EMT teams to reduce wait time when medical emergencies occur.

  7. Is the MTA changing how they communicate with customers about subway delays and service changes?

    Yes. 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. This includes:

    • Overhauling our digital communications assets to provide more detailed and personalized information, including the launch of a new MTA-wide app
    • Introducing new station signage and employee training to improve the way we communicate service changes and alternative options
    • Accelerating the system-wide completion of countdown clock installations
    • Deploying MTA Customer Representatives at high-traffic stations to help customers in real time
  8. Are you making any changes to how the MTA is managed to facilitate these improvements?

    Yes. We are rebuilding the management and operations organizations to provide faster and more effective solutions. We are also bringing key decision makers together to monitor incidents in real time and more rapidly dispatch resources.

  9. How much are these improvements costing?

    In order to stabilize the system as we modernize, we will need to invest immediately $456 million in operating costs and make a $380 million capital investment.

  10. Will the planned maintenance and improvements impact rush hour subway riders?

    Most of the planned maintenance and improvements will occur overnight and on weekends. However, we know that many customers rely on our service to get to work during nighttime and weekend hours, and will provide and communicate alternative options to help our customers get where they need to go.

    We will provide and communicate alternative options to help our customers get where they need to go. We are committed to improving our communication about planned work so customers can make alternative plans in advance. Check mta.info for the latest information and sign up for MTA Alerts to stay informed.

  11. How can I report subway station, track or car conditions?

    We appreciate our customers alerting us of conditions across our system. Contact our customer support team by email here or call 511.

  12. How can I find out the latest information about service changes?

    We encourage all of our customers to check mta.info, follow @NYCTSubway on Twitter and sign up for MTA Alerts to stay up-to-date with the latest subway information. Additionally, signs on our platforms and station employees will alert you of upcoming planned work.

  13. What is the subway state of emergency?

    On June 29, 2017, Governor Cuomo declared the NYC Subway System in a state of emergency to cut through red tape and speed processes needed to rapidly fix the subway and pledged an additional $1 billion to the MTA Capital Plan.

  14. Is this plan part of the larger Capital Plan?

    Yes, the NYC Subway Action Plan’s phased approach to stabilizing the subway system is part of the Five-Year Capital Plan that is modernizing all transportation in the state of New York.

  15. What is the MTA Genius Transit Challenge?

    The MTA Genius Transit Challenge is an international competition seeking innovative solutions to modernize and improve the reliability of the New York City Subway System.

    For more information, click here.