SUBWAY RESCUE PLAN

May 30, 2018 at 4:30 am

Could the “Days of Delays” finally be a thing of the past? The MTA unveils an ambitious ten-year plan to modernize your commute. We have the details.

Aired on May 29, 2018.

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>>> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO
METROFOCUS.
I'M JENN AIRE FLANAGAN.
WE BEGIN TONIGHT WITH THE NEW
INITIATIVE TO OVERHAUL THE
CITY'S DECAYING SUBWAY SYSTEM
WITH COMMUTERS FEARING IT WILL
BECOME A DECADE OF DELAYS.
THE MTA SWEEPING PLAN AIMS TO
INCREASE THE MODERNIZATION OF
THE SIGNAL SYSTEM, IMPROVE
WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBILITY TO
PLATFORMS AND RESTRUCTURE THE
DEPARTMENT'S MANAGEMENT.
UNDER THE PROPOSAL WHICH IS A
FRIGHTENING THOUGHT TO ALL NEW
YORKERS ENTIRE SUBWAY LINES
COULD BE TAKEN OUT OF SERVICE ON
OVERNIGHT AND WEEKEND HOURS.
AND FOR THOSE UPGRADES,
ACCORDING TO "THE NEW YORK
TIMES," THE PRICE IS GETTING
PRETTY STAGGERING.
JOINING US NOW WITH INSUITING IS
TOM WRIGHT, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF
THE REGIONAL PLAN ASSOCIATION,
AN INDEPENDENT URBAN PLANNING
RESEARCH ORGANIZATION.
TOM, WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.
>> THANKS SO MUCH FOR HAVING ME.
>> SO FIRST TELL US -- I KNOW
THAT WE ALL KNOW WE HAVE TO DO
SOMETHING.
>> RIGHT.
>> THAT'S CLEAR.
>> WE HAVE TO.
SO A FEW MONTHS AGO THE MTA
HIRED A NEW PRESIDENT OF THE NEW
YORK CITY TRANSIT AUTHORITY,
ANDY BYFORD.
HE COMES HAVING WORKED AROUND
THE WORLD AND DONE TURN AROUNDS
OF SYSTEMS.
HE BRINGS THE FRESH PERSPECTIVE
AND OUTSIDER POINT OF VIEW THAT
WE NEED IN NEW YORK AND HE
LOOKED TOM TO PALM WITH THE TEAM
HOW WE DO THE SIGNALS AND BY OUR
CARS AND FIX THE STATIONS AND
MONITOR THE SITUATION.
AND HE IS LOOKING INTERNALLY TOO
THE MTA IS IT STRUCTURED AND ARE
THE STAFF EMPOWERED TO DO
THINGS?
IT'S NOT A POLITICAL PLAN HE PUT
TOGETHER.
HE DIDN'T PIVOT FOR A CERTAIN
PRICE TAG OR SOMETHING.
HE SAID THIS IS THE WHICH TO GO
FORWARD.
IT'S A 15-YEAR PLAN WITH KIND OF
FIVE-YEAR ININCREMENTS.
WHAT HE IS TRYING TO DO IS
EXPEDITE THE SYSTEMS WE NEED,
THE RECLE SYSTEM, THE SIGNAL
SYSTEM, THE NEW CARS, THE
STATIONS.
PRIORITIZING THE PIECES OF THE
SYSTEM THAT BENEFIT THE MOST
RIDERS FASTEST AND REALLY
PUTTING AN AGGRESSIVE PLAN OUT
THERE WHICH IS WHAT WE NEED.
>> OF COURSE AN AGGRESSIVE PLAN
MEANS IF THE PENDULUM SWINGS ONE
WAY IT SWINGS THE OTHER.
THAT MEANS PAIN FOR US AS
COMMUTERS AND OF COURSE THE
PRICE TAG.
>> RIGHT IT'S COSTING A LOT OF
MONEY BUT WE HAVE TO COME UP
WITH THE MONEY.
AND IT'S GOING TO MEAN THE
RIDING PUBLIC IS GOING TO HAVE
TO ACCEPT IN THE SHORT TERM THAT
THINGS ARE GOING TO CHANGE.
THERE'S BEEN A KIND OF BARGAIN
THAT WAS SOLD TO NEW YORKERS
THAT SAID, WE CAN KEEP AND
MAINTAIN THE SYSTEM.
YOU CAN RIDE IT 24/7.
YOU'LL NEVER NOTICE US DOING
REPAIRS OR OTHER THINGS AND JUST
KEEP GOING.
AND THAT BARGAIN HAS BEEN
BROKEN.
IT'S FALLEN APART.
AND NEW YORKERS KNOW THAT
BECAUSE WHAT WE SEE NOW TODAY IS
KIND OF THE SYSTEM BREAKING DOWN
ALL AROUND US.
AND WE DON'T KNOW WHEN IT'S
GOING TO FAIL, HOW IT'S GOING TO
FAIL, HOW LONG IT'S GOING TO
TAKE.
I THINK THAT THIS PLAN WHICH HAS
SCHEDULED CLOSURES, WHERE YOU
CAN PLAN AROUND IT.
YOU CAN SAY I KNOW I WON'T RIDE
THIS LINE ON THE WEEKEND OR I
KNOW IT'S GOING TO BE SHUT IN
THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.
AND I'M NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT BUT
I'D RATHER DO THAT FOR A YEAR OR
TWO OR THREE THAN CONTINUE DOWN
THIS PATH OF JUST NOT KNOWING IF
I CAN RELY ON THIS SYSTEM.
>> WELL, I'M GLAD YOU BROUGHT UP
THE INITIAL PROMISE THAT WAS
MADE BETWEEN I GUESS YOU KNOW
THE CITY, STATE AND OF COURSE
COMMUTERS.
BECAUSE IF THAT'S BEEN BROKEN
WHAT REASON IS THERE FOR PEOPLE
TO TRUST THIS PLAN?
WHEN YOU SAY IT'S ONLY FOR THREE
YEARS OR ONLY OVERNIGHT, HOW DO
I KNOW THE A TRAIN DOESN'T JUST
DISAPPEAR TOTALLY FOR TWO YEARS.
>> THAT'S A VALID -- LOOK THE
MTA TRACK RECORD OF DELIVERING
PROJECTS ON TIME AND BUDGET
ISN'T GOOD.
THAT'S WHY GOING ALL IN ON THIS
PLAN.
ANDY BYFORD AND HIS TEAM SAY
HOLD US ACCOUNTABLE.
IT'S NOT JUST A PLAN ABOUT
MAKING INVESTMENTS BUT IT'S
ABOUT RESTRUCTURING THE MTA
CREATING MORE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR
PEOPLE IN STATIONS WHICH AS ANDY
LIKES TO POINT OUT HIS FIRST JOB
AT THE TUBE IN LONDON.
HE KNOWS WHAT HE IS TALKING
ABOUT.
AND SO IT'S REALLY ABOUT AN
EMPOWERING THE STAFF AT THE MTA,
THE 50,000 PEOPLE WORKING THERE.
HE IS ALSO LOOKING -- NOT JUST
ABOUT THE SUBWAYS.
ALSO PLANS FOR UPGRADING THE BUS
SYSTEM, REDESIGNING ROUTES,
BUYING NEW VEHICLES, CHANGING
THE WHICH WE PAY FOR IT AND
GETTING PRIORITIZATION.
THE BUSES -- EVERYTHING IS
HAPPENING ON THE SUBWAY -- IT'S
BEEN WORSE ON BUSES BECAUSE
THEY'RE STUCK IN TRAFFIC WITH
ALL THE OTHER CARS.
>> OF COURSE.
>> SO KIND OF ADDRESSING THAT IS
PART OF THIS SYSTEM TOO.
I DON'T THINK WE HAVE ANY
ALTERNATIVE.
THAN GOING DOWN IN ROUTE.
AND WHAT WE HAVE NOW I THINK IS
A LEADER IN PLACE WHO SAYS, HOLD
ME ACCOUNTABLE.
I'M GOING TO TELL YOU WHAT I'M
GOING TO DO.
I'M GOING -- HE IS GOING TO
START REPORTING ON THE PROGRESS
ON THIS EVERY THREE MONTHS.
SO IT'S GOING TO BE A VERY KIND
OF OPEN, TRANSPARENT ACCOUNTABLE
MTA.
THAT'S NOT BEEN THE CULTURE OF
THIS AGENCY.
>> NO, IT HASN'T.
I THINK THERE IS A LOT OF TRUST
TO BE MADE UP WITH FOR NEW
YORKERS.
>> THAT'S TRUE.
>> IS THERE ANY PLAN HOW THE
PLAN IS BEING RECEIVED FROM
ENTITIES PAYING FOR IT.
>> WE'RE GOING TO ALBANY AND
TALK TO THE LEGISLATORS.
AND SOMETIMES YOU WONDER IF THEY
UNDERSTAND WHAT'S GOING ON IN
NEW YORK CITY AND HOW IMPORTANT
WHAT HAPPENS IN NEW YORK IS FOR
THE REST OF THE STATE, THE
REGION, THE NORTHEAST UNITED
STATES.
SO -- AND I THINK THAT OUR
POLITICIANS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO
STEP UP.
THERE IS A LITTLE BIT OF TREP
TAGS ON THEIR PART ABOUT THIS
BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO COME UP
WITH THE MONEY.
AND THAT'S -- IT'S GOING TO BE A
LOT OF MONEY.
>> YES.
>> BUT THEY DON'T HAVE ANY
ALTERNATIVE TO THIS.
AND DELAYING THIS ONLY MEANS
IT'S COSTING MORE LATER.
IT MEANS THAT NEW YORKERS ARE
GOING TO EXPERIENCE MORE OF THE
DELAYS AND DISRUPTIONS THAT
THEY'RE SEEING NOW.
>> LET ME THROW THIS OUT QUICKLY
BEFORE WE RUN OUT O TIME, WHAT
ABOUT THE POPULAR OPTION FROM
ALBANY, THE PIECEMEAL, A PIECE
HERE AND THERE.
>> THAT WOULD JUST BE A
DISASTER.
>> OKAY.
>> HE IS THAT'S NOT GOING TO
WORK.
THE SYSTEM IS AN INTEGRATED
SYSTEM.
YOU CAN'T PULL A PIECE OUT AND
DO ANYTHING SIGNIFICANT WITH IT.
AND SO I MEAN THE BIGGEST THING
HERE IS ACTUALLY BUYING THE NEW
CARS AND IMPROVING THE SIGNALS
AND MODERNIZING THE SIGNAL
SYSTEM SO THAT OUR TRAINS CAN
RUN MORE CLOSELY TOGETHER.
>> UM-HUM.
>> AND IN A SAFER WAY.
>> WELL LISTEN, TOM THANK YOU SO
MUCH FOR JOINING US AND GIVING
US AT LEAST HOPE FOR THE FUTURE.
>> THANKS ZPLA BUT UNFORTUNATELY
I THINK A LOT OF US ARE A LITTLE
SKEPTICAL.
WE'LL WAIT AND SEE.
>> UNDERSTOOD.
THANKS FOR GIVING ME A CHANCE TO
TALK TO YOU.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

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