New Yorkers have endured months upon months of depressing subway news. Over the last year, the system has seen derailments, sharp declines in service and a full-blown state of emergency. But this week, New York City Transit president Andy Byford gave straphangers a glimmer of positive subway news: Four of the city’s busiest subway lines are getting major boosts in service.
Come November, additional trains will run on the A, D, E and F lines on weekdays, mostly during the periods immediately following or preceding rush hour. The added service aims to reduce wait times and crowding on the routes, three of which (the A, E and F) have on-time performance rates below 75 percent, according to a report released by the Independent Budget Office last year.
The subway service expansion includes the following:
- Three additional southbound A trains on weekdays between approximately 8 and 11:30pm
- One additional northbound D train on weekdays between approximately 3:30 and 4pm
- Three additional northbound D trains on weekdays between approximately 7 and 9pm
- Three additional southbound E trains on weekdays between approximately 10:30am and noon
- One additional northbound F train on weekdays between approximately 10:30 and 11am
- Two additional southbound F trains on weekdays between approximately 10:30 and 11:30am
- One additional southbound F train on weekdays between approximately 2:00 and 3:00pm
- Two additional southbound F trains on weekdays between approximately 8:00 and 10:00pm
This announcement is just the tip of the iceberg for Byford. At an MTA Board meeting on Wednesday, he’s set to release a comprehensive plan to “modernize and improve all aspects of NYC Transit—including the framework for how to allow for more significant additions to subway service.”
New Yorkers have heard these kinds of promises before—last year’s $880 million Subway Action Plan stirred more of a debate as to who will pay for it than the actual problems it intended to solve. Still, if anyone is going to successfully fix the subway, it's Byford. He’s been at the center of impressive turnarounds in transit service in London, Sydney and Toronto.
Here's hoping he can bring some of that juju to New York.