Amid the pandemic struggles, some progress made in NYC Transit
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TIMESLEDGER | QNS.COM | OCT. 2-OCT. 8, 2020 13
BY SARAH E. FEINBERG
To say it’s been a rough six months
is an understatement; the COVID crisis
is and remains a national nightmare.
But for now, the smoke is starting
to clear here in New York: schools
are reopening, indoor dining is set to
resume, and most importantly for us at
Transit, riders are starting to return
to the system in greater numbers.
We’re inching closer to 2 million
daily riders on the subway and holding
steady at over 1 million on buses. This
is great news.
I hope you’re among those joining
us. The truth is, if you give us a chance,
you might be surprised. For starters,
the system is cleaner than ever thanks
to our around-the-clock disinfecting
efforts on rolling stock and in stations,
and we’re more focused than ever on
improving the customer experience.
Case in point, the rollout of OMNY
— even the pandemic can’t slow us
down. We just passed the 75 percent
completion mark for subway stations,
and all Bronx buses will be equipped
with the new fare payment system in
October. By the end of the year, it will
be available everywhere.
Our new normal has proven just
how crucial it is to have a contactless
system in place. The market share of
customers using OMNY skyrocketed
by 95 percent over the last six months,
and we’re fast approaching 20 million
taps since launching in spring 2019.
This week, we’re also reprinting
the subway station map for the first
time in two years, the longest stretch
between printings ever.
The new edition includes several
updates: the renaming of two stations
in Brooklyn at Medgar Evers College;
the restoration of N express service in
Brooklyn; and new accessibility markers
at stations like the 86th St R, Astoria
Boulevard N/W, 1st Avenue L and
Bedford Avenue L. To clarify, these updates
appeared online, in our apps and
on in-station screens right away, but
printings are sporadic. Now the new
map will be installed inside train cars
and in stations.
I want all New Yorkers to be able
to get around our city as easily as possible
— with all the up-to-date route
information they might need, a quick
and seamless way to pay the fare, and
above all, a system that is safe and
clean to visit. It’s as simple as that.
Everyone at Transit is working
hard to keep us moving forward, like
we were before the pandemic. Pre-
COVID, subways and buses were seeing
the best on-time performance in
years, with our highest ridership since
2017. We’re not letting that progress go
down the drain. Come ride with us and
see for yourself.
Sarah Feinberg is interim MTA New
York City Transit president.
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