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effi ciency: The MTA’s
New Year’s resolutions
BY JANNO LIEBER
It’s a new year but the MTA’s core mission
remains the same — to keep New York moving
with safe, reliable and cost-eff ective service. Each
of these points is equally important.
I’ll start with safety, which is the number one
concern of current and returning riders according
to our latest customer survey. Security must
be prioritized if we’re going to continue rebuilding
ridership post-COVID, and we’re working
closely with Governor Hochul, Mayor Adams
and Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell to
address New Yorkers’ concerns.
All three refreshingly understand that perception
is reality when it comes to the subways. Last
week, they stood together with MTA offi cials to
lay out a public safety strategy that rightly focuses
on outreach and services for our most vulnerable
New Yorkers and NYPD visibility on platforms
and on board trains.
Th ese eff orts are especially important as we
continue to deal with crime and the growing
issue of unauthorized persons on our tracks.
Th ese episodes oft en end tragically for the people
involved, many of whom struggle with mental
illness and homelessness.
Th ere’s also a signifi cant impact on service to
consider here. In December alone, there were
116 incidents of unauthorized persons on the
tracks, which resulted in over 2,000 delays for
customers. Th is cannot continue, which is why
I’ve put together a task force within the MTA
focused on preventing track trespass. With support
from the state and city, we will do better for
Th e second piece of the puzzle is reliability.
It’s no secret that service has been put to the test
during the omicron surge, like every other agency
and company in the region. With many in our
frontline workforce out sick, we’ve had to deal
with staffi ng shortages that led to some longer
wait times and line suspensions.
But thanks to the strategic thinking of our
operations planning team, we’re setting a realistic
schedule every day. It’s not perfect by any
measure, but every one of our 472 subway stations
has service, with buses holding strong
at all 16,000 stops on the streets — leaving no
commuter stranded. As more employees recover
from the virus and new hires fi nish training,
it will only get better. All the while, we continue
to look for ways to increase speeds and improve
Th e last component to our core mission is costeff
ectiveness. To help riders to get the best deal
possible, the MTA is launching its fi rst-ever fare
capping pilot next month for customers using
OMNY. Additionally, we’re making it easier than
ever to apply for a reduced fare MetroCard by
introducing online applications, while working
with the city to expand its Fair Fares program for
low-income New Yorkers.
Commuter railroad customers can expect a
deal with a new 20-trip ticket option coming in
February, along with reduced rates for monthly
passes and the extension of our weekend fl at fare
City Ticket to all weekday off -peak trains.
To sum it up, a better MTA is on the way in
2022. We look forward to welcoming you aboard.
Janno Lieber is the MTA’s acting chairman and
SENATE BILL S360
Th e following is an open letter to state
Senator Leroy Comrie.
Dear Hon. Senator Leroy Comrie,
As a constituent, I write to express
my indignation with your sponsorship
of Senate Bill S360, which “authorizes
ballot by mail by removing cause for
absentee ballot voting.”
I, along with many others, am distressed
and request an answer.
In the latest general election last
November, voters defeated Ballot
Proposition No. 4 for no-excuse absentee
voting by a wide margin. I question
why you would sponsor and vote in
favor of a bill that is a blatant disregard
for a referendum of the people.
S360 clearly is a bill which overturns
the will of the voters, canceling a legitimate
election outcome, and this is an
authoritarian act unacceptable in our
Please answer this question: Why
would you sponsor a measure which
denigrates our electoral process and
discourages people from voting in
Voter suppression occurs when state
legislators pass laws that summarily
overturn the valid votes of the people
in a free and fair election. Th is is intolerable,
and we the people, your constituents,
would like an answer.
Phil Orenstein, Queens Village
Mayor ERIC Adams and his new
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell
will have some job fi ghting crime and
controlling gun violence.
Former Mayor de Blasio has left
quite a mess with a death toll of close
to 500 murders for the fi rst time in a
decade as reported.
Mayor Adams is a former NYPD
captain and the new police commissioner
Sewell is Nassau County’s former
chief of detectives and the fi rst
woman to run the NYPD. Th ese two
are both African-Americans and can
address diverse communities and can
be respected for their understanding
of the problems in these communities.
As such I believe there can be a
major dent on crime. It will take time
but I hope and pray it can be done for
the protection of the residents of the
good people of New York City.
Here’s a message to the criminals
and the gangbangers: Th e party is over.
You can run but you no longer can
hide. Th ere’s a new sheriff in town who
aims to make New York City a safer
place for all New Yorkers.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr., Bellerose