WATCH: Webinar with MTA Chair & CEO, Pat Foye
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Partnership for New York City: Your Local Impact
Webinar with MTA Chair & CEO, Pat Foye
May 22, 2020, 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Kathryn Wylde, President, Partnership for NYC
George Walker, Board Member, Partnership for NYC
Pat Foye, MTA Chair & CEO
What does the future of public transit look like in the post-COVID world? Pat Foye took on the challenge of answering that question at a webinar posted here.
The MTA network — comprising the New York City subway and bus system, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North, and the Bridge and Tunnel Authority — carries 2 billion riders per year.
In the past two months the MTA has implemented a range of initiatives to address the impact of the ongoing public health crisis on our public transit system. The MTA has distributed more than two million masks to employees, deployed temperature brigades throughout transit facilities, and implemented rear-door boarding on buses to mitigate face-to-face contact. It achieved a quick launch of the ‘Essential Connector’ app to help essential workers plan alternative travel to- or from work during the overnight subway closure, 1 a.m. to 5 a.m., with support of the Transit Innovation Partnership.
Ridership across the subway, bus, and commuter rail systems is down 80% to 90%. Today, due to low utilization, riders are able to keep their distance from one another, but that is unlikely as more people go back to the office. How can we be confident that our commute will be safe in the months ahead? Foye mentioned his team is working with industry partners across the globe to explore all options, including:
- Implementing a reservation-based system
- Installing new decal markers to coordinate flow throughout stations
- Increasing the maintenance and replacement of train car ventilators
- Utilizing ultraviolet technology to disinfect train cars when empty
- Omnicard touchless admission and app-based information on over-crowded conditions for MTA personnel and riders
With loss of ridership, revenues have plummeted. The MTA is seeking an additional $3.9 billion in aid from the federal government to fill the gap and maintain its operations and capital program. Washington needs to understand that this funding is essential to re-opening the city’s economy.
Let your Member of Congress know that MTA funding should be a top priority. You can reach your Congressman through Local Impact here.
Last year the MTA, the Partnership for New York City, transit advocates and elected officials across the state worked with Governor Cuomo to lay out an ambitious 5-year Capital Plan to modernize the region’s public transit system. This plan was possible with the passage of the Central Business District Tolling initiative (congestion pricing). The $51 billion program is set to increase train capacity with new signaling systems, add more accessible stations, and purchase new electric buses, among other transformational initiatives. However, because of the recent decrease in ridership revenue and delays in federal approvals, this critical modernization program is also at risk.
Let your state legislators know that the importance of the MTA capital program through Local Impact here.
We thank you for joining us today. As always, the Partnership is here to connect you with public sector leaders to get you the most accurate and real-time information during this crisis.
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