Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye, NYC Transit President Andy Byford, and Senior Vice President, Department of Subways Sally Librera today announced new statistics showing the continued dramatic subway performance improvements that have been achieved since the launch of the Subway Action Plan (SAP) and the Save Safe Seconds campaign. Most notably, subway on-time performance hit 81.5% in June- the first time it’s been above 80% in almost six years. The SAP, launched by Governor Andrew Cuomo and then MTA Chairman Joe Lhota, has provided a surge of additional union personnel, outside contractors, and new tools and methods for the maintaining and improving the system.
Overall subway performance continued its steady improvement in June 2019, with every weekday metric better than both June 2018 and the average of the past 12 months. On-time performance has continued to improve, and major incidents have declined to the lowest number since this record has been kept, and other customer-centric performance numbers are also pointing higher.
“More than six months of sustained improvements show that our Subways team’s emphasis on the basics of service and our push to make strategic, institutional changes at every level through the Subway Action Plan is getting solid results that we are proud of,” said MTA Chairman Patrick Foye. “And, with the passage of Central Business District Tolling through the leadership of Governor Cuomo, the best is yet to come.”
“Running a subway requires people with the right skills, the right mandate and the right focus to identify and eliminate root causes of delay,” said New York City Transit President Andy Byford. “I asked Sally and her team to focus on getting the basics right and to develop a campaign to complement the work already under way via the Subway Action Plan. Working with our union partners, our Save Safe Seconds campaign has safely speeded up service across the network with more improvements still to come.”
Weekday on-time performance (OTP) for June was approximately 81.5%, the highest figure since August of 2013. Weekday major incidents decreased 27.4% from June 2018, dropping from 62 to 45 in June 2019. Furthermore, weekday train delays decreased 45.9% from last June, from 56,233 to 30,434, which is the lowest level of delays since September 2013.
Positive numbers were also realized in many of NYC Transit’s customer-focused metrics, including Service Delivered, Additional Platform Time, Additional Train Time, and Customer Journey Time Performance, as all metrics were better than one year ago and better than their average performance over the past 12 months. Specifically, Additional Train Time decreased to 47 seconds, a drop of 32.9% from last June, while Customer Journey Time Performance improved to 84.3%, the highest since this metric has been measured, and the latest figures on mean distance between failures of subway cars are in the process of being tabulated but are also expected to continue their months-long upward trend.
A contributing factor to the reduction in delays has been the significant progress made in reducing track debris fires, which are significantly down since NYCT started attacking this problem with new equipment in 2017. This has included clearing debris at an unprecedented rate using new platform-based mobile vacs, and vacuum trains that move around the system picking up trash. Year to date, track fires are down 61 from 185 to 124, and they are down 130 for the previous 12 months, from 410 to 280.
The Subway Action Plan launched at the direction of Governor Cuomo in July 2017, and funded by the governor, legislature and city, with the goal of taking extraordinary measures to stabilize and improve the more than 100-year old subway system, has been critical to the improvements. During the Subway Action Plan, MTA works and outside contractors have:
- cleared more than 55,000 street grates to prevent ingress of litter and leaves that build up on the track, causing fires and clogging drains;
- sealed more than 6,300 leaks to prevent water ingress that causes power and signal problems, deterioration of track and other equipment resulting in unplanned service changes, delays and track fires;
- installed 51 miles of Continuous Welded Rail (CWR) across the system, replacing jointed rail, which is more prone to rail defects that delay trains;
- repaired almost 25,000 minor track defects that if not repaired can cause delays;
- performed 79 miles of track rail grinding to improve ride quality and reduce defects;
- repaired or rebuilt more than 1,700 signal components, drastically reducing the backlog of issues that can disrupt service;
- completed 1,200 priority maintenance and repair tasks to improve reliability of signal and switch equipment;
- rebuilt and modernized more than 300 signal stops to be moisture proof and avoid service interruption;
- conducted a comprehensive inspection of door components across all fleets;
- made maintenance practices more efficient so cars can be put back into service more quickly;
- repaired door control units on over 1,000 cars in our oldest fleets to improve reliability of this critical component that cause 40 percent of car breakdowns;
- overhauled more than 2,600 cars in an accelerated major car overhaul program, where the overhaul cycle changed from 7 years to 6 years;
- conducted a deep cleaning initiative of over 2,500 car interiors and over 2,700 car exteriors;
- conducted a deep cleaning initiative of over 100 subway stations;
- enhanced 130 stations via a focused cleaning and repair campaign led by Group Station Managers.