New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority has announced a six-point plan to restructure senior management and improve overcrowding and service malfunctions that have beset New Yorkers.

The MTA, one of the largest municipal issuers with roughly $36.5 billion in debt, intends to keep its executive director and chairman positions separate and will push for enabling legislation from the state legislature.

This is an MTA photo.
The MTA hopes management restructuring and other moves will help improve its operations. (Credit: Bloomberg News) Bloomberg

The authority, which operates the New York City subway and bus system, two regional commuter rail lines and several bridges and tunnels, has operated under a separate interim executive director and board chairman since Thomas Prendergast, who held both titles, retired in January.

Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim and Fernando Ferrer have those respective titles.

MTA officials say bifurcating the positions builds on the recent appointments of chief development officer Janno Lieber and chief operating officer Phil Eng.

The authority said it is undertaking a “comprehensive plan” beyond long-term capital improvements to cope with widespread subway delays that have exasperated commuters.

“Increasing delays are simply unacceptable which is why we have to commit to addressing the immediate problems with all the tools at our disposal,” said Hakim.

The $20 million plan, she said, targets the key causes of subway system delays, including track and signal issues; sick passengers and police activity; subway car equipment failures; loading and unloading in stations; and bottlenecks at critical points in the system where lines merge.

This plan, said the MTA, will roll out in phases across the 8th Avenue line over six months. The first phase will begin immediately on the 8th Avenue corridor from 125th Street to Fulton Street, and include 19 stations on the A,C and E lines; and at two key hubs in the South Bronx, 149th Street-Grand Concourse and 3rd Avenue-138th Street.

According to the MTA, the 8th Avenue corridor has seven major incidents per month on average, delaying 50 trains or more.

The plan complements upgrades included in the MTA’s $29.5 billion, five-year capital program. The program includes more than $14 billion for its New York City Transit subdivision.

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Paul Burton

Paul Burton

Paul Burton is the Northeast Regional Editor for The Bond Buyer and the author of the book "Tales from the Newsrooms." He is a sought-after public speaker and has appeared on radio and TV shows, including former CBS News White House correspondent Sharyl Attkisson’s public-affairs program, “Full Measure.”