MTA improvements on subways

February 22, 2010 3:41:47 PM PST
Despite a budget shortfall, the MTA is moving ahead with a series of subway improvements.It's the most crowded line on the subway, the Lexington Avenue 4, 5, 6, but the MTA is now considering a plan it calls perfectly safe.

Instead of running 27 trains every rush hour, signaling would change and permit 28.

That would make room for an extra 2,000 customers every hour.

"I would be delighted, delighted. The 6, 4, and 5 I've been in the city 25 years, it's always been a problem, they need to do something about it," said Michael Lundregan, a subway rider.

"It's just like crazy, when you are inside the train, the pushing and the shoving, there's no excuse me, it's bad!" exclaimed Rhonda Ocasio, a subway rider.

Other improvements include the first of new security cameras on the "E" line Monday.

Also, the agency's considering a pilot program with fold up seats, that would allow for 40 more riders in every car.

The agency is planning on sprucing up eight subway stations.

The Times Square Station had a recent facelift, but there are already signs of aging like peeling paint and rust on newly-painted beams.

"I think once you put money into an asset and improve it, we have to maintain it to a higher standard and that's what the focus is. We've certainly done it in cars, we've done it on tracks, why shouldn't we do the same thing in stations," explained Thomas Predergast, the NYC Transit President.

Subway officials hope they can pay for station improvements in the current operating budget.

As for more trains on the East Side, with signal improvements, that will come out of long-term capital money.

Regardless of which pot of money pays for the improvements, the MTA is facing serious money problems.

Tuesday, it's expected the agency will announce another round of layoffs.