MTA hopes to boost rider satisfaction with subway upgrades including re-opening of bathrooms

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Tuesday, October 25, 2022
MTA hopes to boost rider satisfaction with subway upgrades
What do subway riders think about the New York City transit system? Sandra Bookman got an exclusive look at a soon-to-be released customer satisfaction survey.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The MTA made several big announcements Monday that will impact commuters, and a soon-to-be-released customer satisfaction survey seems to suggest news about the subway isn't all bad.

New York City Transit President Richard Davey, on the job for some six months, shared with Eyewitness News exclusively the results of that survey, which he says shows customer satisfaction at a historical high.

He says it's up from 48% in April of this year to 58% in September. Davey believes he can push that to 70% over the next 18 months.

"They want faster, they want cleaner and they want safe," he said.

First, according to a published report, the agency will be reopening a handful of subway station bathrooms beginning in January.

According to the New York Times, eight of them will re-open initially, now that more cleaners have been hired.

All of the city's 69 subway station bathrooms have been closed since the beginning of the pandemic.

Next, an MTA committee has approved nearly $1.8 billion to purchase 640 new subway cars.

The new R-211 cars from Kawasaki would replace 1970s-era cars on the A and C lines, with the first delivery expected as early as February 2025.

The purchase must still be approved by the full MTA board.

And reduced-fare MetroCard users will now be able to ride trains and buses at half-price using OMNY.

The reduced-fare cards allow seniors and people with disabilities to pay $1.35 to ride a train or bus instead of $2.75.

You can apply to switch your MetroCard benefits to OMNY by using the Digital Assistant tool on OMNY's website. The changes do not apply to students and 'Fair Fares' riders.

Responses from subway riders Eyewitness News reporter Sandra Bookman talked with on Tuesday, appeared to mirror those in the transit system survey.

"Things are improving, watch your back," subway rider Jaheim Bowley said.

"I feel like it's okay, many people say," Stacey Holmen said.

Davey said he has an ambitious plan to give riders what they say they want. He'll present it to the full MTA board on Wednesday.

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