Focusing on the Basics: Saving Safe Seconds

Andy Byford smiling and riding the subway.

Today marks the start of a weekly blog, to let you, our valued customers, know what we’re doing on your behalf to improve transit in this greatest of cities.

If we get the funding (and I am speaking with elected officials, advocacy groups and industry leaders to achieve this), our Fast Forward Plan will deliver you an accessible, fully modernized transit network in an unprecedented timeframe—ten years, or less than four thousand days.

But improvements are already well underway.

By focusing on what I call “basics,” we can make our train, bus, and paratransit services more punctual and reliable—right now.

One of those basics is our “Save Safe Seconds” campaign.  On the subway, every second counts.  It may not seem like much, but delays compound as trains move through the city.  A one minute delay in the Bronx can mean a delay of 10 minutes or more by the time a train reaches Brooklyn. Train crews and platform staff are working together to manage the “dwell time” at stations—the time between a train stopping to let passengers on and off, and then restarting the trip.  The longer a train sits in a station, the more it delays the trains behind it.

We’re improving training for our crews so they can keep trains moving through the system.  We’re also making changes to the signal system, and improvements to tunnel signage so train operators can move more safely and more quickly.

Please do your bit to help keep service moving.  If the doors are closing, do not block them or hold them open. Doing so is not only potentially dangerous, it delays service and trains in the queue behind. You will see and hear our teams using whistles and politely, but assertively asking you to “stand clear” when the train is ready to leave.

If we can safely save seconds for each train trip, it soon adds up to more punctual and reliable service—service that you can rely on so that you don’t feel the need to rush for a train that is about to depart.

I have set for my team an initial target to reduce monthly delays by 10,000 by year’s end.  By working together, we can achieve that and deliver the tangible improvements everyone wants.

Joshua Gee