Fast Action: Subway

June - December 2018


While we await new capital funding, we are attacking the root cause of delays and engaging employees throughout the organization to identify solutions, create efficiencies, and help get you to your destination quickly.

Here’s how we’ve focused on transforming the subway in 2018:

  • Completed the stabilization phase of the Subway Action Plan (SAP) by addressing the root causes of incidents and improving incident response. Monthly performance improved for the 18 months since the SAP began as exemplified for the following operating metrics when compared to the six months before the SAP:

    • Reduced weekday major incidents by 15.7%

    • Increased weekday service delivered to 94.7%

    • Decreased weekday delays by 5.5%

  • Met our goal of reducing delays by 10,000 per month, starting in September, through the end of the year. We accomplished this reduction through campaigns like Save Safe Seconds, which is focused on improving basic operational practices, such as better platform and crowd management, updating antiquated speed limits, and ensuring that signal equipment is correctly calibrated.

  • Deployed the first of three new vacuum trains to keep the track bed clear of debris that can lead to track fires. Fires were down by about 9% in 2018, and we’re happy to note that fires caused by debris on the roadbed were down 26%.

  • Made strides toward a more data-driven approach to system maintenance as we develop tools to help us identify and prioritize repairs to equipment that impact reliability.

  • Launched a new accountable station management model, the Group Station Manager (GSM), and have begun to make targeted improvements, as prioritized by the GSMs.

  • Raised the speed limit in 24 locations where we determined it was safe to do so, and we’re currently monitoring these locations to understand the positive impact on service. We’ll continue to review signals throughout the system to make sure that we’re operating at peak efficiency.

  • Evaluated over 90% of the system to ensure that grade time signals are enforcing the correct speed limit, and we have found over 300 signals that need modifications. These efforts are paying off: We’ve safely modified signals in over 50 locations, tested and confirmed that 30 of these signals are now enforcing the correct maximum speed, and we are implementing and testing solutions to address the others.

We’re just getting started. See what we have in store for the first few months of 2019.