Civic News

7 non-genius ways to improve New York’s subway system

Hey, Cuomo: The Regional Plan Association isn't looking for a miracle, just more investment in what we already have.

A rendering of a new subway station, with cell service and phone chargers.

(Image courtesy of MTA)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the MTA Genius Transit Challenge earlier this week, promising $1 million to anyone who can come up with an idea that’s “groundbreaking and innovative” in improving the city’s mass transit.

The challenge comes after a winter of bad news for the MTA. In February, the Times reported the system’s reliability has declined significantly: “Subway delays have jumped to more than 70,000 each month, from about 28,000 per month in 2012, according to the data. On some lines, trains arrive late to their final destination well over half the time.”

But the Regional Plan Association, a New York-based research institution, has seven regular-old, well-thought-out ideas for how to improve the subway. They don’t take genius; they just take money.

Here’s what they recommend:

  • Immediately start better communication with riders.
  • Provide better transit alternatives.
  • Do the L train project right.
  • Speed up the CBTC timeline.
  • Target high-ridership and overcrowded stations for “right-sizing.”
  • Fix bottlenecks in the system
  • Implement the Move NY or similar tolling plan.

The whole thing is worth a read, especially if you’re stuck on a train.

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Companies: MTA
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