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MTA NYCT Committee Testimony-” CBTC, Updated Maps, and Shuttle Buses”

Good morning. My name is Liam Blank, and I am the Associate Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA (PCAC). I am here today to share some feedback and recommendations on behalf of PCAC. 

First, we want to commend the MTA for its progress in implementing CBTC, especially on the 8th Avenue Line, which I rely on daily. CBTC allows a train’s position to be known more accurately than with traditional signaling systems, which makes managing the subway system safer and more efficient. CBTC also enables trains to run closer together, increasing capacity and reducing delays. We appreciate the MTA’s efforts to modernize its signal technology and improve service for riders. Understandably, this work calls for a lot of weekend General Orders and service changes, which can be confusing, even for the most seasoned rider. 

Second, we recommend implementing, real-time digital maps on Outfront Advertising Panels. As electronic maps can be programmed in real-time, riders would know to look at them, rather than static wall maps. We urge the MTA to ensure that digital maps are consistent with service changes, so riders can plan their trips accordingly. This small change could make a significant difference for riders who rely on the subway to get around on weekends. 

Third, we recognize and appreciate that shuttle buses are now being numbered, which is a helpful improvement, and we hope this is a first step toward displaying shuttle service on MTA apps and trip planners. Shuttle buses are often used as alternatives when subway lines are suspended or rerouted due to construction or emergencies. However, many riders do not know where these buses stop or how frequently they run. It would be very helpful if they were integrated into MTA apps and trip planners so that riders can see their routes, schedules, and real-time locations. This would provide riders with a comprehensive view of their transportation options and allow them to better plan their commutes. 

Thank you for your time and attention. We look forward to working with you to make our transit system better for all New Yorkers.