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MTA Committee Meeting Testimony- Much to Thankful for, Still Much to Do

Lisa Daglian, Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA (PCAC) said:

Good morning, I’m Lisa Daglian, Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA, PCAC.

This is our first meeting since the April 12th shooting on the N train and we’d like to again thank the transit workers who showed – again – that they are true heroes. Their actions saved lives and prevented a worse tragedy. Thank you also to the regular riders and first responders who stepped up to help the injured and scared. You exemplify the best of New York. And to the Police, thank you for your hard work to get the guy. It took a lot of resources, yes, including MTA cameras, to pull together the details to reach that moment.

New Yorkers are tough, and the next day we got right back on that iron horse. But we’re also fed up. It’s good to see that arrests are going up, but unfortunately, so is major crime. The cycle must end so riders will feel safe enough to get back on board in the numbers we need to see to keep the system going. We want to get where we’re going safely and reliably. For most of us, transit is our only option.

Unfortunately, there’s also been some bad news on the reliability front, and we’re hoping to hear more about the causes of the major delays and what is being done to prevent them, including progress on track intrusion detection. It’s frightening to read that March 2022, saw the highest number of Persons on Roadbed/Police/Medical major incidents since late 2018. In the spirit of transparency, we’d ask that you break that down further. We’re also interested in knowing the causes of the signal incidents, and how they can be prevented. Clearly, congestion pricing money can’t come soon enough, and investments in prevention can certainly pay off in disruption savings.

Thank yous are in order as well. To Craig, we appreciate everything you have done on behalf of riders and are so glad you’ll be sticking around to continue to guide Transit. To Sarah and the team behind Open Data, you have unleashed a treasure trove of information, which means, of course, that we want more. But we welcome the great jump out of the gate.  

Thank you also for being stewards of the environment. As Janno noted on Earth Day, “Transit is the antidote to climate change.”