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Testimony to NYC Transit Committee- Rider Satisfaction and Making a Difference

By: Lisa Daglian, Executive Director

July 25, 2022

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

Thank you for launching the new ridership survey, with its focus on customer satisfaction and getting riders back on board. Yes, I took it and I urge everyone to do the same.

The survey showed that personal safety and security; homeless people; and people behaving erratically are top of mind for subway customers. Addressing these issues is key. Improving service by reducing wait times on weekdays for bus riders and weekends for subways riders is also key. That will take money and crews — more on that later, in Finance.

I am one of the 62% of subway riders who is satisfied or very satisfied with MTA staff helpfulness, and would like to give a shout out to the booth agent at my home station, Vernon-Jackson, who is always helpful and pleasant, and who this morning called in a person behaving erratically on the platform that I reported to him. Booth agents and other visible MTA staff — station ambassadors, if you will — do make a difference.

Also making a difference is the work that is happening with the homeless population. The presentation that Pat Warren gave today at the Safety Committee showed the results of ongoing collaborative efforts throughout the system, with 5,000 service referrals and 600 who remain in shelter. There is still a long way to go to resolve the root causes of homelessness, but many are well outside MTA’s responsibilities.

But you are doing a lot, and as Pat said, safety and security go together. Since it’s top-of-mind for riders, I’ll again urge you to make the Safety Committee a more permanent fixture, and also recommend that you consider sharing the Homeless Outreach presentation at the next Transit and Joint Committee meetings, since riders of the entire system are directly affected by the work that is underway and the efforts being undertaken should be more prominently recognized.

Thank you.