June 7, 2017
Fernando Ferrer, Acting Chairman
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
347 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017
In light of yesterday’s F Train shutdown, and the more than one-hour riders endured in a hot, dark and stranded subway, I’m urging you to review your system and means of communication with riders in the event of future breakdowns.
An open and frequent dialogue can mitigate the stress and fear of stranded city transit riders. To have little to no communication from the Rider Control Center during a stoppage and power outage only compounds the situation, making it worse for both riders and conductors. Furthermore, boilerplate responses, such as “train traffic ahead,” are unnecessary and disrespectful of the riding public.
In the event of a breakdown, a standard of dialogue must be maintained between the control center, conductor and riders. Riders should be made aware of their safety and efforts to remedy the situation honestly and as frequently as possible. Any tips, tools or methods riders can use to help them keep calm and comfortable should be offered. They should also be reminded to inquire as to the status of any children elderly or infirm on board.
As we continue to press for greater funding and fast action to make long-overdue updates to much of our transit system, we can assume these delays and breakdowns will continue. Even if every track, tunnel, switch and signal of the New York City transit were replaced today, that doesn’t guarantee they would work flawlessly every time.
Please consider developing a policy of open and frequent dialogue with stranded passengers. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Martin Malavé Dilan