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MTA, union reach deal to turn station agents into 'customer service ambassadors'

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Current station agents who volunteer for the new position will get a slight pay increase

Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin

The MTA has reached a deal with the city’s transit union and is moving forward with plans to transition subway station agents into newly created “customer service ambassador” positions, reports the New York Post.

The agency will commission 355 workers to fulfill the ambassador positions, charging them with new responsibilities that include assisting customers at MetroCard machines along with providing service and route information. Stations including Penn Station, Grand Central, and Times Square are being prioritized for brand ambassadors.

The workers will also be equipped with iPhones that will give them quicker access to transit-related information and bettering their ability to communicate with other MTA employees.

The new position comes with some perks for current MTA employees: union workers who are currently positioned as a station agent will be able to volunteer to become an ambassador and boost their hourly pay.

“Riders will get better customer service and our members will get access to new, better-paying jobs,” said Transit Workers Union Local 100 President Tony Utano.

The MTA has been taking steps to improve rider’s experiences. The agency announced plans to increase train service on six subway lines beginning next spring and new foldable seats have been rolled out on the L train line as a way to ease congestion.