As the MTA prepares to implement an $836 million action plan to fix the crumbling subway system, the agency’s chairman, Joe Lhota, told riders to prepare for more overnight repairs—and thus, more disruptions to nighttime service.
Lhota made the remarks on John Catsimatidis’s weekly radio show, according to the New York Post, on which he discussed his larger proposal for fixing the subway system. “It’s not going to be easy,” he said of the plan, which he noted is—at this point, at least—about stabilizing the ailing system and getting service back to some semblance of normalcy. Increasing overnight repairs, Lhota said, is one way to ensure that work gets done quickly and with minimal disruption to the daily commute.
There is, of course, a precedent for this: The MTA already has its Fastrack maintenance program, which stops service on various lines from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for a few days or weeks at a time. The agency launched the program in 2011 as a way to get repairs done more quickly, while also ensuring the safety of both MTA employees and commuters; now, six years later, they’ve become commonplace. “We’re seeing more and more shut downs late at night so we can get a lot of this intense work done,” said Lhota.
And before folks start to freak out, remember this: Fastrack’s whole MO is that it only affects certain lines at any given time, so don’t expect to see multiple repairs messing up service between boroughs all at once. “We’re not going to see … a shutdown every night of the entire system, that’s not in the cards,” Lhota noted. “The last thing I want to do is take away from New Yorkers something they’ve enjoyed, which is 24 hour a day service.”