If you’ve fired off a series of angry tweets when subway delays made you late to work/a doctor’s appointment/a meeting/basically any important life event, you’re not alone—and the MTA has taken notice.
During a budget hearing with state lawmakers this week, MTA chairman Joe Lhota noted that one thing he’d love to see is more social media love—or, at the very least, less angry tweets—for the ailing subway system. “To determine success, obviously I would love to be able to see Twitter feeds be a little bit more positive than they are,” he said during the hearing, according to the New York Daily News. “What we need to do is get to a situation where there are minimal to no delays.”
Reactions to Lhota’s plea went about as well as you could expect:
Dear @JoeLhota & @MTA, I will give u ur desperately needed, positive tweet when it doesn't take my 4 train 20 min. to get from 161st St. to 149th St. Sincerely, The Commuter Who Still Pays $116/month for her "express train" https://t.co/a00A50dIAi— Jennifer Blatus (@JenniferBlatus) January 26, 2018
If @JoeLhota and @NYCTSubway want more positive feedback from commuters maybe they should do something that’s worthy of praise.— Denis Loof (@DenisLoof) January 26, 2018
Yes, I got to work on time today. No, my train wasn’t delayed. But neither of these things are praiseworthy. They should be baseline expectations. pic.twitter.com/OcqksHFC3Z
It doesn’t help that service this morning was, once again, messed up, with signal problems on the 2/3, mechanical problems on the A/C, and an investigation at Jay Street that stopped R service during the morning rush hour.
During the budget hearing, which was attended by state senators and Assembly members, Lhota came under fire for the MTA’s myriad failings—derailments, poor Access-a-Ride service, even the condition of bathrooms on the Long Island Rail Road, according to the New York Times. The agency was also criticized for a proposal to use “value capture”—creating “special tax districts on developments near the subway,” per the Times—as a means of paying for system upkeep.
“How can we ask people to give up good money to repair the system when it looks like no one is watching the ship?” one state senator asked Lhota. Fair question.