Report: MTA owes riders more notice on service changes

The MTA needs to do a better job of informing riders when stations are closed, the report finds. “It’s unreasonable that they don’t tell you how to get to the alternative,” said Manhattanite Jessica Pearce, who was trying to get to Midtown East and was foiled by the 4/5 closure yesterday.

Every subway rider dreads the words “service changes,” and the MTA needs to do more when they occur, a scathing report released yesterday alleges. New York City Comptroller John Liu and New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli accused the MTA of spending too much money on too little work and inadequately informing riders of train diversions.

Auditors visited 39 stations from January 2009 to January 2011. They returned with dismal details: The MTA was hardly posting as many signs as promised. Despite the MTA’s vow, there were no signs at street-level and auditors only found signs in English.

The agency reroutes trains even when rails receive no work, the audit found, estimating that the MTA wasted $10.5 million on diversions by not efficiently using repair time. In one instance, sandhogs finished weekend work on the A train in Far Rockaway ten hours ahead of schedule, but the MTA still didn’t bother to resume service.

An MTA spokesman said that the agency keeps customers updated with website, e-mail and text alerts.

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @AlisonatMetro.


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