NYCT’s Byford: “Customers can hold us to account”

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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MTA New York City Transit has implemented a quarterly “Customer Commitment,” described as “a document that will deliver time-bound, customer-focused improvements throughout the system.”

“Two months ago I introduced Fast Forward, our plan to aggressively modernize the entire system over the next several years,” said NYCT President Andy Byford. “Our efforts at making that case continue unabated. We know our first priority is to get our customers from A to B, quickly, safely, and reliably, but there are also improvements that we can deliver right now to improve other aspects of our service. The quarterly Customer Commitment is simple and concise. It’s a straightforward list of items we’re vowing to get done right away, things for which our customers can hold us to account. It’s our way of being transparent and showing New Yorkers that we can create incremental improvements that make a difference in their everyday lives.”

Andy Byford. Photo Courtesy WPIX/11 News

Byford established a similar program during his time leading the Toronto Transit Commission.

Each Customer Commitment will establish “clear goals for which customers can hold NYCT accountable,” NYCT said. “This report builds upon the work set forth in the Subway Action Plan, in addition to introducing entirely new improvements based upon areas that customers want to see improved.”

The improvements cited in the inaugural Customer Commitment, Launched July 27 on and on NYC Transit’s various social media accounts, include repairing switches at critical, high-traffic locations; installing new public address systems at 13 stations; launching a completely redesigned Staten Island express bus network; publishing a new accessibility guide for subway and bus customers; and shortening the wait times for the 511 call center and for replacing lost Reduced-Fare MetroCards. They also include deep cleaning of 15 stations in critical need of attention; installation of continuously welded rail; and working with the NYPD (New York City Police Department) to target 11 “traffic hotspots” across the city that slow down bus service.

“It’s important for New Yorkers to know that we are listening to their concerns and that we are spending their money wisely on things they want,” said Sarah Meyer, NYCT Chief Customer Officert. “The quarterly Customer Commitment will help tackle some of the very sorts of frustrations we’re hearing from our riders. We are listening and working tirelessly to bring about tangible improvements.”

Progress on the Customer Commitment will be presented quarterly at meetings of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board’s Transit Authority Committee, in addition to the program’s website, on social media, and at digital kiosks in subway stations, and  An update on the inaugural Customer Commitment will be delivered in October.

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