MTA Chairman Prendergast

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tom Prendergast, chairman and CEO of the MTA, talks about transit improvements and interruptions as the MTA prepares its next budget


Tom Prendergast

Comments [44]

Phil from manhattan

What a pathetic excuse for an interview. subway and bus riders suffer a myriad of indignities everyday and you choose not to ask Mr. Pendergast about any of them.

Jul. 25 2013 09:40 PM

MTA Chairman Pendegrast's annual salary is ~$350,000. [1]

Two other high-profile PUBLIC SECTOR employee salaries, for comparison:
New York Public Radio President and CEO Laura R. Walker: ~$500,000 [2]
New York Public Library President Anthony Marx: $684,550 in 2010 [3]

Available to subscribers-only.

Jul. 25 2013 11:29 AM
Robyn from Crown Heights

1. The A/C lines especially through Brooklyn require upgrading along with an increase in service.
2. Although it is good to know that subway stations are being cleaned on a regular basis the use of highly fragranced (the tell) cleaning products is making many New Yorkers who suffer respiratory diseases ill and dizzy. Downstate medical staff have been receiving complaints from patients.
3. There's nothing worse than watching your train leave the station as your train pulls in.
4. We need more local service on all lines.
5. Changing scheduled routes while a train is in service with little or no understandable information.

Jul. 25 2013 10:44 AM
pliny from soho

Please do something about the Emergency Exit Gate alarms.
please - these idiots defy the rules
as though they were striking a blow for freedom from dictatorship.
arrest them or get rid of the alarm

Jul. 25 2013 10:39 AM
Vincent from Brooklyn

The surface system Electric trams used in Europe would solve many of the issues for remote areas like Brooklyn's Dumbo & Red Hook and widen the usage of the 4th avenue transportation hub. The 2nd avenue fiasco could have been avoided, and a more business friendly system put in place while eliminating the congestion causing, annoying, lane hogging buses that currently run. areas along 11th ave and 10th would support the trams and work nicely into the Hudson yard project. Implementing tracks along the bike lanes would solve the lane squeezing policies as well. The almost silent systems can transport twice as many passengers, interconnect smoothly, and reduce pollution, noise and congestion.

Jul. 25 2013 10:34 AM
Kent Sargent from West Village

Two questions:
1. When are commuting costs going to stop rising? Workers salaries are not increasing at a similar rate?
It adversely affects the population of workers who make this city work.

2. When are you going to make the transit system 'world-class' as suggested by Michael Kimmelman, this morning
in the NYTimes? That should take priority before increasing the density of buildings and people as the Mayor
Bloomberg is proposing for the Upper East Side.

Thank you.

Jul. 25 2013 10:33 AM

Citibikes replace cabs also. Cabs are cars too.

Jul. 25 2013 10:32 AM
Hedy Kalikoff

This is my second comment, on a completely different topic.

I have a daughter in a wheelchair and we never take the subway although we would sometimes like to. Rather than expand elevators to more stations -- which is important -- I would prefer that you make sure that the stations with elevators are truly accessible. Sometimes they don't work, sometimes it's unclear how to find the elevator. Make what's there truly good and workable, and then expand.

Jul. 25 2013 10:31 AM
Carola from Bed Stuy

Free transfer from G at Fulton St to all other trains at nearby Atlantic/Pacific stations...not fair for those who don't have Unlimited cards like me!z

Jul. 25 2013 10:31 AM
Loisann Friedberg from Scarsdale, NY

I have $10 in a MTA Metrocard account.
I've gotten a letter mailed to me each month for years telling me I have that same $10 in my account. That mailing is a complete waste of money!!!!!

Jul. 25 2013 10:31 AM
Michael Keane from New York, NY

CLIMATE RISK RESILIENCY! What is the MTA's game plan for addressing climate risk and storm surges so we do not have another flooded South Ferry Station?

Jul. 25 2013 10:30 AM

I am a bus operator in Brooklyn. Fact, at least 40% of my customers pay incomplete fare to no fare. We cannot enforce the fare. What plans do you have to ensure riders pay?

Jul. 25 2013 10:30 AM

What about 7 express to 1 local during rush hour on the E/F/M/R line at Roosevelt station?

What about 3-4 empty express to 1 local on the E/F/M/R local stations durring the weekend?

What about the over-crowded, smelly 51/lex Station during rush hour, and the useless flashlight operators telling when to close the doors?

What about the dangerously narrow 63rd lex station?

Jul. 25 2013 10:29 AM

Why do we have the M1, M2, M3, M4, M5 and M5 Limited and no SBS on one of the MAJOR avenues in Manhattan??
Only the M5 goes all the way to South Ferry now, there is no bus going down Park Ave (seemed like a great way to divvy up the traffic) and only ONE (?) Limited bus on this route??

Plus, the SBS buses (and seats) are too narrow. Can only have 1 - 1.5 people standing. Very awkward design.

Also, why no ability to check Metrocard balances (and purchase/add to) ABOVE GROUND?? So excited when I first saw the machines being put in at bus stops for - what would be SBS ONLY - fare machines. I think the MTA blew a huge customer service oppty here. Given the - understandably - limited number of ADA compliant subway stations, someone w/just an injury may not be able to get down to a subway station easily, assuming they are near one.
I know there are certain places where pre-valued Metrocards can be purchased but they are still too few. How about banks and post offices and DUANE READE?

Jul. 25 2013 10:29 AM
colin from brooklyn

been a rider since 98. and things have continually gotten worse. My morning commute from 25th st brooklyn via R to N to 57th st has increased from 50 some minutes to over an hour and a half. And fares have gone up and up. Whilst the stations are dirtier and dirtier.

Jul. 25 2013 10:29 AM
David Rosenfeld

How about a ski lift gondola system from LGA to 125th street. Some of the modern gondola systems in use in Europe are fast, heated, and comfortable. I believe a system like that could be put in fairly quickly by riding over the Grand Central and using the existing triboro bridge

Jul. 25 2013 10:28 AM
Lucy Kraus

It would be great if the original route of the #104 bus could be restored. It was the best bus in the city -- traveling from the Upper West Side to Grand Central Station and beyond. A fantastic route for riders.

Jul. 25 2013 10:28 AM
Michele Kennedy from Prospect/Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn

Good morning. My question is about air quality as a budgetary priority - what, if anything, is being done to improve air circulation in stations throughout the city that are insufferably warm in the summer months? For example, transportation hubs like Times Square and Atlantic Avenue have sweltering platforms that tens of thousands of riders put up with in July and August when the platforms seem to reach dangerous temperatures (certainly for the young, elderly, or anyone with other compromising conditions). What is the MTA doing to improve air circulation in stations that lack ventilation?

Thank you.

Jul. 25 2013 10:28 AM
Nat from NYC

"Three net zeros" -- politicians and their ilk who speak in impenetrable lingo, I don't trust them.

Jul. 25 2013 10:27 AM
Amy from Manhattan

A couple of weeks ago, I went into a subway station that has escalators. The down escalator was out, but the way the station is set up, you can't find that out until you've already paid your fare & gone through the turnstile. There was no sign warning that the escalator wasn't working. (This was at the end of the station where the booth was taken out, so there was no clerk & no board inside a booth where the info could have been written.

We need escalators to be maintained better, & we need better provisions for notifying people when they're not working. BTW, I was using crutches, & it's a long stairway.

Jul. 25 2013 10:27 AM
William from NYC from NYC

How is the MTA investing in employees--workforce development. Included in this question is the issue of managerial salary raises. MTA managers have not had a salary raise in 5 years.

Jul. 25 2013 10:27 AM
Paul from Glen Cove

You talked of increasing service; how about increasing the non-transferring trains on the diesel lines to more than twice a day on Oyster Bay line.
Then there's the chicken or the egg. The MTA won't put more runs on the Oy Bay line, unless there's more ridership. I think more people will ride if you increase daily runs. I would drive to another line to catch a train to get me 'when' I needed to be in the city.

Jul. 25 2013 10:27 AM
Hedy Kalikoff

About Access-a-ride: Yes, it's going to be hard to continue to provide this service, but it's one of the great things about transportation here. NYC seems to have a commitment to making this city more livable for seniors and this is a crucial part of it. My elderly in-laws live in Brooklyn and are both physically impaired. They will be able to continue to live independently in their apartment for much longer than they would because of access-a-ride. They wouldn't be able to go to doctors' appts without it. With the fastest-growing demographic in this city being the elderly, it's a crucial service. Thank you for it and please don't cut it!

Jul. 25 2013 10:26 AM
Shashi from Manhattan

The countdown clocks on the IRT lines are always wrong -- it's a joke. Moreover, they are useless positioned where they cannot be seen by commuters from outside the turnstiles -- in other words, if a train will be too long coming, you cannot opt to either walk or take the bus. What's the point once you've paid your fare? Terminally (so to speak)dumb. And another example of the Bloomberg love affair with technology at the expense of people.

Jul. 25 2013 10:26 AM
L. Stone from Brooklyn

I'd like to see the sick passenger policy change. There has to be a way to limit MTA liability and ensure the safety of sick passengers without stopping trains and holding up thousands of commuters.

Jul. 25 2013 10:25 AM
Robert from Manhattan

The M60 bus to LaGuardia Airport should only stop where it connects with subways and not be a 125th street & Queens local bus. Its very annoying and time comsuming to stop so much on a street with multiple bus lines.

Jul. 25 2013 10:25 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights


Last Thursday I took the D train at 10PM from Coney Island back to Manhattan.

The conductor made announcements over the PA which were COMPLETELY UN-INTELLIGBLE- as if he were speaking a foreign language - Urdu?

How about having standards for conductors? How about monitors?

What happens if there is an emergency, and the conductor I speak of had to pass instructions. NO ONE WOULD UNDERSTAND HIS INSTRUCTIONS. This is a PUBLIC SAFETY ISSUE.

Jul. 25 2013 10:25 AM
Nan Rubin from Inwood

I use access-a-ride - please ask why we must use CASH to pay, instead of adopting some existing electronic payment system like metrocard, ezpass, or credit card???

Jul. 25 2013 10:23 AM
Sharon from Elmhurst

With regard to subway accessibility. Many older riders don't qualify and/or want for Access-A-Ride. I don't understand why some of the newly renovated subway stations don't include either elevators or escalators. This is important not only for older and disabled riders but also the millenials who are lugging strollers, etc. up the subway steps and people who are carting work related stuff back and forth.

Another item is that there are not enough benches on the platforms. Often there is just one at the end of the platform. With an aging population, it is important to be able to sit down while waiting for the next train.

Jul. 25 2013 10:22 AM
Jack from Brooklyn

Please put subway maps at every platform and in every subway. Also, it would helpful (especially for tourists) if every car had subway line map (the graphic showing all the stops the train will make).


Jul. 25 2013 10:21 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Air conditioning for subway stations.

Jul. 25 2013 10:17 AM
Sam from Brooklyn

As many subway commuters probably already know, the cars nearer to the front and the back of the subway are often not filled to capacity even during rush hour. Has the MTA ever considered making the trains half as long (5 cars instead of 10) while having them run twice as often? I realize how strange this may sound, but I'd like to know if it's been considered.

Jul. 25 2013 10:17 AM

Please ask about the possibility of station beautification. Nothing extravagant: just more light, odor neutralization, cleanliness, and fresher paint, esp. the platform areas. Subway systems in other major cities from Montreal to Berlin put us to shame in that respect. I really appreciate the work of MTA sanitation workers; perhaps add more staff?

Jul. 25 2013 10:17 AM
John from office

Todd you are so correct. People use the emergency exit as an exit and the sound is horrible. There is a lack of manners on the subway.

Also, ban Baby carriages, huge backpacks strapped to idiots and there should be a rule that men cannot sit with the legs spread. Jesus do you really need all that room!!!

Jul. 25 2013 10:16 AM
antonio from baySide

The caller is right, the qm5 in oakland gardens is always empty on the weekends...

Why not invest the money from the empty express buses to build a streetcar line? You know how much time is wasted with the hydraulics of the buses going up and down to pick up the impaired or elderly?
A streetcar is already low to the ground! This is a no brainer!

Jul. 25 2013 10:16 AM
Jane from mnhattana

I'm mobility-impaired, as are increasing numbers of bus riders. We cannot safely stand. We get on, taking the forward seats designated for us if we can. Then two or three wheelchairs board, requiring the forward seats. Seated riders seldom stand to let us sit, and drivers generally do nothing to help us find seats. Most mobility-impaired riders are too timid to ask for a seat. It's a bad situation and will only worsen in the future unless the MTA acts to design buses with this in mind.

Jul. 25 2013 10:16 AM
joyfactor from Park Slope

Ditto G Line - nearly empty, every day in Park Slope, yet it runs as frequently as the F Line. So frustrating to see such waste.

Jul. 25 2013 10:14 AM
Nancy from Bay Ridge

Please ask Mr. Prendergast to address the MTA's failure to upgrade the Montague tunnel when the city and the MTA have known for years that this portion of the system's infrastructure was extremely vulnerable. Also, please suggest that a fare reduction for R train riders forced to take the express bus from Bay Ridge to reach lower Manhattan when the R stops running to Manhattan.

Jul. 25 2013 10:13 AM

Please do something about the Emergency Exit Gate alarms.

Because their correct use is not enforced people are setting off the alarms incessantly and other of us have to endure the damaging, stress inducing noise.

My understanding is that the alarm is designed to alert nearby police offices on the street of an emergency and they are supposed to investigate.

Please either, enforce misuse or turn off the horrible alarms that no one seems to pay attention to.

Jul. 25 2013 10:09 AM
Ellen from Williamsburg

Please extend the M service all the way for the weekends!

Bringing it to Delancey/Essex is a good start, but it is a very useful train to many of us.

Jul. 25 2013 10:09 AM
Greg from Brooklyn

Please, ask Mr. Prendergast about the proposed "x-line" or "Triboro Rx" outer borough ring train that was proposed by the Regional Plan Association. It seems that this is a relatively simple change that would be a big game-changer for a lot of new yorkers. Wouldn't this be a good return on some existing but under-used transit infrastructure?
Check out this link for more info:

Jul. 25 2013 10:06 AM

How many "unused" fares has the MTA sold since the introduction of the Electronic fare cards?

How much does the MTA expect to collect over the next year on the one dollar charge for new cards?

Jul. 25 2013 09:51 AM
Brian from NYC

In addition to W. Lee's concern over a fair contract for MTA transit workers, perhaps Mr. Pendergast could explain why the MTA chose to outsource a $235 million renovation project to the Chinese instead of employing American steel workers. Of course I am referring to the Verrazano Bridge renovation.

Jul. 25 2013 09:14 AM
W. Lee from NYC

As a transit worker I would like to ask what are chances of seeing a fair contract and how much more time we have to wait for a pay raise.

Jul. 25 2013 08:25 AM

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