There’s a new plan coming to overhaul New York’s ailing subway system. Andy Byford, head of the New York City Transit authority, announced this morning that he’ll have a radical transformation for New York’s subways ready to announce by the end of the May. Augusta Anthony was at the annual assembly of the Regional Plan Association this morning, where Byford addressed a crowd of around 1,000 transit experts.
ANTHONY 1: We’re in the Grand Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt opposite Grand Central Station in New York. And Andy Byford has a grand plan.
SOUND: The rockstar… Andy Byford. Applause
Good morning everyone…
ANTHONY 2: Today he’s announcing big changes for New York.
Ladies and gentleman, again, this plan will be no mere tweak of what we currently do. It is a full blown NYCT renaissance.
ANTHONY 3: But we’ll have to wait for details. after his speech as the waiters cleared coffee cu, he said he acknowledged the mammoth task ahead.
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He wants to push forward with four major priorities: revolutionising the subway, reimagining the buses, creating an accessible system and transforming the culture of the MTA.
And I intend to pull them together into a full modernisation plan. We simply have to bite that bullet.
ANTHONY 4: Sounds great. But there’s a caveat. Some of New York’s signals date from before the second world war. Byford says overhauling the system could mean closing the subways on weekends and overnight.
In one weekend closure you could get the equivalent of 5 weeks worth of nights work done. So for me the pain is worth the gain.
ANTHONY 6: Stewart Mader is President of the PATH riders council. He agrees with Byford that sacrifices are necessary.
ANTHONY 7: But sticking in New York for now, across the road at Grand Central station, subway rider Jason Obergfell doesn’t mind potential closures.
JASON OBERGFELL 1
ANTHONY 8: But his commute is during the day. For Julie Martinez from the Bronx, nighttime closures would be a disaster.
ANTHONY 9: And Martinez wants more for her money.
ANTHONY 10: Byford says he will announce the plan in mid to late may. Augusta Anthony, Columbia Radio News.