More Rapid Response Teams, Faster Access To EMTs Part Of MTA Subway Improvement Plan

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — More rapid response teams and faster access to emergency medical technicians for sick passengers are part of a new MTA plan to improve subway service.

The MTA announced the new six-point plan on Monday that includes improving tracks and signals.

It will begin by addressing certain areas of the system with worse than average delays, like the Eighth Avenue corridor in Manhattan.

Stations from 125th Street to Fulton Avenue and two major hubs in the Bronx, 149th and Grand Concourse and Third Avenue and 138th Street, will see upgrades.

The MTA is also expediting the delivery of 300 new subway cars, with the first arriving this fall.

“In some cases, we’ll take our aging, oldest cars off system,” said Interim Executive Director Ronnie Hakim. “Other places, we’ll be adding cars.”

The MTA is deploying more rapid response teams to address issues, replace some track and kick off “Operation Track Sweep” to remove debris that could start track fires. The agency will also add more cleaning staff at night.

It is also considering adding attendants on the platform to direct foot traffic and will be experimenting with color coated sections of platforms to help guide riders to less crowded boarding areas.

“Perhaps even in the subway cars themselves put markings up in the cars,” Hakim said. “London has done this very successfully.”

Sick passengers and NYPD activity also cause major tie-ups. Along the Eighth Avenue corridor alone, the MTA says sick customers occur on average 28 times per month with the average incident lasting at least 12 minutes.

EMTs will now be deployed at five stations along the Eighth Avenue line to get to passengers quickly and key stations will see more cops.

In addition, the plan will separate chairman and CEO positions into two roles for more eyes on the goal.

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