The MTA doesn't blame you for blaming them.
In a staff memo circulated to MTA employees, MTA Chairman Joe Lhota acknowledged that riders had plenty to be frustrated about, and conceded that, "Today, no one thinks of that MTA as either efficient or effective."
"Our customers are right; we aren't very good right now," he wrote in the memo, obtained Tuesday by the research organization Transit Center. "We're not providing the quality service that they deserve."
The new transit boss, who led the MTA in 2012 but resigned to run for mayor against de Blasio, also spoke glowingly about the agency's past, calling them "the brightest light" during Hurricane Sandy, and adding that Cuomo's state of emergency should be viewed as an opportunity.
And buried in the memo is a bit of (potentially good?) news: Lhota wants the MTA to build a dashboard with metrics that allow New Yorkers to track how the agency is doing. "It will not just be a tool of the MTA, but a report card to the public on our progress," Lhota wrote.
The memo doesn't elaborate on what that would entail, and an MTA spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the research organization Transit Center has a couple recommendations:
Hopefully the dashboard will include information on key projects to improve subway service, such as ongoing and pending signal projects, subway car procurement as well as elevator outages. The dashboard should rely on the kind of legible, rider-focused performance metrics we've championed, such as excess journey time. Additionally, the dashboard will be monumentally incomplete if it omits performance of city buses.
The memo also notes that Lhota will be conducting an organizational review "in the next 30 days" (17 days left in that deadline, per his original promise), which will also examine faster ways to replace obsolete signals. According to a report released last month by the Independent Budget Office, the majority of signal updates and repairs scheduled to begin this year are currently delayed, and only one update in the current capital plan is expected to be completed by 2018.
You can read the full memo here.