What there is to know
- Regular metro users have already noticed something about their journeys recently: changes in train schedules.
- The problem appears to be that the MTA does not have enough healthy crews to operate its entire fleet of trains.
- While currently dealing with personnel issues, MTA officials believe the personnel crisis may soon be over.
Regular metro users have already noticed something about their journeys recently: changes in train schedules.
“Lately, for like the last month and a half, delays. I sat at the station for about 30 minutes waiting for the N to depart, ”commuter David Segarra said.
The problem appears to be that the MTA does not have enough healthy crews to operate its entire fleet of trains. For this reason, commuters were greeted with a modified schedule on Monday.
With the B train not running, commuters need the C or D instead; with the W not working, the N runs on the same route in Queens; and there is no Z train, which prompts the J train to take over.
“Where we had redundant service, we have closed some lines so that we can use the train crews that we have,” said Craig Cipriano, interim president of NYC Transit.
Cipriano went on to say that the workforce is in much better shape than the peak of the pandemic when the MTA cleaned the trains overnight and shut down 24-hour service altogether. At the time, thousands of workers were on sick leave. Currently, sources say it’s in the hundreds, but Cipriano wouldn’t say exactly how many workers are absent today.
Another concern is that some passengers are reluctant to take crowded trains and buses, as the latest variant is spreading at an alarming rate.
“I’m a little scared with the omicron and people don’t wear that many masks on the subway,” commuter Ashton Waldron said.
However, the MTA insists that by mid-December 90% of runners were wearing masks. Although 10% of them did not wear masks properly.
While currently dealing with personnel issues, MTA officials believe the personnel crisis may soon be over.
“We hope the numbers start to stabilize, but we have plans in place if we need to change the service,” Cipriano said.
This adjustment may mean a few extra minutes between trains, but the MTA hopes it won’t be necessary.