NEW YORK CITY – City officials recently admitted that a rash of problems on New York subways have been caused by the lack of skilled workers capable of fixing the outdated system.
Metropolitan Transit Authority officials told the New York City Council that it doesn’t have enough well-trained staff to do the jobs of fixing tracks and signals, the ancient equipment that determines how many trains can run per hour.
“I think there are probably a few hundred (vacancies that need to be filled), and so we’re in the process of filling them now,” MTA Managing Director Ronnie Hakim told a New York television station.
Hakim said that if all the money was in place, MTA could hire 700 people by the end of this year, resulting in noticeable service improvements by early next year. However, filling those jobs and modernizing the system would cost billions of dollars.
City officials said a survey of 2,000 subway riders found that 75 percent of the respondents consider delays and overcrowding the biggest issues they face. They reported being stuck on crowded platforms or crowded trains four times a week.
The survey followed a series of delays, derailments, power outages and track fires on the subway system in recent months.