Sweeping Subway Reorganization

Faced with the responsibility of guiding the largest subway system in North America to even higher standards of service, MTA New York City Transit officials have put into place a reorganization plan for the Department of Subways that ensures all critical maintenance functions are performed effectively while outlining clear lines of responsibilities and accountability for the delivery of service.

The most visible part of the reorganization is the streamlining of the Line General Manager program. The five Group General Managers have been trimmed to three, overseeing the IRT, BMT and IND divisions. The number of Line General Managers has been reduced from 17 to 12. The managers will now be responsible for customer service and routine station maintenance.

"The big change here is centralizing heavy maintenance and giving those responsibilities to the folks who are best equipped to deal with them. But aside from that, the Department of Subways is identifying a leadership team with the capability, know-how and experience to position us to build upon our successes," said NYC Transit President Thomas F. Prendergast. "This team will stay focused on our customers' needs and look for every opportunity to improve upon the safe and positive travel experience we already provide."

The new organizational structure, which was guided jointly by President Prendergast and Carmen Bianco, Senior Vice President of the Department of Subways, now allows NYC Transit work through tough fiscal challenges while being able to effectively implement new technologies and continue to capitalize on recent improvements to a subway system that moves approximately 5.1 million customers on an average weekday.

Just as importantly, however, the reorganization addresses the need to plan for the future by developing the next generation of leaders; making certain that individuals coming up through the ranks will be well-versed in the demanding disciplines that make up the foundation of the Department of Subways' organizational structure -; maintenance, customer service, operations support and transportation operations.

"As part of this reorganization, we are also implementing a succession plan that will ensure the existence of mission critical skills and a continuity of leadership," Bianco explained. "This plan will also fulfill our intention to establish an organizational hierarchy that is representative, in its diversity, of both the NYC Transit and the City that we serve.

The reduction in Group and Line managers results in responsibility for some lines being combined, such as the A and the C.

Service Delivery

This division will be responsible for train and station operations. It is made up of four units, comprised of three operating groups -; IRT, BMT and IND Groups under the direction of Group General Managers -; and Rapid Transit Operations, managed by the Chief Transportation Officer.

Station Environment

This redefined division will be responsible for the day-to-day station environment experience. Station maintenance activities will be integrated with detailed, intensive cleaning efforts to create a clean, well-maintained station environment. Daily cleaning will be the responsibility of almost 1,000 station cleaners who were previously assigned to the operating groups.

Car Equipment

This division will be essentially a recreation of the centralized organizational entity that was responsible for all aspects of car maintenance. A substantive difference, however, is that the car terminal cleaning function will remain as part of the three operating groups within Service Delivery.

Maintenance of Way

Responsible for all non-station maintenance aspects of subway system maintenance, including track, infrastructure, signals, power, electronics maintenance and engineering, MOW is critical to the safe and efficient operation of the subway. There will be a greater focus on the use of innovative and improved inspection and maintenance techniques to ensure safer deployment of employees and more efficient use of limited resources.