MTA worker shortage causing transit issues for riders

Local News

NEW YORK — With the pandemic coming to an end, riders returned to a subway system plagued by delays and cancelations caused, in part, by a worker shortage.

More than 150 NYC Transit employees died of COVID-19 and the agency had a net loss of more than 2,800 employees over the course of the pandemic, according to MTA spokesman Tim Minton. The MTA needs to pick up the pace bringing on new employees, Transport Workers Union Local 100 Vice President Eric Loegel said.

“The amount of cancelations is significantly higher than it’s been in the past,” he said about transit service. “There’s just not enough personnel here to make all these trips. You know, hiring was pretty much stopped in 2020.”

More than 5,300 trains were canceled so far in June: four times the number of trains canceled in June of 2020, the New York Post reported. In May, more than 8,000 trips were canceled.

An MTA spokesperson said the agency was working to hire and train people as they recover from the hiring freeze. It does take a few months for new hires to get to work because of the training period.

Even more riders will return to the subway in the fall, Riders Alliance spokesperson Danny Pearlstein said.

“If frequent service doesn’t come back, neither will riders,” Pearlstein said.

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