Advisory Committee Wants MTA To Make Its Info More Digestible
New Yorkers may wonder how often a particular bus or subway is late, or how much a station renovation costs, and now a report by an advisory committee for the MTA wants to make that information easier to find out. NY1's Transit reporter Jose Martinez filed the following report.
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Think of it as the "Cliffs Notes" for commuters. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority can crank out more than 1,000 pages of reports a month, but its Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee is pushing to make things a little easier for straphangers who want to know the ins and outs of the agency, or just if their trains run on time.
"For those of us that have to read those 1,000 pages every month, you can still come away not understanding how the agencies are doing," said Ellyn Shannon, a senior transportation planner for the PCAC. "This is a tool that can help people quickly understand where the problems are and where the strengths are."
In a new report, "The MTA In The Age Of Big Data," the PCAC recommends creating shorter, more user-friendly reports or apps that could allow New Yorkers to more easily track their subway or bus line's on-time record, construction costs or years of financial data.
Such tools, the report says, would make it that much easier to cut through the information overload put out every month by the MTA.
"The decision-makers and the elected officials and the riders can start to understand, even on a local level," Shannon said. "Why is my station having such problems and where am I on the spectrum?"
The MTA, which posts its budgets and reports to its website, supports the recommendation to make its transparency efforts even clearer.
"The more information you have, the more information you can use," said Trudy Mason, a representative for the New York City Transit Riders Council.
However, the MTA said there is no timetable for its completion.