MTA celebrates graduation day for new train operators

A total of 63 new Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) subway train operators have graduated after successfully completing training at the New York City Transit (NYCT) Learning Center in Brooklyn.

These operators will help NYCT address crew shortages and boost the frequency of subway service. This marked the end of months of intensive training for operators that began in the summer of 2021. The graduation took place as NYCT subway ridership hovers between 50-60% of pre-pandemic levels.

“As the city continues to return to normal, we have prioritized recruiting great people by increasing class sizes and recruiting aggressively,” said NYCT Acting President Craig Cipriano. “New Yorkers need access to fast, safe and reliable subway service to get to work, school and family activities. I’m really excited to welcome this new group to our team.

“Everyone knows the staffing challenges the MTA has faced, and we’ve accelerated training and filled larger classes so we can provide increased service to New Yorkers,” added the vice president and director of service delivery, Herb Lambert. “Our subway operators are moving the city and leading New York on the way home.”

The new employees join the hundreds of bus and train operators and conductors who recently completed their training. To date, the MTA has hired 425 train operators and 341 conductors, including those who have already graduated or will do so in the coming months, as part of a deliberate effort by the MTA to rapidly increase the number bus operators, metro operators and conductors.

A hiring freeze, necessitated by a financial crisis that has developed during the pandemic, has depleted the ranks of rail operators, with many veteran workers retiring or leaving their frontline jobs.

Melvin Z. Madore