- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - To address surging ridership and lengthening subway delays, New York City’s transportation authority will put more workers and cameras on station platforms to help disperse crowds and speed up service.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will also paint “step aside” boxes onto subway platforms on the overcrowded No. 6 line, which shuttles riders along the city’s east side. And several seconds will be sliced off the announcements that conductors make over subway loudspeakers in order to keep people moving more quickly in and out of trains. The agency announced the plan during this week’s board meeting after widespread public criticism of the aging system’s failure to keep trains moving on time.

The three lines with the worst wait problems - the 6, 7 and F trains - are currently being studied by transit officials to determine how to improve service. Those lines will be inspected more frequently by subway workers to cut down on incidents that slow the whole system down.

Construction at about 400 work sites on various subway lines, tracks and stations has made the problem worse, officials said. To protect subway workers, the MTA slows trains to 10 miles per hour for about a third of a mile near a work zone, said Joseph Leader, the senior vice president of the subway system.

“We are doing more work on the tracks, and much of this work is done while trains are still running,” Leader said. “We require a robust protection system for our employees.”

Another reason riders may notice cascading delays: When one train comes to a halt, the MTA often purposely holds other trains in stations in order to avoid a traffic jam of sorts on the rails.

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