Friday, May 27, 2016
Subway systems in Washington DC, New York and Boston are in trouble due to deferred maintenance. Problems are affecting riders, and PR has turned bad. Managers should have known that repairs made as needed were the better way to operate than waiting until a line had to be shut temporarily. In fact, they did know, but budgets have been slashed over the years by politicians who listen to riders' gripes about cost. A better approach to PR would have been to educate the public and politicians about funds needed to keep a system running. Allowing tracks, tunnels, escalators and platforms to deteriorate until repairs are forced upon the public is guaranteed to tick off riders who don't understand. One place to educate the public is in the cars themselves through use of signage and advertising. Riders have time during a ride to digest a message. In decades of riding the New York subways, I have yet to see any PR explaining the need for maintenance. It is past time to educate the public.