How the Subway’s Weekend Problem Fixer Spends His Sundays

New Yorkers who take the subway on Sundays may not know the name Jose LaSalle, but they might have seen him around in his orange safety vest.

Mr. LaSalle, 55, is the deputy chief of weekend service diversions and coordination for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees the city’s subways and buses. That makes him the person responsible for troubleshooting and handling customer complaints at stations when there are delays and service disruptions. Around the office, he’s known as the “weekend service czar.”

He grew up in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, but these days he lives in a two-bedroom apartment in the East Village in Manhattan with his wife, Janet Rosario, 56, a New York City Transit train conductor.

NO SLOUCH. BUT: SLACK. Every Sunday that I’m not on vacation, I wake up at 5:30 a.m. As soon as I wake up, I have this habit of checking Slack. I’m checking for service diversions, things I can prep for. Anything impacting customers — a bottleneck or anything that can cause their journey time to be impacted — I check.

I hit my Breville espresso machine, turn on “Eyewitness News” Channel 7 and start running a shower so I can get out of the house by 6:15. Then I’m mobile. I try to make it in to my first stop by 7. Wherever there’s a lot of confusion on the part of the customer is where I want to go. That’s often a subway station, but it might be a bus stop.

Mr. LaSalle travels throughout the system overseeing maintenance work.Credit…Emil Salman for The New York Times
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