The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York, US, is set to carry out improvement works on D, N and R rapid transit services next month.

The scope of works will include the replacement of track switches, track repairs and drain cleaning to improve services on the lines in Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan and Queens.

The replacement of the ageing track switches will enable the trains to switch between the local and express tracks. It is also expected to help in reducing delays and improving operational flexibility.

Inspections on the Manhattan Bridge are also part of the work programme.

As planned, the work will be conducted on three weekends starting from 9 October.

This comes when the daily ridership on the lines are low due to Covid-19 pandemic. The DNR lines are currently carrying around 44,000 and 65,000 passengers, which represents 33% to 50% of pre-pandemic weekend ridership.

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MTA construction and development president Janno Lieber said: “Building on the success of the recently completed Union Square track project we are again taking advantage of this period of low ridership to get work done and make sure the system is upgraded.

“Completing this track work now will benefit New Yorkers returning to the system in the coming months.”

New York City Transit interim president Sarah Feinberg said: “Despite the challenges the MTA is facing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, our crews are still completing projects that improve the reliability, performance and safety of our system.

“This work is crucial in moving towards a modernised system that results in as few disruptions as possible for our riders.”

Last month, MTA announced that it will conduct critical track replacement works in Queens. The works will be completed in two phases starting this month.