New York subway system discombobulated by delays in January

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jserraglio
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New York subway system discombobulated by delays in January

Post by jserraglio » Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:14 pm

    New York Times

    New York Subway’s On-Time Performance Hits New Low

    by Winnie Hu

    Despite months of turnaround efforts, New York City’s subway system slid to a new low point in January, with just 58.1 percent of all weekday trains arriving at stations on time, according to a new report.
    The increasing delays were largely the result of bad weather that damaged equipment and caused widespread problems, including 25 days of below-freezing temperatures, according to officials of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which presented the report at a committee meeting on Monday.
    Additional subway delays were caused by more people trespassing on the tracks, some of whom may have been homeless and seeking shelter from the cold, officials said. The continuing emergency repair work on the subway system also caused trains to slow down to go around work crews.
    On 10 subway lines — the 2, 4, 5, 6, A, B, C, D, E and F — fewer than half of the trains arrived on time that month. The worst offender was the F, with just 32.2 percent of trains arriving on time; followed by the C, 34.7 percent; the 2, 37.3 percent; and the A, 38.1 percent.
    Over all, the delays were worse than a year ago, when on-time arrival for weekday trains was 64.1 percent. In addition, on-time arrivals for weekend trains in January fell to 64.7 percent, from 74.2 percent the year before.
    “I’m not happy about it, I’m not proud of it,” said Andy Byford, who took over in mid-January as president of New York City Transit, which runs the subway and public buses. But he added that, based on 29 years of working on and running transit systems, “You need to look at the long-term game.”
    Mr. Byford pointed out that subway performance improved in February, though it has struggled again in March with back-to-back storms. Although on-time arrival statistics for February are not yet available, there were 56 major incidents that disrupted weekday service that month, compared with 105 incidents in January.
    Mr. Byford also said he would review longtime safety regulations that restrict the speed of trains when they are approaching signals with timers, which some transit advocates have said may be unnecessary in some cases and slow down the system too much.
    Even before the latest problems, the New York City subway system had one of the worst records for on-time performance among the nation’s cities, though it is by far the biggest system. For instance, in January, on-time performance was 85.7 percent for Washington’s Metro system, 95 percent for Chicago’s L-train system and 96.7 percent for Atlanta’s Marta rail system.
    Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo declared a state of emergency for the city’s subway system last year and has helped promote an $800 million emergency rescue plan. But the continuing delays and breakdowns have exasperated many riders. On Monday, the actress Cynthia Nixon officially announced that she would challenge Mr. Cuomo to be the Democratic nominee in November’s election for governor, making the subway one of her priorities.
    John Raskin, the executive director of the Riders Alliance, an advocacy group, said Mr. Cuomo had not made much progress in fixing the subways. “We’ve seen what the governor can do when he prioritizes an issue, and it’s time for the transit system to merit that intensity of focus,” Mr. Raskin said. “The subway system is at the breaking point, and honestly, subway riders are too.”
    Mr. Raskin added that the governor and state lawmakers needed to pass a congestion plan for Manhattan, which would charge drivers for driving into Manhattan at peak traffic hours to help fund the subway system.
    In January, there were 76,287 delayed weekday trains, up from 60,455 the year before, according to the new report. Of those, 27,249 were the result of overcrowding or insufficient capacity.
    In addition, there were 18,931 delayed weekend trains, up from 14,182 the year before.
    Blaming overcrowding for delays has become contentious after an investigation by The New York Times in December found that officials had been citing that to mask delays caused by breakdowns or signal problems that forced people onto fewer trains. Mr. Byford has acknowledged that overcrowding is not a meaningful measurement and that officials need to provide more specific information.
    M.T.A. officials said that January was particularly hard on the subway system because of a two-day snowstorm early in the month that blanketed the city, and extreme swings in temperature from cold to warm during the month that caused snow to melt faster and seep into equipment. Also, trains were stored on some express tracks instead of outside in yards to protect them from the cold, but that resulted in some delays in service while they were moved out of the way. In addition, a burst water pipe knocked out service to many trains at the subway station at Seventh Avenue and 53rd Street in Manhattan.
    While there are other indicators of subway performance besides on-time arrivals, many advocates and others say that it remains an important measure because consistent delays can mean fewer trains and more crowding.
    Still, Bill Henderson, executive director of a citizen’s advisory committee to the M.T.A., said that he was not overly concerned based on January’s performance alone. “One exceptional month would not necessarily trigger an alarm for me,” he said.
    Several subway riders said they felt that train service was improving. Matt Albala, 29, a brokerage manager who takes the subway three or four times a day, said he had been delayed only once or twice in the past month. “That’s pretty good, I think,” he said. “Before, I would get delayed 5 or 10 minutes here and there, and that doesn’t happen much anymore.”
    But many other subway riders said the subways were still making them late as they tried to get to work, go home or just get around the city.
    Horace Medley, 34, a contractor from Canarsie, Brooklyn, said that in his experience, the 4 train is delayed by 15 to 20 minutes almost every day when he takes it going home. “It makes you upset,” he said. “They keep on raising the fare, and the service is not getting any better.”

    Susan Beachy contributed reporting.
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    John F
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    Re: New York subway system discombobulated by delays in January

    Post by John F » Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:59 am

    As a practical matter, I don't care whether the subway I get on is running to its schedule or is a delayed earlier train. At most times of the day or night, NYC's main line subways are close enough together that I don't have to wait long for the next one. Of the lines listed, I take the A or C from Brooklyn to Manhattan two or three times a week, and have no complaints about their frequency or how long the trip takes.

    What does bother me is when my subway is so crowded that there's nowhere to sit. By now I can't stand for the 1/2-hour ride, and I won't ask anybody to give me their seat, though sometimes people do and I appreciate it. Instead I wait for the next subway, which usually comes within 5 minutes and as often as not isn't that crowded. Fixing the signal system and the rolling stock so trains can safely run closer together i.e. more often would probably take care of my problem, but that's a major capital investment that I doubt will happen during my lifetime and I'll just have to keep on living with what we've got, which is better than any other city's subway system that I've used.

    It's the buses whose schedule matters, because they are fewer and subject to delays because of street traffic, handicapped passengers taking longer to get on and off, and other factors beyond the driver's control. Especially late at night, I may have to wait a half hour for the bus to and from my apartment building, and in cold or bad weather it's no fun standing out in the open. But the ridership is so low, with those late buses much less than half full, that the MTA isn't going to put more buses and drivers on the street - which would mean higher operating costs and inevitably higher fares. Since in other cities the public transport buses don't run at all that late, I'm still better off than most.
    John Francis

    lennygoran
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    Re: New York subway system discombobulated by delays in January

    Post by lennygoran » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:10 am

    John F wrote:
    Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:59 am
    have no complaints about their frequency or how long the trip takes...What does bother me is when my subway is so crowded that there's nowhere to sit...It's the buses whose schedule matters, because they are fewer and subject to delays because of street traffic,... I'm still better off than most.
    John 4 comments.
    1. For the most part the delays for us on the trains are not long-Sundays are the worst so we allow extra time.
    2. The subways are usually crowded for us-we stand a lot although Sue usually is offered a seat on occasions like that-me less so.
    3. Talk about bus traffic I had quite a delay last week--after being at the Performing Arts library I took the M66 to meet others for dinner on the eastside-the bus was held up 10 minutes on the narrow side street while one car gave another car a battery boost-afterwards I asked the driver if this was a first as a delay for him and he said yes as we both laughed!
    4. With my senior metro card paying $1.95 per ride and a NJ resident no way am I complaining! Regards, Len

    PS-Sue recently got a Kindle and at the Midtown Library right near Bryant Park she got a NY Library card-free for 3 month periods-this enables her to download books from the NY library system which is of course massive! NY knows how to take care of us NJ people! :lol:

    John F
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    Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
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    Re: New York subway system discombobulated by delays in January

    Post by John F » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:32 am

    Actually, the sdnior fare for NY Transit (subways and buses) is $1.35.
    John Francis

    lennygoran
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    Location: new york city

    Re: New York subway system discombobulated by delays in January

    Post by lennygoran » Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:24 pm

    John F wrote:
    Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:32 am
    Actually, the sdnior fare for NY Transit (subways and buses) is $1.35.
    Absolutely correct-had a senior moment and was thinking of the senior tickets to go from secaucus to the port authority bus terminal--they're $1.95. This has proven to be a superb deal for Sue and myself! Regards, Len :oops:

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