Subway Riders Contend With Increasing Train Delays

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Subway delays are a growing problem in the Big Apple.

According to the latest MTA figures, straphangers are waiting longer for nearly every single train in the city, with the worst delays being found on the 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and N lines. All experienced double-digits drops in arrival times.

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The 3 train saw the most dramatic dip in performance. Last year, nearly 90 percent of its trains were on time. This year, only 71 percent.

The MTA blames the increase in delays on routine maintenance combined with particularly heavy track and signal work during the month of March and believes the numbers may be slightly misleading.

“It is an inconvenience but they have to do track work because our station needs more maintenance,” straphanger Megan Heeley told CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown.

“You can wait 25, 30 minutes, and then no trains are still there. And then it’s like you’re supposed to be on schedule and you’re not,” complained Kathleen Tricone of Brooklyn Heights.

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MTA board members highlighted the problem at a meeting Monday. Some called the steep increase in delays unacceptable but admitted that fixing the problem won’t be quick or easy.

“On time” is defined as reaching destination within five minutes of the scheduled time, so many trains that are technically on time are also late.

“Yes, certainly there’s a marked difference in the delays because you have to leave very early to get on the train to get to work,” said straphanger Savi Mani.

“It becomes frustrating,” said Julie Congress of the Upper East Side.

Only four trains showed improved service: L, D, E, and F.

Andrew Albert, New York City Transit Rider’s Council Chair, said reliable service was nearly as important as timely service.

“The delays aren’t going away,” he said. “What the MTA needs to do is communicate better with its customers. It’s trying to do that with real time information signs and with the text messages on your phones.”

The MTA was also getting ready to replace its fleet of 40-foot buses with 700 new accordion-style buses which will offer roughly the same number of seats, but service will be less frequent.

It’s part of an ongoing effort to reduce labor costs at some cost to commuters.

“They’re getting worse and the reason they’re getting worse is there’s so much work going on all over the system because we’re playing catch-up. There is so much that’s been neglected over the years that we have to take care of — signals and stations and track,” Albert said.

Have you noticed an increase in subway delays? Sound off in our comments section below…

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Comments

One Comment

  1. Onray says:

    Complain about the subway system as much as you will, I’ll take it over driving any day.

    Some of the cars are very crowded, but it’s better than being stuck out on the LIE for an hour and a half. And it’s got to be better for the environment.

    1. dissolve the unions says:

      The reason why the MTA is inefficient is because of the terrible UNIONS. These union workers literally do NOTHING. I work an average of 12 hours a day with no breaks. I kill myself to make a living, meanwhile these fat incompetent union workers get paid 6 figures to shine a flashlight, or push a button. Unions have destroyed the United States.

  2. Dale Auburn says:

    Let’s face it… If the subway system ran like the proverbial Swiss railroad, there wouldn’t be anything to complain about — and the professional complainers would lose their only source of income!! Can that ever be allowed to happen? NO.

    The subways MUST be kept substandard — at ALL times and at ALL costs — so that people who make a living complaining about it can keep their jobs.

  3. nyc says:

    I take the 4 or 5 almost every day and usually don’t have to wait for more then 5 or 10 minuets which is ok. Now, if you could remove from the subways all of the homeless, the obese, the crude, the ignorant,the selfish and stinky people it would be a much more pleasent ride ! Thanks.

  4. HARLEM GOING HAM says:

    I’M A CONTRACTOR, WHO SPECIALIZES IN RAILROAD CONSTRUCTION. NYCTA HAS GENERAL ORDERS, WHICH ARE USED TO ALLOW FOR VARIOUS CONSTRUCTION UPGRADES TO THE TRANSIT SYSTEM, WHIC CAUSE DELAYS. DELAYS ARE UNAVOIDABLE. IN FACT, IT’S A TRADE OFF. IF YOU WANT BETTER SERVICE, EXPECT TO EXPERIENCE DELAYS FOR 12 TO 24 MONTHS ON THE LINE WHICH IS BEING AFFECTED BY CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITIES. HOWEVER, NYC TRANSIT WILL NEVER CATCH UP, BECAUSE THE TRAINS HAVE TO KEEP RUNNING. THEREFORE, DELAYS ARE PART OF THE SYSTEM. IF THERE WEREN’T ANY DELAYS, THE SUBWAY SYSTEM WOULD BE UNSAFE; BECAUSE CONSTRUCTION PROJECT WITHIN THE TRANSIT SYSTEM SAVES LIVES. I RATHER BE DELAYED DUE TO A CONSTRUCTION PROJECT THAN BEING DELAYED FROM A BEAM OR CONCRETE FAILING ON A TRAIN.

  5. Jimmy says:

    Next we’ll start to see only one of the two sliding doors open on the cars. Ah yes, as I so fondly remember the subway cars of the seventies . Looks like we’re on our way there again.

  6. IgnoranteElephante says:

    The “L” train has improved service? Get real! I have been riding the “L” for 15 years, and never has it been worse. I have never experienced delays like I now suffer through. We are talking rush hours with ten minutes between trains and train cars so packed that I am pressed against the door—forget about being able to read my paper. At times, I get on at Eighth Avenue, the first Brooklyn bound stop, and I cannot get a seat in any car.
    This is a particularly troubling line for such overcrowding as it is filled with self righteous, purposefully indignant, spoiled, arrogant, malodorous hipsters with messenger bags, Whole Foods and Trader Joe bags, and sometimes even dirty bicycles. I say this because they seem to revel in the overcrowding and will squeeze into any crevice no matter how uncomfortable it makes the other riders. Of course, I am not surprised by their behavior as most live three to a room and are apparently used to such tight quarters. Well, I am not nor should anyone else be!
    As a lifelong New Yorker, I suffered through more fare increases than I can stand and each time the service gets worse and worse. Each time, when they announce these increases, they label the alternative scenario “draconian” or “a doomsday budget,” and each time they raise the fare, they tell us it was a compromise and attempt to let us believe that they have averted some catastrophe. Like we should be happy to wedge ourselves in a packed train as if we were pieces of a Tetris puzzle each morning or that we should be glad that we wait an extra ten to fifteen minutes during rush hour in the sweltering heat for a train that used to come every two minutes. Through it all, the fare keeps increasing, service decreases, trains get dirtier, and token booths disappear. Then, some salivating cheerleader like Mayor Bloomberg or Mike Lupica tries to tow the bureaucratic line and tell us “how great the service is” or “how the subway is the last bargain in the city.” The MTA is only the surface. The government concerns itself with our salt and fat intake and closes major thoroughfares in favor of bicycle lanes and pedestrian plazas, and does everything it can to bleed the middle class dry!

    1. Double-R says:

      I couldn’t agree more.

      I get on the L every morning to Manhattan at Halsey St. The train is already crowded enough so, if you’re lucky to get a seat at Halsey or Myrtle, or you’re not getting a seat at all.

      Hey Bloomy, get on the L at Lorimer, or better yet at Bedford and tell me how on time and comfortable a ride it really is.

      This is why I’ll take the L into Manhattan but, I come back around on the M headed back to Brooklyn. Being pushed around in what feels like a can of sardines going a good 50 MPH just doesn’t seem like something anyone would look forward to every morning, or afternoon.

  7. Mary Ann says:

    I must say that it is strange to hear that the 2 and 3 trains have delays. That is so not true. I take the 2 and 3 from Fulton St to 96 Street, and frankly they run 2 to 4 of these trains for every 1 (242st Broadway ) In fact the number 1 train was running great until about 5 years ago Then down goes the numbers. WHY IS THE QUESTION when there are more people riding the Number 1 that the 2 and 3 combind.

  8. synthiotics says:

    Typical NYC service…pay more for less. How can the TA cite track work as an issue when scheduled maintenance has been part of the system for over 100 years of its life? It boggles the mind that in 2011 the TA is incapable of maintaining a level of quality which was the norm decades before computers. And yes, bring back subway tokens too….would save a lot more money than the upkeep required for the high maintenance Metrocard system.

  9. Marina Ios says:

    delays….thats something which does not surprise me anymore, for a long time i got used to leave my house a 10 min earlier always, just to be sure, no matter where i need to go
    what annoys me lately though, are the more and more increasingly messed up announcements , some of them you have no idea what they want to say on those speakers
    i personally know all stops on the line i use , so i dont pay attention to what is announced any longer, each time i presume is about the suspicious packages or smth like this

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