If you regularly take the subway, you have heard complaints about trains seemingly getting worse, with more delays and longer waits. Now there’s evidence to back up the complaints.
According to a Metropolitan Transit Authority Committee meeting report last month, subway delays increased by 45.6 percent from 2013 to 2014, with an average of 43,339 delays per month on weekdays (compared with 29,774 in 2013). The 45.6 percent is referred to by the MTA as the “12-month average of the system number of terminal delays,” which refers to a train arriving late at its final station no matter how long commuters had to wait for the train in the middle of its route.
The 5 train line had the highest rate of terminal delays in 2014 at 57 percent, with the 6 train line having the largest increase in terminal delays from 2013 to 2014, with 27.6 percent to 46.2 percent in the respective years.
According to a story on the website Jalopnik, an MTA spokesperson let the public know that the agency didn’t rely strictly on terminal delays to measure performance.
“Wait assessment,” the other performance measure, compares how long commuters should be waiting for a train to how long a commuter actually waits for a train. On that measuring stick, there was a slight uptick in wait assessments, but it didn’t compare with the terminal delay increase. The 6 train line led the pack, with an 8 percent increase in wait assessment from 2013 to 2014.
Straphangers on the C train line have let their voices be heard through social media to express their displeasure with train service. While the line had a 2 percent increase in wait assessment (17 percent in 2013 to 19 percent in 2014), terminal delays doubled from 8.10 percent in 2013 to 16.30 percent in 2014.
Last Thursday, some C-train straphangers, elected officials and community leaders held an “Online Day of Action,” with more than 100 C train riders tweeting an online petition for better service on their line and shared the petition on Facebook as well. Riders used the #IWantToC hashtag online to discuss the improvements they would like to see in service, including more reliable service, more frequent service, newer train cars and better communication with riders.
Shannon Christian, a member of the Riders Alliance who lives in Bed-Stuy, said in a statement, “For riders in Central Brooklyn who depend on the C train, it’s anyone’s guess whether you’ll get where you need to on time. “I wait for the C train every day, and honestly, it’s a dreadful experience.”
The MTA is expected to complete a review of the A and C trains later this year.