For New Yorkers, leaving the apartment at a specific time in the morning is ideal to squeeze into a crowded train. Although many have accepted this as a part of New York living, frustration has recently risen at a higher rate among riders towards the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).
According to a data review by the MTA, subway delays have increased noticeably since 2012. Five years ago, the MTA reported 28,000 delays per month, while it is now up to 70,000 delays. It’s safe to say that New Yorkers aren’t being impatient and simply imagining slower service. It’s a reality.
Social media has become the go-to method for passengers to express their annoyance and anger directly to the MTA. On Twitter, there are multiple accounts for each train to keep New Yorkers up-to-date about delays before heading out the door. Although this can be useful, there are usually more questions than answers, especially on the MTA and NYCT subway Twitter accounts.
Mechanical performances have also contributed to the constant delays. It’s a sign that the trains in service aren’t being properly maintained or replaced. But Jon Weinstein, a spokesman for Governor Andrew Cuomo, has stated that $29.5 billion has been secured for improvements in the intricate subway system. Despite this promising capital, there are only 67 percent of trains keeping up with the MTA’s weekday schedule.
In July 2016, Cuomo announced plans to modernize MTA subway cars and stations. This includes the dismissal of closed off subway cars and the introduction of accordionlike connectors, similar to the existing design of MTA buses. The new design would allow more space for passengers to board and move around. There are plans to buy 1,025 subway cars with this functionality but they aren’t expected until at least 2020.
“We haven’t cut back on maintenance,” said Veronique Hakim, the MTA’s interim executive director. “We’re dealing with an aging fleet.” Service is expected to improve when new subway cars arrive this year, the last time being in 2010. Although Hakim has defended the subway system as being more reliable than people say, the system’s 24 hours, 7 days a week schedule does have an impact on maintenance.
The changing seasons affect both subway trains and rails but with the high demand of service there isn’t a lot of time for work to be done on the train tracks. Rain and snow often cause delays because tracks become slippery. Safety become the main concern on wet days and riders feel it when their trains move slower than usual from station to station.
Subway riders have begun to resort to ordering an Uber than having to deal with unpredictable trains. Although this can quickly add up, New Yorkers don’t understand the continuous rise in train fare and the declining of service. On March 19, riders will see the weekly Metrocard increase $1 to $32 and the monthly pass will soon cost them $121, an increase of $4.50. Meanwhile, the single fare will continue to be $2.75.
Commuters had their say about this:
[H/T: The New York Times]