NYC Subway Service is Either 'Deteriorating' — Or Not

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City Hall subway station

Delays on the New York City subway are on the rise — which could be be a harbinger of deteriorating service.

That's according to the Straphangers Campaign, which analyzed years of MTA alerts. According to their report, the number of alerts of delay-generating incidents increased by 35% in two years — from 2,967 alerts in 2011 to 3,998 in 2013. (The group removed 2012 from the equation because Sandy greatly affected the delay numbers — to to mention the ongoing health of the subway system. It also removed so-called 'uncontrollable' incidents, like sick passengers.)

"There's a problem," said Gene Russianoff, the head of the Straphangers Campaign. "And it can't just all be attributed to Sandy. I think maintenance and overcrowding are factors."

Sitting atop the list is the F line, which had the most alerts sent to subscribers. The J/Z had the fewest.

"F train riders who complain about the quality of service have a real beef," Russianoff said.

(photo by Kate Hinds)

But the MTA disputed the premise of the report, saying service alerts aren't meant to be used as a performance metric.

The agency released a statement that said, in part: "Our wait assessment metric, which includes BOTH controllable and non-controllable incidents and measures the amount of time customers have had to wait for a train, provides a more comprehensive picture of service quality...Since 2011, the amount of time customers have had to wait for a train throughout the system has remained flat.”

To read the Straphangers report, go here.