New York’s subway woes aren’t solely the city’s fault — passengers are to blame, too, according to the city’s subway chief.
NYC’s mass transit delays have long been a sore subject for both elected and appointed officials and millions of daily passengers alike.
The city’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is said to deploy more than 8,000 subways trains each weekday, to service some five million riders, and up to 6,000 trains at the weekend.
However, in June this year 72,000 trains were reported to be delayed – this is around one in three services.
While train delays are often caused by signal failures and mechanical issues, New York City transit officials said passengers holding train doors were partially to blame for the delays, too
Meanwhile, a recent Riders Alliance study revealed signal problems or mechanical issues delayed trains every weekday morning, from 6 to 10am, of the month of August — save August 23 — impacting commutes for large swathes of the city’s population.
New York City Transit Authority president Andy Byford has been tasked with revamping the rapid transit system
But subway officials also blame passengers claiming they contributed to delays by holding doors open – preventing trains from leaving stations on time, the Wall Street Journal reported.
In August, the MTA launched new efforts to reduce train delayy, including training conductors to be more aggressive when it comes to closing train doors.
This can mean only reopening doors just wide enough for a rider to pull free whatever appendage or property they’ve used to keep the doors from closing, instead of opening them all the way so the passenger — and a stream of others behind them — can get aboard.
The theory behind this is that the quicker trains can leave stations, the more likely they will arrive at the next stop on time, increasing overall train punctuality.
Of course, the reverse is true as well: Every time a train door is held open by a passenger, preventing it from leaving the station quickly, it racks up delays throughout the line.
‘You want reliable transit. We want to give it you,’ New York City Transit Authority president Andy Byford told the Wall Street Journal, also nothing that straphangers ‘have a part to play in this.’
Train conductors are now being instructed to be more aggressive with closing doors as every second a train is held up in a station by a door holder contributes to delays on the line (stock)
Passengers said they held doors because they didn’t trust another train would arrive soon
As other large cities, including London and Tokyo, have done, the MTA also employs subway platform controllers.
In New York, these controllers are also tasked with attempting to get riders to obey common sense subway etiquette, such as letting passengers exit cars before shoving onto them, thereby speeding up the train boarding and departure process.
Straphangers, however, seem to resent the notion that they bear any responsibility for delaying trains and insist that what’s actually needed is more frequent train service.
One rider told the Wall Street Journal that the reason why people hold doors and try to force their way onto trains is because they don’t believe that another train will arrive any time soon, turning it into a now or never situation.
The MTA is in the midst of an $800million overhaul which is seeing signal upgrades and track cleaning efforts.
Byford, however, has said that $40billion is what is actually needed to update NYC’s more than 100-year-old subway system to match that of other major cities’ rapid transit systems.
Images of aged platform ceilings crumbling onto platforms below have caused a stir on social media in recent months, while rat sightings and loose trash are also an issue in subway stations.