Nov
10

With three new grades, MTA finally breaks the C slump

By · Published in 2007

The MTA went a little grade-crazy today, releasing three Rider Report Cards today with the 42nd St. Shuttle and the 2 and 3 trains getting graded. For the West Side IRT express trains, it was more of the same. The 2 landed a C and the 3 a C-minus. The shuttle, however, reached the Holy Grail of the B-minus. After 10 grades in the C-range or lower, the Shuttle is the first one to achieve a B.

These lines are all very popular and often quite crowded. The 2 runs from Wakefield-241st St. in the Bronx down through Manhattan via the 7th Ave. line and into Brooklyn, terminating at Flatbush Ave. The 3 runs from 148th St. in the Bronx down the same line as the 2 and into Brooklyn, terminating at New Lots Ave. The shuttle spends its days running from Grand Central to Times Square.

As with a few of the other lines, I’m a bit stumped by the train announcements. The 2 got a C-minus for train announcements that are easy to hear. All of the 2 trains are the new R142s with the automatic announcements. If riders can’t hear those announcements, I’m inclined to believe that their ears — and not the trains — are at fault.

Meanwhile, I’m a veteran of all of these train lines. I grew up near the 96th St. express stop and now live near the Grand Army Plaza stop. These trains are often way too crowded, and the constant weekend service changes in Manhattan are driving its riders more than a little crazy.

The shuttle’s report card, on the other hand, is a mess of inconsistencies. Riders complain that the shuttle suffers from too few trains at rush hour, but the MTA can’t really add any more trains on the shuttle. There are only three tracks, and during rush hour, they generally operate at capacity.

From a survey standpoint, the report card numbers are in line what what we’ve been seeing: 5,124 riders graded the 2; 2,373 riders graded the 3; and only 380 riders graded the Shuttle. Below are the top 10 areas of improvement on each line. The complete grades are after the jump.

  1. Adequate room on board at rush hour
  2. Reasonable wait times for trains
  3. Cleanliness of stations
  4. Station announcements that are easy to hear
  5. Minimal delays during trips
  6. Train announcements that are easy to hear
  7. Comfortable temperature of subway cars
  8. Sense of security on trains
  9. Station announcements that are informative
  10. Sense of security in stations

  1. Reasonable wait times for trains
  2. Minimal delays during trips
  3. Adequate room on board at rush hour
  4. Station announcements that are easy to hear
  5. Train announcements that are easy to hear
  6. Cleanliness of stations
  7. Sense of security on trains
  8. Sense of security in stations
  9. Cleanliness of subway cars
  10. Comfortable temperature of subway cars

  1. Reasonable wait times for trains
  2. Adequate room on board at rush hour
  3. Minimal delays during trips
  4. Train announcements that are easy to hear
  5. Station announcements that are easy to hear
  6. Sense of security in stations
  7. Sense of security on trains
  8. Cleanliness of stations
  9. Station announcements that are informative
  10. Comfortable temperature of subway cars


Rider Ratings of S Service 2007 Grade
Minimal delays during trips B
Reasonable wait times for trains B-
Adequate room on board at rush hour C
Sense of security in stations B-
Sense of security on trains B-
Working elevators and escalators in stations C+
Signs in stations that help riders find their way C+
Signs in subway cars that help riders find their way C+
Cleanliness of stations C
Cleanliness of subway cars B-
Station announcements that are easy to hear C
Station announcements that are informative C
Train announcements that are easy to hear C
Train announcements that are informative C+
Lack of graffiti in stations B
Lack of graffiti in subway cars B
Lack of scratchitti in subway cars B-
Courtesy and helpfulness of station personnel C+
Comfortable temperature in subway cars B-
Ease of use of subway turnstiles B-
Availability of MetroCard Vending Machines B
Overall performance B-

Rider Ratings of 2 Service 2007 Grade
Minimal delays during trips C
Reasonable wait times for trains C
Adequate room on board at rush hour D+
Sense of security in stations C
Sense of security on trains C
Working elevators and escalators in stations C-
Signs in stations that help riders find their way C+
Signs in subway cars that help riders find their way C+
Cleanliness of stations C-
Cleanliness of subway cars C
Station announcements that are easy to hear D+
Station announcements that are informative D+
Train announcements that are easy to hear C-
Train announcements that are informative C-
Lack of graffiti in stations C+
Lack of graffiti in subway cars B-
Lack of scratchitti in subway cars C+
Courtesy and helpfulness of station personnel C
Comfortable temperature in subway cars C+
Ease of use of subway turnstiles B-
Availability of MetroCard Vending Machines B-
Overall performance C

Rider Ratings of 3 Service 2007 Grade
Minimal delays during trips C-
Reasonable wait times for trains C-
Adequate room on board at rush hour D+
Sense of security in stations C-
Sense of security on trains C-
Working elevators and escalators in stations C-
Signs in stations that help riders find their way C+
Signs in subway cars that help riders find their way C
Cleanliness of stations C-
Cleanliness of subway cars C
Station announcements that are easy to hear D
Station announcements that are informative D+
Train announcements that are easy to hear D+
Train announcements that are informative D+
Lack of graffiti in stations C+
Lack of graffiti in subway cars C+
Lack of scratchitti in subway cars C
Courtesy and helpfulness of station personnel C
Comfortable temperature in subway cars C
Ease of use of subway turnstiles C+
Availability of MetroCard Vending Machines B-
Overall performance C-


Categories : Rider Report Cards

10 Responses to “With three new grades, MTA finally breaks the C slump”

  1. Marc Shepherd says:

    Some of your comments about the Shuttle report card apply to other lines as well. All of the other IRT lines are at capacity, as well, and could not offer more service without substantial capital improvements.

  2. mg says:

    The 1 train still has room for more trains. But the other IRT lines are pretty much at capacity during rush hour. The MTA is looking at expanding service around rush hours and middays on all the IRT lines.

  3. nd says:

    The automatic announcements I’ve heard are loud and clear on the R-142s, but I’ve heard garbled live conductor announcements on them… If riders can’t hear those announcements, I’m inclined to believe that it’s the conductors mouths — and not the trains — are at fault.

  4. Scott says:

    I tend to agree with ND. Without trying to profile conductors, it appears to me that the ones who speak poorer English (i.e. a stronger accent) are assigned to the 2 train, while those who speak more clearly are on the 3 train. Which, in my mind, is probably the right way to do it.

    Also, the R142’s train’s automated announcements about the next stop are played while the train is moving. Personally, I can hear it very clearly; but for some people, in particular those with poor hearing or hearing aids, it can be difficult to distinguish between the annoucement and the rumble of the train. Conductors on the older trains usually wait for the train to stop before speaking.

  5. Julia says:

    nd, I’ve had the same experience on the new 2/3/4/5 trains. The PA system seems pretty weak – at times, you can hear it turn on, but the conductor’s voice comes through either totally garbled or as a very low murmur. Those jam-packed trains stop between stations all the time during rush hour, and it can be frustrating when you can’t hear why. I guess if some people were really mad about that, it could have pushed down the score.

    And my guess on why the shuttle got a better grade: Tourists ride the shuttle! They haven’t had time to get disgruntled yet.

  6. Keith C. Edwards says:

    I remember when there were no announcements. Let’s return to those days. Everyone, fend for themselves. I know where I am going. Just get me there. If we hhad no announcemements, we would have a faster trip.

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