Nov
29

Catching up on the Rider Report Cards

By · Published in 2007

With all of the talk recently about fare hikes, I’ve let the Rider Report Card results slide a bit. Well, let’s catch up.

At the end of last week, buried during the Thanksgiving holiday, the MTA released Rider Report Card results for the IND lines. The Eighth Avenue Express, the Eighth Avenue Local and the Rockaway Park Shuttle received their grades. The results were far from impressive.

We begin with the A train. Immortalized in song, the Eighth Avenue Express runs express down Eight Avenue from Inwood in northern Manhattan to the Rockaways via Howard Beach/JFK Airport or, sometimes, to Lefferts Boulevard. It’s quite the run, but the riders aren’t huge fans. The A pulled down a C-minus for its efforts from 6703 riders.

The C train is the A’s lesser cousin. This Eighth Avenue local starts at Washington Heights-168th St. and runs local to Euclid Ave. except between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. The trains are also shorter than the A trains. The C received an unimpressive D-plus from its 3967 voters.

The Rockaway Park Shuttle reaches from Broad Channel to Rockaway Park-Beach 116 Street. It is one of only two subways in New York – the other being on Staten Island – on which I’ve never ridden, and the 132 graders who give it a a D-plus tell me I’m not missing much.

For the A and the C, the major problems were the same: wait times are unreasonable; delays plague the trips; and room on board at rush hour is scarce. I couldn’t agree more. The A as an express train south of 59th St. is a joke. It takes the same amount of time to go anywhere in a local as it does on the A, and I’ve spent many an evening at 6 p.m. waiting 10-15 minutes for any 8th Ave. IND train to show up.

From a practical purpose, addressing these problems could be tricky. For much of their runs in Manhattan, the A and C are sharing tracks with other trains. The A runs with the D from 145th St. to 59th St., and the C runs with the B from 145th St. to 59th St. and then with the E south of 59th St. to Canal St. Increasing capacity on these lines will require a fair amount of scheduling adjustments.

Top ten complaints are below. Full grades are after the jump.

  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. Cleanliness of stations
  6. Train announcements that are easy to hear
  7. Sense of security on trains
  8. Cleanliness of subway cars
  9. Sense of security in stations
  10. Comfortable temperature in subway cars

  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. Cleanliness of stations
  6. Train announcements that are easy to hear
  7. Sense of security in stations
  8. Cleanliness of subway cars
  9. Sense of security on trains
  10. Station announcements that are informative

  1. Reasonable wait times for trains
  2. Minimal delays during trip
  3. Cleanliness of stations
  4. Sense of security in stations
  5. Cleanliness of subway cars
  6. Sense of security on trains
  7. Lack of scratchitti in subway cars
  8. Train announcements that are easy to hea
  9. Station announcements that are easy to hear
  10. Working elevators and escalators in stations

Rider Ratings of A 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 D+
Cleanliness of subway cars D+
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 B-
Availability of MetroCard Vending Machines B-
Overall performance C-

Rider Ratings of C Service 2007 Grade
Minimal delays during trips C-
Reasonable wait times for trains D
Adequate room on board at rush hour C-
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 D+
Cleanliness of subway cars D+
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 D+

Rider Ratings of Rockaway Park S Service 2007 Grade
Minimal delays during trips C-
Reasonable wait times for trains D
Adequate room on board at rush hour B-
Sense of security in stations C-
Sense of security on trains C-
Working elevators and escalators in stations D+
Signs in stations that help riders find their way C
Signs in subway cars that help riders find their way C-
Cleanliness of stations D+
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 C-
Lack of scratchitti in subway cars D+
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 D+


Categories : Rider Report Cards

6 Responses to “Catching up on the Rider Report Cards”

  1. Marc Shepherd says:

    I have pretty strong feelings about the Eighth Avenue Line, as it’s my main commuting line. During rush hours, the A is already standing-room-only before it gets to 168th Street—and at that point there’s still a long way to go.

    A few corrections: The A doesn’t go to Lefferts Boulveard just “sometimes”; except for late nights, fully half of the trips are to Lefferts. The A and C don’t share tracks for “much of their Manhattan route”; they share tracks only between Canal Street and Broadway–Nassau. The rest of the way, the A is express and the C is local. However, the A is sharing tracks with the D between 145th Street and 59th Street. The C shares tracks with the B between 145th and 59th, and with the E between 42nd and Canal.

    South of 59th Street, it’s true that there’s practically no benefit to taking an express, but that’s because there are only 3 local stops (50th, 23rd, and Spring). North of 59th and south of Hoyt–Schermerhorn, the difference is considerable.

    The C’s D-minus grade is richly deserved. The C has one of the worst headways in the system, with trains no better than 10 minutes apart most of the time. Weekend service on the C is especially bad, because the B doesn’t run, so the C has Central Park West to itself.

    Service on the Rockaway Park Shuttle reflects the fact that, quite frankly, those are some of the least used stations in the system. In the larger scheme of things, they probably are getting all the service they deserve, at the same $2 base fare everyone else pays for a much shorter trip. Obviously, the residents there probably want the same frequent service as everyone else, but I’m not sure it’s really justified.

    Lastly, the A and the C serve some of the stations in the most deplorable condition, particularly north of 59th Street.

  2. Marc,

    I amended the part about sharing tracks so that it reflects what I meant to say first. Thanks for the heads up. I didn’t realize it wasn’t clear.

    And I think you’ve nailed the Rockaway Park Shuttle. Ridership figures to be low on that line. The population, as of early 2006, was just 120,500, and the shuttle runs for five stops. I’m not surprised it didn’t do well, but I can’t imagine it’s a top priority for the MTA.

  3. Andy says:

    My main infuriation with the A right now is the construction service changes that leave anyone north of 168th street furious with the MTA. If the A didn’t run local every other weekend, and didn’t stop at 168th to be replaced by shuttle buses three weekends in a row, I might find it in my heart to be a little more lenient towards crowded trains and wait times.

  4. Marc Shepherd says:

    If you want service to get better, the system needs to be maintained and upgraded. If they didn’t do that on weekends, then when would they?

    However, if they wanted high marks, it probably wasn’t wise to send out the report card at a time the A is so often diverted on weekends.

  5. Todd says:

    The Columbus Circle construction is a major factor in the A/C headache too, right?

    I don’t ride it very often, but The Wife does. It causes her to swear quite a bit.

  6. Julius says:

    Has anybody remember that The “C” Train was originally “The Bronx Concourse 8th Avenue Express”? The “C” Train was an 8th Avenue Express from 205th Street, The Bronx to Jay Street Borough Hall in Brooklyn, N.Y. The “C” Train now taken the duties of its non-existing local train, the “CC”.

    The “A” Train and The “C” Train co-existed as an 8th Avenue Express. Yes, The “E” Train is an 8th Avenue express but most of the time, it operated as an 8th Avenue Local with other 8th Ave Local Trains in Manhattan, but operated as an express in the borough of Queens. The “E” train, really an 8th Avenue express, spend most of the time as a local under 8th Avenue in Manhattan. The “E” train once operated as an 8th Avenue express in Manhattan Monday thru Friday during rush hours. The “E” train was an express and a local train in Brooklyn. The “A” Train operates express in Brooklyn during normal & rush hours when “E” or “C/CC” Trains run local in Brooklyn. The old “AA”, 8th Avenue Local, onced operated in Brooklyn as a local, while “A” trains operated express in Brooklyn.

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