Subway delay alerts up in the wake of Sandy: Report
Six months after Superstorm Sandy the city's subway system is still stumbling.
The number of delay alerts sent to riders was up 29% in the first three months of this year compared to the same time in 2012 because of damage sustained during Sandy, according to a report from the Straphangers Campaign.
"Months after battering New York City, Superstorm Sandy continues to hurt subway service," said Gene Russianoff, staff attorney for the Straphangers Campaign.
Sandy shuttered the entire system for days after hitting the city; the A train at the Rockaways and the new South Ferry Station remain out of commission, the latter of which could be down for years, the MTA hassaid.
The agency acknowledged that the extensive damage to the system has caused an increase in service delays, but it declined to say whether the increase is as high as the 29% in the Campaign's report.
Still, MTA spokesman Charles Seaton said commuters may have to deal with increased delays for some time.
"The numbers are significant, they largely fall in the area of signal delays," Seaton said, "because of the vulnerability of the signaling system to the salt water."
He added: "This is going to be an issue for quite a while. There was significant damage to the system, and we are continuing to make repairs."
The report analyzed email and text delay alerts sent last year before Sandy and then for the first three months of the year, excluding incidents deemed out of the MTA's control, like a sick passenger.
It found that delays were already on the rise before Sandy, up about 10% overall compared the same time the previous year.
The L train saw the biggest spike in delays last year, with a jump of 60%, the report said, while the G train saw the biggest improvement of delay alerts, down 19% to 34 incidents.
The F train had the highest number of overall delay alerts at 225, or 8% of all delay alerts sent.
The MTA disputed the methodology of the report, saying the data used "does not paint a full picture of service issues."
"However, it does serve to highlight one of the efforts in place to keep our customers informed," Seaton said. "Riders who sign up for our email/text Service Alerts are using a tool capable of notifying them of incidents that have a potential to delay their trips."
DELAYS BY THE NUMBERS
BIGGEST DECREASE in delay alerts from 2011 to 2012
1. G: 19%
2. 2: 9%
3. 1: 6%
4. 3: 5%
5. 5: 4%
BIGGEST INCREASE in delay alerts from 2011 to 2012
1. L: 60%
2. B: 42%
3. E: 37%
4. F: 35%
5. (tie) A, 4, D:17%
MOST OVERALL delay alerts in 2012
1. F: 225
2. 2: 192
3. 5: 190
4. 4: 189
5. N: 177
2012 DELAY ALERTS BY BOROUGH
Manhattan: 1,219, Brooklyn: 757
Queens: 458, Bronx: 235
All data is from the Straphangers Campaign's report, which compiled email and text delay alerts from the MTA for 20 lines between Jan. 1, 2012 and Oct. 27, 2012. The data excluded incidents the Campaign deemed out of the MTA's control, including police investigations, medical delays, weather and others. It also left out alerts that referenced bus service, affected one of three shuttles or said service had resumed.