Waiting for the G train? Don't wait for a public annoucement
(Photo by amNY)
Inaudible subway announcements are irritating, but better something than nothing.
Nearly all of the G trains platforms lack public address systems, forcing riders on the Brooklyn-Queens line to rely on station agents and conductors to get info on subway delays.
But NYC Transit is eliminating hundreds of station agents across the system through attrition, so G riders craving information may need to develop ESP.
Its uncomfortable, said Kirill Naumov, 21, a G rider from Brooklyn. You dont know when the train will come.
The issue caused outrage earlier this week when a busted signal knocked out G service in Brooklyn for more than an hour. Hundreds of angry riders at the Hoyt-Schermerhorn platform waited in vain for an announcement.
I understand that the signals break down and there is no money to repair them, said Steve Cusson, 40, a Brooklyn rider who begrudgingly took a car service from the station. But there is no PA system. There is no staff. There is no communication with the riders.
James Anyansi, a NYC Transit spokesman, confirmed that most of the G stations dont have public address systems, but said the agency will receive funding next year to put up a PA system, along with a new system of digital boards noting train arrival times. But installing the boards has hit major snags on other subway lines.
PA systems are used to communicate train delays, service changes and emergencies. Some stations also receive information from central dispatch about approaching trains.A 2005 report by the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee found that nearly a third of the 468 stations lacked PA systems. Transit installed speakers connecting to some token booths since, but the G seems to have gotten the short end of the stick.
At the 21 Street in Queens, for example, the G stop lacks a PA.
Its a big gap, said Ellyn Shannon of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee. Theres no means of communication.
The MTA planned to replace all of the PA systems by 2009. Instead, it prioritized the installation of the digital boards on subway platforms.
The boards are up and running on the L line, but rampant problems with the contractor has slowed the expansion to a crawl. The boards wont go live in 156 stations until 2011, five years after the deadline, according to the most recent report by an independent engineer mandated to study MTA projects.
Its just unbelievable, Shannon said. Why dont they put up some speakers if they cant do the new technology?
Anastasia Economides contributed to this story.