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Is the L train running? New Yorkers' most Googled subway questions

"Is the L train running" is one of the most Googled questions about the MTA. Photo Credit: Agaton Strom

"Is the L train running?" is not just something you groan while making weekend brunch plans.

It is also the most Googled question over the past six months related to the MTA and the subway, according to data the search engine giant pulled for amNewYork.

The L train, as heavily trafficked as it is, has needed to undergo extensive work to maintain well-worn tracks, requiring five weekends of no trains in Manhattan and into Brooklyn through May 18, and overnight on weekdays through May 22. Before that, L service had been disrupted when the MTA put in a new signal system to run more trains.

There's even a website devoted to the question: ("Dammit to L! MTA Says PLANNED WORK, yo" the site read this weekend.)

The second-most searched question about the MTA and subways on Google: "Is the MTA working/running today?" In short, yes, it is always operating, 24/7. But ask riders when a signal problem snags nearly half the train lines or a major snowstorm is anticipated, and the answer may be different.

Simon Rogers, the data editor at Google News Lab, explained that these are the related questions around search terms like MTA and subway. This anonymized data gets pulled together and scored, so Google knows how significant this is to its users, according to Rogers.

"The fact that those searches are at top shows that these things really matter to New Yorkers when theyare searching for information about the subway," he said.

Three were related to the price of fares, including one on when the next hike is coming (2017, FYI), and a handful of searches would make good pub trivia questions (there are 468 subway stations for those asking how many are in the system).

Meanwhile, one popular question posed to Google shows that some see subway service as a dating service ("How do you meet women on the subway?").

In all, Google's list of the most popular transit-related searches is as varied as the role subways play in New York life.

Questions on the MTA in the U.S. in the last 6 months

1. Is the L train running?
2. Is the MTA running today?
3. When does the MTA fare increase?
4. Who owns the MTA in NY?
5. Where to buy a MTA metrocard
6. Where is my MTA bus?
7. What time is the MTA shutting down today?
8. What happens if I don't pay MTA tolls?
9. How much is the MTA fare?
10. How do I handle a pink violation from the MTA?

Questions on the MTA and Subway in NYC

1. Is the L train running?
2. Is the MTA working today?
3. How do I get to Yankee stadium?
4. How do I ride the NYC subway?
5. What time is the MTA shutting down today?
6. How do you meet women on the subway?
7. How do you get to JFK on the subway?
8. When does the MTA fare increase?
9. How much does it cost for an unlimited monthly MTA card?
10. Where do the NYC subway trains turn around?


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