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MTA subway delays are seriously affecting commuters' home and work lives: Survey

A recent report by NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer

A recent report by NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer shows just how negatively subway delays have affected New Yorkers, particularly in low-income neighborhoods. Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

Nearly three out of every four subway riders have been late to a work meeting due to train delays, according to a report released Sunday by the city comptroller’s office.

Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office interviewed more than 1,220 train riders last month to quantify the toll that train problems have taken on commuters. The results, Stringer said, are troubling.

About 18 percent of respondents have been reprimanded for tardiness at work over the past three months, about 13 percent of riders lost wages and 2 percent were fired because of subway delays.

“This shows the crisis is real and the impact is real on the people of New York City,” Stringer said.

The survey, which was conducted at 143 subway stations around the city, found that subway delays occurred more often in lower income neighborhoods, particularly in the Bronx. About 54 percent of Bronx respondents experienced train delays “more than half the time,” or “always,” compared with a quarter of Manhattan respondents, according to Stringer.

“The Bronx is one big subway gridlock delay,” he said.

At a news conference in Queens on Sunday, MTA chairman Joe Lhota said that although he had not seen the report, he was not surprised with the statistics. Lhota returned to the agency last month, and has promised to deliver solutions for the perpetually plagued subway system.

“At the end of the day I want all of my customers to be satisfied,” he said.

Stringer predicted the problems would get worse, and suggested the State Legislature and governor put forward a $3.5 billion bond that would be voted on a ballot. The money, he said, would go toward signal repair and other infrastructure work that remains behind schedule.

The earliest a bond vote could appear on a ballot would be 2018, according to Stringer.

“Let’s go to the voting booth and take it to the people,” he said.


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