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MTA subway survey: Riders more unhappy with service

A man swipes his metro card at the

A man swipes his metro card at the Union Square station on Dec. 19, 2012. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

Fewer riders are satisfied with the subway than they were a year ago -- on areas including how frequently and reliably trains come, as well as the value of a MetroCard, according to a survey.

The MTA interviewed about 1,200 straphangers, and found 74% were satisfied with overall service, down from 78% in 2014, data shows.

About 65% of riders said they got value for their money from the MTA, down from 74% in 2015. Fares were hiked in March, raising the cost of a subway or bus trip to $2.75.

Riders gave low ratings to information in stations about unscheduled delays, with only 67% saying they were satisfied. Other aspects of their commutes that got low scores include crowds on weekend trains, the condition of stations' walls and ceilings, and the cleanliness of train cars. Straphangers gave the highest ratings to the Subway Time app, stations' convenience, and feeling safe from train accidents.

Meanwhile, commuters said Monday they were deeply skeptical that 74% of riders are satisfied overall with the subway.

"The survey is terribly tone-deaf and the language is very obviously that of a very, very good spin doctor," said Maria Morgan, a 39-year-old Queens rider who takes the R and No. 7. She said the number of commuters surveyed was too small and doesn't reflect the different experiences people have by subway line.

"If I never had to take the 7 and didn't have the transit apps on my phone, I would know nothing about the problems the subway has, and would give a more favorable response to their survey."

Woodside writer and editor Alex Joseph, 45, said he had to let at least six trains pass him at the No. 7's 46th Street station Monday because they were too crowded to get on, and that he was 2 hours late to work.

"I don't think you could slip a piece of paper in," he said. "I just got so mad. I was so angry and frustrated."

Bus riders' experience worsened as well this year, with only 67% saying they felt satisfied, according to the MTA's survey results. It was a decrease of 3% from the year before. Commuters said they were concerned about worsening traffic and predicting travel times, as well as clean seats and floors.

Overall, the MTA says it is seeing a downward trend with bus ridership. The opposite trend has been seen on the subways, where the number of people riding the rails is at record levels.

Straphangers said they like using Bus Time, a program that lets riders track where their bus is using GPS data, and gave high ratings to personal security and safety from traffic crashes.

Available seats on the bus, value for money, and overall service got the lowest ratings.

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