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AndrewJC

NYCT loading guidelines and policy headways

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I recently came across this document, which includes summary tables of NYCT loading guidelines and policy headways for bus and subway:

 

http://mta.info/mta/compliance/pdf/1269d.pdf

 

Scroll to around the middle of the PDF for the interesting stuff.

 

Enjoy!

 

(Posted to both the subway and bus forums, since it's of interest to each - I hope the moderators don't mind.)

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MTA is violating it's own Saturday midday policy headways on the (2), (3), and (5) trains if one goes by this.

 

 
 
Weekday Rush Hours, Weekday Middays, and Saturday Middays
If service is provided, it should operate at least every 10 minutes.
 
 
Weekday Evenings, Saturday Evenings, and All Day on Sunday
If service is provided, it should operate at least every 12 minutes

 

Late Nights (1 a.m. – 5 a.m.)
If service is provided, it should operate at least every 20 minutes
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(MTA) doesn't violate their own policy. Ask AndrewJC, Snowblock or Artvanderlay.

 

Actually, he's (unfortunately) quite right - the Saturday 2, 3, and 5 are blatantly in violation. A number of lines are also in violation of the loading guidelines on weekends (the 2010 service cut book listed the 1, F, N, and Q on Saturdays and the 1 and N on Sundays).

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yes, the (2) between the Bronx and Manhattan is a sardine can on weekends. it is also crowded between Brooklyn and Manhattan but probably not as much as it is between the Bronx and Manhattan

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yes, the (2) between the Bronx and Manhattan is a sardine can on weekends. it is also crowded between Brooklyn and Manhattan but probably not as much as it is between the Bronx and Manhattan

 

In my experience, the 2 is terribly crowded north of Times Square on weekends. So is the 1, for that matter.

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Some express bus routes have waits that exceed the guidelines. The buses are supposed to run every 30 minutes during middays, but there are a decent amount that run every 60 minutes. (outbound X17, X27/28, BM buses, BxM4, BxM6, and probably a couple of others). For the most part, usage is low, so it's not the worst thing in the world, but technically, the guidelines are exceeded.

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Some express bus routes have waits that exceed the guidelines. The buses are supposed to run every 30 minutes during middays, but there are a decent amount that run every 60 minutes. (outbound X17, X27/28, BM buses, BxM4, BxM6, and probably a couple of others). For the most part, usage is low, so it's not the worst thing in the world, but technically, the guidelines are exceeded.

 

Quite correct. Per the guidelines, those buses should not be operating at all when ridership doesn't warrant a 30 minute headway.

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Interesting. I will say the loading guidelines are not understandable at all. They give a guideline load and a ridership target for trains to run at certain headways yet loads vary along a route. Does the guideline load (for 2 min headway let's say) have to be met for just a certain section of a route for the whole route to get said headway or are there a bunch of catches to this that the TA doesn't give mention to?

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Interesting. I will say the loading guidelines are not understandable at all. They give a guideline load and a ridership target for trains to run at certain headways yet loads vary along a route. Does the guideline load (for 2 min headway let's say) have to be met for just a certain section of a route for the whole route to get said headway or are there a bunch of catches to this that the TA doesn't give mention to?

 

You're looking at just the summary tables, so the details aren't spelled out. But the numbers basically indicate when a bus or train is considered "full."

 

Loads are counted at the peak load points (the most crowded spots on the line). If the average load per car over a designated time period (it looks like it's 30 minutes during rush hours and 60 at other times) exceeds the guideline load, more service is added (if feasible!) in the next pick. If the average load is well below the guideline load, service is reduced in the next pick.

 

So, for instance, if a bunch of G riders complain that their trains are overcrowded, the MTA will compare the average loads at the peak load points to the guideline loads. If observed loads exceed the guidelines, then those G riders are correct and more service will be scheduled. If observed loads don't exceed the guidelines, then in fact G trains are not overcrowded according to MTA policy, which can be applied consistently systemwide.

 

In fact, they look at the loads every year (or two years, on local buses) and make adjustments, even if nobody complains.

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MTA is violating it's own Saturday midday policy headways on the (2), (3), and (5) trains if one goes by this.

 

 
 
Weekday Rush Hours, Weekday Middays, and Saturday Middays
If service is provided, it should operate at least every 10 minutes.
 
 
Weekday Evenings, Saturday Evenings, and All Day on Sunday
If service is provided, it should operate at least every 12 minutes

 

Late Nights (1 a.m. – 5 a.m.)
If service is provided, it should operate at least every 20 minutes

 

(2)- 12 minutes

(3)- 12 minutes

(5)- 12 minutes (only on paper; in practice it's actually 20 and either doesn't normally run past 180 or split into two with no service 180-149 with G.O. schedule supplements)

 

Yes, MTA is breaking the "rule", but the MTA also makes the rules, so they can't/won't punish themselves.

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You're looking at just the summary tables, so the details aren't spelled out. But the numbers basically indicate when a bus or train is considered "full."

 

Loads are counted at the peak load points (the most crowded spots on the line). If the average load per car over a designated time period (it looks like it's 30 minutes during rush hours and 60 at other times) exceeds the guideline load, more service is added (if feasible!) in the next pick. If the average load is well below the guideline load, service is reduced in the next pick.

 

So, for instance, if a bunch of G riders complain that their trains are overcrowded, the MTA will compare the average loads at the peak load points to the guideline loads. If observed loads exceed the guidelines, then those G riders are correct and more service will be scheduled. If observed loads don't exceed the guidelines, then in fact G trains are not overcrowded according to MTA policy, which can be applied consistently systemwide.

 

In fact, they look at the loads every year (or two years, on local buses) and make adjustments, even if nobody complains.

 

So if the (G) is exceeding the guideline load they will add additional service? How about the (F)? I mean, will that extra service fit into the tight (F) schedule? Because, like you said in the (G) spot topic, there are gaps in the service because the (F) has priority. So that means they can't always add extra service.

 
 
 
 
 

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So if the (G) is exceeding the guideline load they will add additional service? How about the (F)? I mean, will that extra service fit into the tight (F) schedule? Because, like you said in the (G) spot topic, there are gaps in the service because the (F) has priority. So that means they can't always add extra service.

 

But if the Crosstown line does really exceed loading guidelines, they could theoretically find a way to add cars to the train. 

 

I know most of the discussion about this point has been "there just aren't the cars there to make it 8" but if the demand is really there for the line - it might take some time, it might mean adding numbers to a future order, but if the demand is truly there it can happen. 

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You're looking at just the summary tables, so the details aren't spelled out. But the numbers basically indicate when a bus or train is considered "full."

 

Loads are counted at the peak load points (the most crowded spots on the line). If the average load per car over a designated time period (it looks like it's 30 minutes during rush hours and 60 at other times) exceeds the guideline load, more service is added (if feasible!) in the next pick. If the average load is well below the guideline load, service is reduced in the next pick.

 

So, for instance, if a bunch of G riders complain that their trains are overcrowded, the MTA will compare the average loads at the peak load points to the guideline loads. If observed loads exceed the guidelines, then those G riders are correct and more service will be scheduled. If observed loads don't exceed the guidelines, then in fact G trains are not overcrowded according to MTA policy, which can be applied consistently systemwide.

 

In fact, they look at the loads every year (or two years, on local buses) and make adjustments, even if nobody complains.

I get what you're saying but in the case of the (G) what would stop the MTA from adding service in the form of short-turns? It seems to me that the MTA looks at more than just peak-load points. 

Edited by JubaionBx12+SBS
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(2)- 12 minutes

(3)- 12 minutes

(5)- 12 minutes (only on paper; in practice it's actually 20 and either doesn't normally run past 180 or split into two with no service 180-149 with G.O. schedule supplements)

 

The picked schedule for the 5 is for a 12 minute headway on weekends. Enough crews are paid to operate a 12 minute headway. For a lot of GO's, service has to be thinned out or cut back to a shuttle, but the crews are still paid for the jobs they picked.

 

Yes, MTA is breaking the "rule", but the MTA also makes the rules, so they can't/won't punish themselves.

 

They're guidelines, not rules. If GO's usually make it impractical to run service as frequently as the guidelines call for, it doesn't make sense to pay for frequent service and then cut it back every weekend. (But when there are no GO's, it would be nice if service were increased by supplement.)

 

So if the (G) is exceeding the guideline load they will add additional service?

 

Yes, assuming there are cars available.

 

How about the (F)? I mean, will that extra service fit into the tight (F) schedule?

 

Definitely not at the Queens end, which already has 15 tph on top of the 15 tph on the E - the only way to increase F service in Queens is to decrease E service, and the E is more crowded than the F. The Brooklyn end has 14 tph according to a recent article, so there's room for one more train (anything more would be fine in Brooklyn but wouldn't be able to fit into Queens).

 

 

Because, like you said in the (G) spot topic, there are gaps in the service because the (F) has priority. So that means they can't always add extra service.

 

 

There is certainly room for more trains on the G. My point in the other topic was that the G headways are uneven because of the need to fit around F's, and it's especially important for F headways to remain even due to the intense service in Queens.

 

But if the Crosstown line does really exceed loading guidelines, they could theoretically find a way to add cars to the train. 

 

If there are cars available. Note that if the G were to go to 8 cars, the morning headway would immediately jump to 10 minutes - there would be no need for more frequent service with full-length trains. I'd hate to see the Court Square stairways on a 10 minute headway!

 

I know most of the discussion about this point has been "there just aren't the cars there to make it 8" but if the demand is really there for the line - it might take some time, it might mean adding numbers to a future order, but if the demand is truly there it can happen. 

 

Agreed completely. Better yet, since it takes so long to obtain new cars, any additional cars should be ordered based on projections for future growth, not only on preexisting growth.

 

I get what you're saying but in the case of the (G) what would stop the MTA from adding service in the form of short-turns? It seems to me that the MTA looks at more than just peak-load points. 

 

Short turns create long gaps in service at the end of the line not served. The G has peak load points approaching both Court Square and Hoyt, and trains are much more crowded at one than the other, short turns won't help. Besides, I'm still not convinced that loads exceed guidelines at either peak load point!

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I recently came across this document, which includes summary tables of NYCT loading guidelines and policy headways for bus and subway:

 

http://mta.info/mta/compliance/pdf/1269d.pdf

 

Scroll to around the middle of the PDF for the interesting stuff.

 

Enjoy!

 

(Posted to both the subway and bus forums, since it's of interest to each - I hope the moderators don't mind.)

 

To keep us on our toes, they changed the URL! Now http://web.mta.info/mta/compliance/pdf/supplemental-info.pdf is the place to go.

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I hate when they do that. Nearly lost several references that way because of dead links. Made sure I downloaded a copy of that this time, that was one of them.

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