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Deucey

Byford: Train Delayed? It's not your fault. (Anymore)

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http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-metro-mta-subway-delays-andy-byford-20180616-story.html

"

Subway overcrowding is a thing of the past — on paper, at least.

NYC Transit President Andy Byford and his team are ditching the “overcrowding” category in an overhaul of how information on train delays is collected and reported. Officials will use the data to speed up slow trains and fix spotty service, cutting down on the number of late trains.

Byford, in an interview with the Daily News, called “overcrowding” a “misrepresentation” and “misnomer.”

Now, with the MTA in a repair blitz to fix aging equipment that causes major commuting headaches, Byford plans to tackle the small holdups and slowdowns that make for a crummy ride.

“They just find that the service is very patchy, it’s very gappy,” Byford said, speaking of commuters. “That’s very frustrating to them. Our trains per hour isn’t as high as the signaling system will permit.”

The Daily News has reported on the veracity of NYC Transit’s statistics on delays and their causes. In March, The News reported that transit officials had hid more than 10,000 mystery delays by tucking them into all the categories for late trains, such as NYPD investigations and sick riders. There’s a disclaimer in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s subway performance reports stating that transit officials had historically hid these unexplained delays. They’re now listed in a separate category of “unassigned” delays.

MTA board members on Monday will see the new way that delays will be tracked and tallied, which is still a work in progress.

The most significant change will be the ambiguous “overcrowding” category, which became the most commonly cited reason for late trains that effectively blamed the riders for suffering subway performance.

A new “operating environment” category will now cover many of the overcrowding and unassigned mystery delays.

“The operating environment is still the single biggest driver of the delays, it’s the biggest category on the page,” Sally Librera, NYC Transit’s subway chief, told The News. “We are by no means done, in terms of looking further into that category and identifying the root causes.”

Those root causes would include signals with safety timers that slow trains to a crawl, trains that are off schedule because trips are taking longer to finish, and train operator speeds.

Another confusing categorization, called “right of way” delays, will be in new categories for track and signal failures, and the repair work that follows. Problems with train cars will have details on how many times a busted door or brake caused delays.

The numbers will also be more reliable; NYC Transit now has a central database for tracking delays and their causes, whereas officials had been working with two separate systems.

The better the information, “the better our strategies for attacking them and driving them down,” Librera said."

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35 minutes ago, S78 via Hylan said:

Bro, these thread titles you keep making aren’t funny if that’s what they’re supposed to be...

Next time I'll DM you for your approval.

/Sarcasm

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1 hour ago, Deucey said:

Byford, in an interview with the Daily News, called “overcrowding” a “misrepresentation” and “misnomer.”

“They just find that the service is very patchy, it’s very gappy,” Byford said, speaking of commuters. “That’s very frustrating to them. Our trains per hour isn’t as high as the signaling system will permit.”

“The operating environment is still the single biggest driver of the delays, it’s the biggest category on the page,” Sally Librera, NYC Transit’s subway chief, told The News. “We are by no means done, in terms of looking further into that category and identifying the root causes.”

Those root causes would include signals with safety timers that slow trains to a crawl, trains that are off schedule because trips are taking longer to finish, and train operator speeds.

It's a damn shame that in-house leadership was so complacent that it took hiring someone from out of the country to do something so obvious.

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Just now, Around the Horn said:

It's a damn shame that in-house leadership was so complacent that it took hiring someone from out of the country to do something so obvious.

I think that just looking at the state of the subway and how bad station environments are (like Chambers Street, 14th St (1)(2)(3) ), and that (MTA) staff literally threw hands up and said "¯\_(ツ)_/¯", coupled with all the other problems is the damn shame.

(MTA) culture is too complacent; it actually embodies the stereotypes conservatives have about government services, and seems to do so proudly.

It's like they think "we could fix it, but we need money, and we'd have to both lobby for it and do work to get it, and we just don't feel like it because work sucks."

I'm glad there's an outsider making them do the work.

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Their report is going to look something like this:

Leading cause of delays:

Weekdays -

1) Timers, Interlockings and Signals

2) Terminal inefficiencies

Late Nites & Weekends -

1) Trackwork / Adjacent Track slow zones.

  1.  Not making necessary service changes to mitigate slow zone delays, which adds to train traffic and conga lines of red signals.

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11 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

Their report is going to look something like this:

Leading cause of delays:

Weekdays -

1) Timers, Interlockings and Signals

2) Terminal inefficiencies

3) Rolling Stock (I'm looking at you, 75 foot cars)

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18 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

Their report is going to look something like this:

Leading cause of delays:

Weekdays -

1) Timers, Interlockings and Signals

2) Terminal inefficiencies

Late Nites & Weekends -

1) Trackwork / Adjacent Track slow zones.

  1.  Not making necessary service changes to mitigate slow zone delays, which adds to train traffic and conga lines of red signals.

That is so true. I know one terminal that could operate more efficiently if you didn't have to fumigate every damn second. 

And let's be honest, some if the delays that happen every day ARE SCHEDULED DELAYS!!

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Mr. Byford saw the writing on the wall and that is the reason that he had to hightail out of Toronto. 

It seems that the Liberals in the Province of Ontario just  got blasted as they went from leading the Ontario government to single digits in terms of representation (like 7 seats)..

If he would have stayed, he would have to deal with the former late mayor's brother now the party leader in parliament and that was a trip.

I have always said that the best way to shake up an agency is to require each and every one working in the main offices to work in the field on a regular basis where they can be with their workers and the people that they serve. Let them drive the buses to and from work every day or as a conductor on a subway or railroad train to get an idea of the real world. A lot of those who get in positions without coming from the ranks are totally clueless as to how the system works. 

If Mr. Byford wants to do something constructive that would send a message loud and clear that the system will be changed, he can ask that the examinations for many of these titles to be changed to promotional examinations from open-competitive There are many employees who have the qualifications who if placed in these positions would do a far superior job to the ones that are already there with their no-experience degrees and who do not know the routing of either the subway or bus lines.

Here is a suggestion that  would elicit an immediate positive reaction: He should find out who or whom gives out information on MTA info. involving the re-routing of buses for any reason. Someone who is posting does not know the difference between an Avenue or a street or leaves out a street completely when posting the information for the riders.  Don't they read and use maps before posting or they just do not care about their work?

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15 hours ago, Interested Rider said:

Here is a suggestion that  would elicit an immediate positive reaction: He should find out who or whom gives out information on MTA info. involving the re-routing of buses for any reason. Someone who is posting does not know the difference between an Avenue or a street or leaves out a street completely when posting the information for the riders.  Don't they read and use maps before posting or they just do not care about th

Never understood why they didn't do for buses what they do for Subways with Weekender. Interactive maps and flashing dots and all that...

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16 hours ago, Deucey said:

Never understood why they didn't do for buses what they do for Subways with Weekender. Interactive maps and flashing dots and all that...

That would require them to commission a readable bus map in the first place.

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On 6/17/2018 at 7:07 PM, N6 Limited said:

Their report is going to look something like this:

Leading cause of delays:

Weekdays -

1) Timers, Interlockings and Signals

2) Terminal inefficiencies

Late Nites & Weekends -

1) Trackwork / Adjacent Track slow zones.

  1.  Not making necessary service changes to mitigate slow zone delays, which adds to train traffic and conga lines of red signals.

Trackwork / Adjacent Track slow zones are a problem weekdays as well, as they squeeze the jobs into the midday, especially on outdoor lines where they don't work at night. I've even sees the delays spill over to the rush hour!

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On ‎6‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 2:54 PM, Deucey said:

The Daily News has reported on the veracity of NYC Transit’s statistics on delays and their causes. In March, The News reported that transit officials had hid more than 10,000 mystery delays by tucking them into all the categories for late trains, such as NYPD investigations and sick riders. There’s a disclaimer in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s subway performance reports stating that transit officials had historically hid these unexplained delays. They’re now listed in a separate category of “unassigned” delays.

Congratulations MTA. You just now figured out what every first year statistics major knows about collecting data: create a Misc. category for items that don't fit into the standard boxes and don't just divide them into the existing categories. I know, it's a revolutionary concept.

On ‎6‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 2:54 PM, Deucey said:

The most significant change will be the ambiguous “overcrowding” category, which became the most commonly cited reason for late trains that effectively blamed the riders for suffering subway performance.

A new “operating environment” category will now cover many of the overcrowding and unassigned mystery delays.

Yay? Instead of calling it this, we're going to call it that. Aren't we smart? I bet they all patted themselves on the back for coming up with this genius idea. I think I speak for everyone when I say nobody cares why the trains are delayed, just the fact that they constantly are delayed. I applaud Byford's efforts to improve communication, but saying trains are delayed because of the existing structure is no different from saying the trains aren't moving "because of train traffic ahead".

On ‎6‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 2:54 PM, Deucey said:

Those root causes would include signals with safety timers that slow trains to a crawl, trains that are off schedule because trips are taking longer to finish, and train operator speeds.

Does that mean they'll allow the operators to pull into stations at something faster that a slow jog? Half the time, the train will crawl into the station despite there not being anything in front or any yellow/red signal. It's even worst when they have a TSS onboard. If not, expect a lot of these newly classified delays to be operator-related.

All said, if the data collected actually leads to some worthwhile improvements in delay mitigation, that's wonderful. Not so much so if it's just dumped into the quarterlies as an afterthought, never to be considered again.

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1 hour ago, Lance said:

Yay? Instead of calling it this, we're going to call it that. Aren't we smart? I bet they all patted themselves on the back for coming up with this genius idea. I think I speak for everyone when I say nobody cares why the trains are delayed, just the fact that they constantly are delayed. I applaud Byford's efforts to improve communication, but saying trains are delayed because of the existing structure is no different from saying the trains aren't moving "because of train traffic ahead".

It may seem like a name change but it's actually a really big improvement for the agency. For years, we threw delays whose cause wasn't rooted in some incident 'overcrowding,' because excess dwell is a) rampant and b) a factor largely out of the agency's control. Recategorizing these delays as 'operating environment' delays moves the onus of blame off of the riders and onto agency practices around all these issues -- including excess dwell, which can indeed be mitigated with improved ops practices. You can say you don't care why they're delayed, and yes, it isn't the rider's position to care, but the salient point here is that there is now an internal perspective shift regarding these ops delays, and a terminology change to promulgate that. Maybe you're right, and it is just mindless bureaucratic nameswapping. But given the agency's rank inability to diagnose these issues in the past, I'd say this may be among the most impactful rebrandings they could undertake. 

1 hour ago, Lance said:

Does that mean they'll allow the operators to pull into stations at something faster that a slow jog? Half the time, the train will crawl into the station despite there not being anything in front or any yellow/red signal. It's even worst when they have a TSS onboard. If not, expect a lot of these newly classified delays to be operator-related.

This is being addressed, but keep in mind that a lot of this has to do with operator training (or a lack thereof) so is a more long-term fight. That said, they are making an effort to improve ops around stations (better signing hidden STs being a big one) so I wouldn't give up hope on that yet. 

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1 hour ago, Lance said:

Does that mean they'll allow the operators to pull into stations at something faster that a slow jog? Half the time, the train will crawl into the station despite there not being anything in front or any yellow/red signal. It's even worst when they have a TSS onboard. If not, expect a lot of these newly classified delays to be operator-related.

All said, if the data collected actually leads to some worthwhile improvements in delay mitigation, that's wonderful. Not so much so if it's just dumped into the quarterlies as an afterthought, never to be considered again.

Yes it's kind of irritating to see trains crawl into a station when there is NOTHING there. Even from the RFW you can see the signals are red, and slowly turn yellow, when the last train left a million years ago.

I agree, hopefully this leads to worthwhile improvements

1 hour ago, Lance said:

I think I speak for everyone when I say nobody cares why the trains are delayed, just the fact that they constantly are delayed.

Exactly!!

Edited by N6 Limited

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3 hours ago, RR503 said:

It may seem like a name change but it's actually a really big improvement for the agency. For years, we threw delays whose cause wasn't rooted in some incident 'overcrowding,' because excess dwell is a) rampant and b) a factor largely out of the agency's control. Recategorizing these delays as 'operating environment' delays moves the onus of blame off of the riders and onto agency practices around all these issues -- including excess dwell, which can indeed be mitigated with improved ops practices. You can say you don't care why they're delayed, and yes, it isn't the rider's position to care, but the salient point here is that there is now an internal perspective shift regarding these ops delays, and a terminology change to promulgate that. Maybe you're right, and it is just mindless bureaucratic nameswapping. But given the agency's rank inability to diagnose these issues in the past, I'd say this may be among the most impactful rebrandings they could undertake. 

This is being addressed, but keep in mind that a lot of this has to do with operator training (or a lack thereof) so is a more long-term fight. That said, they are making an effort to improve ops around stations (better signing hidden STs being a big one) so I wouldn't give up hope on that yet. 

Perhaps you're right and these behind the scenes changes will actually lead to some visible changes in operations. I'm just skeptical because we've seen how this played out before, a lot of promises of changes to come, which nothing to show for them. Consider me cautiously optimistic.

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4 hours ago, Lance said:

Perhaps you're right and these behind the scenes changes will actually lead to some visible changes in operations. I'm just skeptical because we've seen how this played out before, a lot of promises of changes to come, which nothing to show for them. Consider me cautiously optimistic.

I think that it's important that it's internally tracked. People have been producing mountains of reports about how bad the system is externally, but the only accepted way to judge for workers to judge their fellow workers is internal statistics. Something being an internal metric is something you can be held accountable for as an employee.

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8 hours ago, RR503 said:

It may seem like a name change but it's actually a really big improvement for the agency. For years, we threw delays whose cause wasn't rooted in some incident 'overcrowding,' because excess dwell is a) rampant and b) a factor largely out of the agency's control. Recategorizing these delays as 'operating environment' delays moves the onus of blame off of the riders and onto agency practices around all these issues -- including excess dwell, which can indeed be mitigated with improved ops practices. You can say you don't care why they're delayed, and yes, it isn't the rider's position to care, but the salient point here is that there is now an internal perspective shift regarding these ops delays, and a terminology change to promulgate that. Maybe you're right, and it is just mindless bureaucratic nameswapping. But given the agency's rank inability to diagnose these issues in the past, I'd say this may be among the most impactful rebrandings they could undertake. 

This is being addressed, but keep in mind that a lot of this has to do with operator training (or a lack thereof) so is a more long-term fight. That said, they are making an effort to improve ops around stations (better signing hidden STs being a big one) so I wouldn't give up hope on that yet. 

There has to be a change in culture from punitive top-down management from the REMFs to solution-oriented management.

These STs for example - if they're causing operators to go well below speed to avoid a write-up, then there needs to be a proactive effort to correct their timings now AND to follow-up when operators report their malfunction.

And late buses/trains: since we see crews leaving late, there needs to be efforts from REMFs to diagnose the causes and mitigate them (maybe extra crews at terminals to take over if the next one didn't get a full break period; two janitors to clean, security to fumigate, etc.)...

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1 hour ago, Deucey said:

 These STs for example - if they're causing operators to go well below speed to avoid a write-up, then there needs to be a proactive effort to correct their timings now AND to follow-up when operators report their malfunction.

 

The GTs create exactly the situation you describe. The ST (Station Timer) issue is that there are many of those signals (which allow trains to come closer to their leader near stations and interlockings) which are not properly signed, thus TOs will not take advantage of their function. NYCTA is currently in the process of mitigating that issue to allow faster/higher capacity operations. 

1 hour ago, Deucey said:

 And late buses/trains: since we see crews leaving late, there needs to be efforts from REMFs to diagnose the causes and mitigate them (maybe extra crews at terminals to take over if the next one didn't get a full break period; two janitors to clean, security to fumigate, etc.)...

Oh, absolutely. The cause attribution side of things is being discussed extensively internally (something that shows through quite well if you watch the board video). I've never heard relief crews before, but I really like that idea.

Generally -- and apologies if I'm repeating myself here -- terminal ops could be much simplified if we treated every terminal like a relay terminal. At the second to last (or last, in the case of a true relay terminal) stop, the outbound crew boards their respective cabs, rides to the last stop (or relay tracks), takes control, and reverses the train back out of the relays or last stop with only normal station dwell spent at the location of reversing. The inbound crew then disembarks at the train's first or second stop, and the process begins again. This configuration obviates the need for fumigation and standardizes procedures across the system, something we should certainly strive for. 

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41 minutes ago, RR503 said:

Generally -- and apologies if I'm repeating myself here -- terminal ops could be much simplified if we treated every terminal like a relay terminal. At the second to last (or last, in the case of a true relay terminal) stop, the outbound crew boards their respective cabs, rides to the last stop (or relay tracks), takes control, and reverses the train back out of the relays or last stop with only normal station dwell spent at the location of reversing. The inbound crew then disembarks at the train's first or second stop, and the process begins again. This configuration obviates the need for fumigation and standardizes procedures across the system, something we should certainly strive for. 

I could totally get behind this...

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55 minutes ago, RR503 said:

The GTs create exactly the situation you describe. The ST (Station Timer) issue is that there are many of those signals (which allow trains to come closer to their leader near stations and interlockings) which are not properly signed, thus TOs will not take advantage of their function. NYCTA is currently in the process of mitigating that issue to allow faster/higher capacity operations. 

Oh, absolutely. The cause attribution side of things is being discussed extensively internally (something that shows through quite well if you watch the board video). I've never heard relief crews before, but I really like that idea.

Generally -- and apologies if I'm repeating myself here -- terminal ops could be much simplified if we treated every terminal like a relay terminal. At the second to last (or last, in the case of a true relay terminal) stop, the outbound crew boards their respective cabs, rides to the last stop (or relay tracks), takes control, and reverses the train back out of the relays or last stop with only normal station dwell spent at the location of reversing. The inbound crew then disembarks at the train's first or second stop, and the process begins again. This configuration obviates the need for fumigation and standardizes procedures across the system, something we should certainly strive for. 

Take one look at how (J)(Z) operates at Broad Street with ONE t/o to do turnbacks and you have a template to work from.

Just need to replace that relay person with a crew and there you gom

Edited by Deucey

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23 minutes ago, Deucey said:

Take one look at how (J)(Z) operates at Broad Street with ONE t/o to do turnbacks and you have a template to work from.

Just need to replace that relay person with a crew and there you gom

Now if the MTA can also improve that horrible relay situation at Forest Hills-71st Ave. It makes no sense for there to be trains backed up for several stations before 71s Ave. Perhaps they should consider sweeping the trains on the Manhattan bound platform instead in order to get terminating trains out of the station. If I'm not mistaken (6) trains get swept on the Bronx bound platform at Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall. 

 

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8 minutes ago, NewFlyer 230 said:

Now if the MTA can also improve that horrible relay situation at Forest Hills-71st Ave. It makes no sense for there to be trains backed up for several stations before 71s Ave. Perhaps they should consider sweeping the trains on the Manhattan bound platform instead in order to get terminating trains out of the station. If I'm not mistaken (6) trains get swept on the Bronx bound platform at Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall. 

 

(6) trains don't get swept at Brooklyn Bridge. They get swept at Pelham Bay Park...

95th Street does sweeping for the (R) IDK if Metropolitan does it for the (M) or not.

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1 minute ago, Around the Horn said:

(6) trains don't get swept at Brooklyn Bridge. They get swept at Pelham Bay Park...

95th Street does sweeping for the (R) IDK if Metropolitan does it for the (M) or not.

They must of recently changed things because I've seen (R) and (M) trains get swept at 71st Ave especially if they are going out of service completely. I have seen them clean the trains out at 95th street and Metropolitan Ave as well too.

 

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On 6/20/2018 at 12:50 AM, NewFlyer 230 said:

They must of recently changed things because I've seen (R) and (M) trains get swept at 71st Ave especially if they are going out of service completely. I have seen them clean the trains out at 95th street and Metropolitan Ave as well too.

 

They hired more switch personnel to help with relays....

Train is double-ended no need to clean it out unless its a lay up as per bulletin...

Edited by RTOMan
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