Jump to content

Attention: In order to reply to messages, create topics, have access to other features of the community you must sign up for an account.
Lance

Significant Drop in Ridership - MTA

Recommended Posts

MTA says subway ridership continues to plummet

Weekday ridership for the month of August is down 2.5% compared to the same period last year according to a new report published by the MTA this week. Weekend ridership has fared even worse, dropping nearly 9% in the same period. Naturally, it's no surprise that people are leaving the subway in droves in lieu of better, more reliable transportation options than those provided by the MTA. What's more troubling than the numbers already available are those yet to come. MTA officials have warned the board that the slide in weekday ridership is slated to continue based on trends they've seen in the 2nd quarter of this year.

Read more: Source

It's almost like we're going back to the '70s with these conditions and we will head there if the MTA, the city and the state don't get their heads out of their collective asses and do something about this. I know neither Cuomo or DeBlasio have direct control of the MTA, but if they don't get their heads out of the sand and turn this around soon, the city will continue to suffer, which in turn makes the state suffer.

  • Upvote 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Lance said:

It's almost like we're going back to the '70s with these conditions and we will head there if the MTA, the city and the state don't get their heads out of their collective asses and do something about this. I know neither Cuomo or DeBlasio have direct control of the MTA, but if they don't get their heads out of the sand and turn this around soon, the city will continue to suffer, which in turn makes the state suffer.

Cuomo and DeBlasio definitely make it worse with all the haggling over funding (and therefore fares), but beyond the reliability crisis, the basic issue is that the MTA plans service like it's the only game in town. It, well, isn't. Time to stop running the minimum feasible service for a line's existing ridership. They've got to think like a competitor -- how can they best keep their current pax, and capture other modes' users. So minimum 8 minute midday headway, 4tph overnight service, and restructured weekend work protocols. That should leave a mark. 

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, that doesn't help either. They cannot stay competitive if their philosophy is "well, we've done it this way for X years and it's worked well, so we're not changing now." Not only are they competing against ride share options like Lyft and Uber. Riders are also just choosing to bike into work and while that may not be an option as the weather turns cooler, it cannot be overlooked by the agency these days. As you said, they are no longer the only game in town and it's high time they realize it. The alternative of operating essentially a rush hour system like they did in the '70s and '80s will not sustain them this time.

As for the drop in weekend ridership, I cannot blame people for ditching the subway. When service is run like this almost every weekend where huge chunks of the subway are out of service, like so:

image.thumb.png.14fac02c2440f83dffd7cd466535b340.png

Well, it's no surprise people are looking at other options. It'd be an easier pill to swallow if riders saw some kind of end point to these service changes, but there rarely is one. It feels like every time a project ends on one part of a line, another one quickly takes its place, leading to more diversions and suspensions, frustrating riders to the point of simply leaving. People are mostly understanding of the necessity of maintenance work to keep at 24-hour system just that, operating 24 hours daily. The problem is that this maintenance work never seems to end and that's what really annoys riders.

Take for instance the Jamaica line. For almost two months straight, there hasn't been any service east of Crescent St due to station and structure rehab work at 121 Street and 104 Street, a project that has slipped its schedule by several months now. Are these closures bringing that project any closer to an endpoint? It doesn't appear so as both stations are still closed through "Fall 2018" according to the site.

People are willing to put up with this as long as they see a benefit to it all and quite frankly, they are not seeing it. I still believe Byford can turn this around. If anything, his resumé proves that. I'm just concerned he's being kneecapped by the bureaucracy in the MTA and on the city/state level.

  • Upvote 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Lance said:

Yeah, that doesn't help either. They cannot stay competitive if their philosophy is "well, we've done it this way for X years and it's worked well, so we're not changing now." Not only are they competing against ride share options like Lyft and Uber. Riders are also just choosing to bike into work and while that may not be an option as the weather turns cooler, it cannot be overlooked by the agency these days. As you said, they are no longer the only game in town and it's high time they realize it. The alternative of operating essentially a rush hour system like they did in the '70s and '80s will not sustain them this time.

As for the drop in weekend ridership, I cannot blame people for ditching the subway. When service is run like this almost every weekend where huge chunks of the subway are out of service, like so:

image.thumb.png.14fac02c2440f83dffd7cd466535b340.png

Well, it's no surprise people are looking at other options. It'd be an easier pill to swallow if riders saw some kind of end point to these service changes, but there rarely is one. It feels like every time a project ends on one part of a line, another one quickly takes its place, leading to more diversions and suspensions, frustrating riders to the point of simply leaving. People are mostly understanding of the necessity of maintenance work to keep at 24-hour system just that, operating 24 hours daily. The problem is that this maintenance work never seems to end and that's what really annoys riders.

Take for instance the Jamaica line. For almost two months straight, there hasn't been any service east of Crescent St due to station and structure rehab work at 121 Street and 104 Street, a project that has slipped its schedule by several months now. Are these closures bringing that project any closer to an endpoint? It doesn't appear so as both stations are still closed through "Fall 2018" according to the site.

People are willing to put up with this as long as they see a benefit to it all and quite frankly, they are not seeing it. I still believe Byford can turn this around. If anything, his resumé proves that. I'm just concerned he's being kneecapped by the bureaucracy in the MTA and on the city/state level.

It also doesn't help that since I check real time info often I noticed a lot of gaps in service. While yes a handful are caused by passengers holding doors and 12-9s happening the agency should be prepared for situations like this. Start having standbys in certain sections of the subway. Actually fix sh*t instead of half@$$ing. Don't be afraid to pay a lot less or even fire more people and contractors that show this mentality. 

 

But I doubt anything like that will happen soon.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, nipaaaa said:

good, maybe now it won't be so god damn crowded

You would think so, but they’ll just cut service to “match demand”...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/20/2018 at 7:46 PM, MysteriousBtrain said:

While yes a handful are caused by passengers holding doors and 12-9s happening the agency should be prepared for situations like this. Start having standbys in certain sections of the subway.

But I doubt anything like that will happen soon.

Standby such as what, I just want to clarify what you mean and how that can be achieved?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How far can people really go away from Mass Transit in NYC?  The City only exists in its current form because of the Subway. It isn't a car-centric city. Uber and Lyft can only go so far before they become plagued with same issues riders are running from now. The Subway is a Utility It's time we treated it the same way treat Water, Electricity and other vital utilities and invest!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Jsunflyguy said:

Standby such as what, I just want to clarify what you mean and how that can be achieved?

I think of a lot with standbys. Of course you have the nurses, doctors, and signal workers that should already be on standby via the MTA. And I also think there should be a way to have T/Os on standby as well. I would also say add subway cars in certain sections of the subway and have them but it's almost impossible to do so when you need nearly every car during weekdays.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, RailRunRob said:

How far can people really go away from Mass Transit in NYC?  The City only exists in its current form because of the Subway. It isn't a car-centric city. Uber and Lyft can only go so far before they become plagued with same issues riders are running from now. The Subway is a Utility It's time we treated it the same way treat Water, Electricity and other vital utilities and invest!  

Remember you also have more people who either bikes to work or works from home now which also can contribute to losing ridership.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Daniel The Cool said:

Remember you also have more people who either bikes to work or works from home now which also can contribute to losing ridership.

Indeed But I doubt it's a double-digit siphon 7-8% tops. And that's subject to weather and seasonal restrictions. The Subway is the veins of the City no other mood of transport comes even close to being a substitute.  The subway is the Clark Kent to the City's Superman. One in the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And the trains are still crowded. The displays are still wrong.

The clock at the Coney Island station may indicate that the next (N) is departing at 7:07 AM, but the train actually left at 7:03 AM. The next train doesn’t actually move until 7:13 AM. Either that, or they skip an interval. That probably happens as the tracks are occupied when I get up to the platform—meaning a train didn’t just leave in the past 2 minutes. By the time I get to Bay Parkway, the train is already getting crowded on some days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, CenSin said:

And the trains are still crowded. The displays are still wrong.

The clock at the Coney Island station may indicate that the next (N) is departing at 7:07 AM, but the train actually left at 7:03 AM. The next train doesn’t actually move until 7:13 AM. Either that, or they skip an interval. That probably happens as the tracks are occupied when I get up to the platform—meaning a train didn’t just leave in the past 2 minutes. By the time I get to Bay Parkway, the train is already getting crowded on some days.

Tell me about it. A train is supposedly due in 2 - 3 minutes, and then boom, the train is pulling in. I guess those times are approximate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Tell me about it. A train is supposedly due in 2 - 3 minutes, and then boom, the train is pulling in. I guess those times are approximate.

Happened to me this morning. Get in at 14 St. Next (F) is in 3 minutes. I go onto the platform, that (F) is getting ready to leave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Daniel The Cool said:

Remember you also have more people who either bikes to work or works from home now which also can contribute to losing ridership.

Bike commuter growth has all but stagnated, and generally competes much more with buses. Working at home, too, is also a bit of a red herring, as peak-hour ridership has been relatively constant, and the percentage of folks working from home has remained just about flat in a fast-growing jobs market. 

What's being lost are generally discretionary trips -- to Uber, to laziness, or to other plans. While I think this presentation is disappointing in its complete lack of analysis of the agency's own mismanagement, I think the numbers it lays out are important in understanding what ridership is being lost and why. 

http://web.mta.info/mta/news/books/docs/Ridership_Trends_FINAL_Jul2018.pdf

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, RR503 said:

Bike commuter growth has all but stagnated, and generally competes much more with buses. Working at home, too, is also a bit of a red herring, as peak-hour ridership has been relatively constant, and the percentage of folks working from home has remained just about flat in a fast-growing jobs market. 

What's being lost are generally discretionary trips -- to Uber, to laziness, or to other plans. While I think this presentation is disappointing in its complete lack of analysis of the agency's own mismanagement, I think the numbers it lays out are important in understanding what ridership is being lost and why. 

http://web.mta.info/mta/news/books/docs/Ridership_Trends_FINAL_Jul2018.pdf

People aren't paying attention. People are definitely using more Ubers, myself included, especially on weekends.  When I have meetings, all we talk about now is either my colleagues DROVE to the meeting or took an Uber.  We all avoid the subway where possible because they are simply unreliable, and what's the point of having to put up with the subways if all you're going to do is pay $2.75 to stand and wait and then have to run back upstairs and hail a cab or get an Uber, so rather than put up with such aggravation, I leave my office a little earlier and get an Uber Pool. I may have a walk a block or two tops and rarely do I have to ride with anyone else. The car is nice and clean, no panhandlers, and while there may be some traffic, I get to my destination without having to be all stressed out about being late.  The client has already paid for the event, and if I'm not there to manage the people working for me then it's a big problem, and there's too much money to risk it.  The last set of meetings I had to run brought in over $20,000 worth of business. I'd rather just charge the client for the transportation costs or pay of out pocket.  It's worth it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, RR503 said:

I think the numbers it lays out are important in understanding what ridership is being lost and why.

Interesting these numbers do kinda tell a story here. The Bronx and Queens losing the most riders. I would love to compare the losses on the Subway in these areas to the Metro-North and LIRR ridership with reverse commutes into the Westchester, Nassau and Connecticut. Some of this im sure is based on the fact the region is becoming less and less Manhattan-centric. The Subway may just not be going to the way people are nowadays.  Drops in Student rides as well? Plus London and Paris have seen losses as well..  work habits are changing. 

 

3 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

We all avoid the subway where possible because they are simply unreliable, and what's the point of having to put up with the subways if all you're going to do is pay $2.75 to stand and wait and then have to run back upstairs and hail a cab or get an Uber

This is fine and dandy again there a tipping point even for this. Automobiles can't absorb more than 20% of the Subway ridership and if you add Buses I'm confident you wouldn't break the double-digit mark. There's some flexibility in when it comes to off-peak times Obviously. Point let 15-20% of commuters try to bail for a Uber and see how that works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, RailRunRob said:

This is fine and dandy again there a tipping point even for this. Automobiles can't absorb more than 20% of the Subway ridership and if you add Buses I'm confident you wouldn't break the double-digit mark. There's some flexibility in when it comes to off-peak times Obviously. Point let 15-20% of commuters try to bail for a Uber and see how that works.

Of course and the price also becomes a factor too.  Not everyone can afford the $20.00 for Uber per trip or whatever the charge is, so that right there keeps people from bailing, but if I really want to get back to my office and not put up with the subway, I'll eat the cost. I will pull the app and see what the going rate is and if I feel that it's a good deal, I go for it. The fact of the matter is there are more people using these services and finding ways to not use the subway.  My girlfriend is a perfect example.  Her place of employment happens to be somewhat close for her but she almost always uses Uber to and from work daily with the occasional bus or subway ride. Personally I think she's nuts for doing it, but the nearest subway station for her is a pain and the ride isn't the greatest so I get why she uses it even though it costs her substantially more than the subway.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Not everyone can afford the $20.00 for Uber per trip or whatever the charge is,

What I'm saying this is beyond Socioeconomics even if every person had $20 for Uber you couldn't do it. There is a cut off for people using Uber and Taxies before you need an Uber for your Uber bandwidth isn't there. Money isn't going to buy you speed or access. The fact the Subway handles the majority of the Transport load Is what allows the other options in the 1st place.  Have to fix the subway even for the people that don't use it affects you too. 

Edited by RailRunRob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, RailRunRob said:

What I'm saying this is beyond Socioeconomics even if every person had $20 for Uber you couldn't do it. There is a cut off for people using Uber and Taxies before you need an Uber for your Uber bandwidth isn't there. Money isn't going to buy you speed or access. The fact the Subway handles the majority of the Transport load Is what allows the other options in the 1st place.  Have to fix the subway even for the people that don't use it affects you too. 

Of course, but in the meantime that isn't happening, and that's the problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/22/2018 at 12:21 PM, MysteriousBtrain said:

I think of a lot with standbys. Of course you have the nurses, doctors, and signal workers that should already be on standby via the MTA. And I also think there should be a way to have T/Os on standby as well. I would also say add subway cars in certain sections of the subway and have them but it's almost impossible to do so when you need nearly every car during weekdays.

Ok, I see where you're going. I can't speak to Doctors and Nurses, but I suspect MTA doesn't want the liability of providing medical care. As far as signal workers, those guys have been cut and understaffed for years. Dunno when that's going to change. People hate MTA employees (not as much as LIRR) but as soon as the Public gets a whiff of people 'being paid to do nothing' Politicians get nervous and cuts are made. 

As far as T/Os, there are plenty on standby. All of the rookies are on call for the Extra or Extra-Extra list. And anyone not assigned falls to "The Board" and reports to a designated terminal and awaits tasking (only a handful of those but still a non-zero number). Not to mention each terminal has 1 or 2 crews waiting to take their trains over the road in the opposite direction, and then there are senior guys assigned to stations just to help with Switching and Yard moves such as at 71st/Broad St/Ditmars/etc

The real problem when it hits the fan isis having trains in the right place to fill gaps. If the road is blocked 2 or 3 more trains may trickle in but after that no one has a Train to run this is why trains may skip stops once the blockage is cleared, they need to make it to the end of the line for return service so travel in the opposite direction doesn't bog down as well.

A division has, or at least had, gap trains, you can hide one in the loop at Bowling Green or in the pocket at 59th/Lex or 72nd/Broadway. I don't know that this has been done lately though. Been years since I frequented those parts.

B division is not so fortunate, there are very, very few places to hide an extra train. Service uses every track during commission hours (excluding The West End line, but this is so close to a yard and close to a choke point so it isn't relevant to have a train there). 

The few places you have are Park Pl where the spare (S) is stored. As far as tracks that we have immediate access and control over you have two pocket tracks at ~75th/8th one on the lower level and one on the upper. You could technically store a train there. The only time I've seen them used is to get a work train out of the way or to take a train OOS when it has a technical problem.

A few more pocket tracks exist at 30th/8th, Lafayette and Utica on the Fulton line, and the Center Track at Bedford Nostrand on the (G). All of these places suffer from the same problem, which is they are controlled by Satellite towers which are unmanned the majority of the time so this would require an extra crew and a Tw/O or TSS to work the plant if you want to station extra trains at any of these places which are only useful in a few narrow scenarios. 

Unfortunately there's an infrastructure limitation on how many spares can be effectively utilized.  

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Of course, but in the meantime that isn't happening, and that's the problem.

Stalemate

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Jsunflyguy said:

The real problem when it hits the fan isis having trains in the right place to fill gaps. If the road is blocked 2 or 3 more trains may trickle in but after that no one has a Train to run this is why trains may skip stops once the blockage is cleared, they need to make it to the end of the line for return service so travel in the opposite direction doesn't bog down as well.

Exactly. In major incident scenarios, a gap downstream of an issue fills the hole, and actually facilitates incident recovery by at least partially mitigating platform crowding issues that snowball incidents after the discrete event has cleared. Gap trains also can prevent non-issues (say, a T/ABD or two on the Lex) from becoming issues -- have a capacity gap on an important line? Insert a train in there. 

11 minutes ago, Jsunflyguy said:

B division is not so fortunate, there are very, very few places to hide an extra train. Service uses every track during commission hours (excluding The West End line, but this is so close to a yard and close to a choke point so it isn't relevant to have a train there). 

The few places you have are Park Pl where the spare (S) is stored. As far as tracks that we have immediate access and control over you have two pocket tracks at ~75th/8th one on the lower level and one on the upper. You could technically store a train there. The only time I've seen them used is to get a work train out of the way or to take a train OOS when it has a technical problem.

 A few more pocket tracks exist at 30th/8th, Lafayette and Utica on the Fulton line, and the Center Track at Bedford Nostrand on the (G). All of these places suffer from the same problem, which is they are controlled by Satellite towers which are unmanned the majority of the time so this would require an extra crew and a Tw/O or TSS to work the plant if you want to station extra trains at any of these places which are only useful in a few narrow scenarios. 

B div actually has more spare tracks than the A division -- and crucially has them nearer to the core. Not just A5 at 30th and the 72nd St spurs, but D5 at Queens Plaza, 2nd Avenue/Houston, A5 north of Chambers, City Hall Yard, G3/4 in Astoria, 135th St spurs, really all of Nassau St, the middle tracks on Sea Beach, Culver, Jamaica and West End, etc etc etc. The IRT was built tight. The BMT, less so, and the IND, absolutely not. 

The tower issue, as you say, is the real limiting factor here. IIRC, with current B div tower staffing, you could run gaps out of (please note I'm culling to the ones I think could be useful) Astoria middle, City Hall yard, Coney Island, West End/Sea Beach/Culver middle, J1 on Nassau, J3/4 on Jamaica, ENY yard, and then on the IND at 174th yd, 135th spurs, 72nd spurs, Queens Plaza Spur, Jamaica Yard, 34th/8th spurs, 2nd Ave/Houston, Chambers/8th Spur, and Euclid. 

Point being, this needs to be a part of the strategy going forwards. I've heard people moan and groan about things like 'how do gap crews use the bathroom' (they flag down a train) and 'is it worth the money' (ask anyone who passenger who has had a 20 min wait on a weekday since someone went T/ABD), but it's really time to buck up and go for it. This is a tried-and-tested way to better service delivery. 

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/22/2018 at 12:11 PM, RailRunRob said:

How far can people really go away from Mass Transit in NYC? 

The City only exists in its current form because of the Subway. It isn't a car-centric city. Uber and Lyft can only go so far before they become plagued with same issues riders are running from now. The Subway is a Utility It's time we treated it the same way treat Water, Electricity and other vital utilities and invest!  

As far as their lint wallet allows them to.

NYC doesn't have to be a car-centric city for its commuters to not have to put up with this BS... It isn't about the cab companies being the perfect storm, as much as it is them even being as prevalent as they are in the first place.... This city has been far too reliant on the subway for far too long with the same general issues that has plagued it & well, we're seeing a negative effect of it...

When it comes down to crunch time, people vote with their feet & will abandon public transit altogether if they have the wherewithal to.... Nobody has time for the care bear countdown 5...4...3...2....1, all being reliant on hopes & dreams of waiting for this agency to wake up, smell the coffee & get their f***** act together & have it run, or treated, the way (as you put it, for example) we treat other public utilities.....

Edited by B35 via Church
  • Thumbs Up 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.