Straphangers Campaign: The subways are a crumbling mess

nyc subway

The gist of the report. via Flickr user Maura Johnston

As is the case with a lot of infrastructure in New York City (or anywhere in America, really), it’s best not think about how old it is. Ever. The Straphangers Campaign decided to ignore that advice though, and took a look at our very old subway system. They found that between 2011 and 2013, the amount of “controllable” subway delays went up 35%. Hopefully you were at least able to use some of these as excuses as to why you were late to work when you were actually hungover.

The Straphangers Campaign study, which looked at the number of subway alerts sent to subway riders letting them know abut subway delays, found that the number of “controllable” incidents went up from 2,967 in 2011 to 3,998 2013. “Controllable” delays were everything other than sick passengers or police activity, because those aren’t the MTA’s fault. However, things like mechanical and track problems are definitely the MTA’s fault, with delays from mechanical and track problems up 50% and 101% more often last year to 2011. That’s a lot of problems.

The study also found the delays to be evenly spread across the lines, with only the G and J/Z lines having under 100 significant delays all year each. Leading the pack with 326 significant incidents was the F, followed closely by the 4 and 2 lines, which had 298 and 289.

This isn’t surprising, really. Our roads and bridges and subways were built at a time when America had hopes, dreams and a view of taxation and the public sphere that went beyond “taxation is theft” and “Well Ayn Rand says…” Frankly, the bigger surprise to us is that every time we take a car or train over a bridge, the thing doesn’t just collapse into the water right there.