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Subway delays may cost NYC up to $389M every year

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A new report published by Comptroller Scott Stringer outlines the troubles

There’s more bad news for the NYC’s ailing subway: it could be costing workers and businesses nearly $400 million each year. These financial troubles were highlighted in a new report published by NYC Comptroller, Scott Stringer. His office conducted an economic analysis, which shows how the city’s economy is directly affected by subway delays.

To carry out the study, Stringer’s office paired up data on ridership, wait times, and delays from the MTA with average hourly wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Depending on the length of those delays, Stringer’s office posited that the economic impact on the city could range from $170.2 million to $389 million, with the latter being the absolute worst case scenario.

“What these new numbers show is that the cost of inaction is greater than the cost of action and that subway delays take a massive toll on our economy,” Stringer said in a statement. “With the ‘Summer of Hell’ fading into what could be a ‘Fall of Frustration,’ every level of government needs to step up.”

That seemed to be a pointed reference to the city and state not being able to agree on the MTA’s $836M action plan to fix the subway. The disagreement pertains entirely to funding, with the state expecting the city to contribute, and the city saying it’s the state’s responsibility.

Stringer’s analysis also looked at individual subway lines and the biggest offender was the 5 train, which could lead to losses of anywhere between $12.1 million to $31.5 million, annually. That was followed by the 7, A, F, and 4 trains, in that order. Head on over here for the full breakdown by each line.

Stringer’s startling cost analysis followed his office’s survey of subway riders, released this past summer. That survey showed that 74 percent of respondents reported being late to work, 65 percent said they were late to pick up or drop off a child, and 29 percent said they were late to a doctor’s appointment. Bronx residents said they suffered the most in terms of delays, and 73 percent of the respondents gave the subway a C, D, or F grade.