Anecdotal evidence—and the abundance of angry tweets directed at the MTA—would seem to indicate the subway service has been worse than usual this winter, but now, there are statistics that back that up.
The New York Times reports that in January, a mere 58.1 percent of weekday trains arrived at their destinations on time. In January of 2017, that figure was 64.1 percent. On weekends, there’s a similar story: This January, 64.7 percent of trains arrived on time; at the same time last year, it was 74.2 percent.
In terms of delays, there were “76,287 delayed weekday trains, up from 60,455 the year before,” per the Times; the MTA attributes more than 27,000 of those to “overcrowding,” a reason that has come under increased scrutiny this year.
The figures get even more infuriating as you drill down by line. The worst-performing subway line was the F train, with only 32.2 percent of trains arriving on time; overall, fewer than half of trains on 10 lines arrived when they were supposed to.
“I’m not happy about it, I’m not proud of it,” New York City Transit president Andy Byford told the Times.
According to the MTA, severe weather is to blame for the poor performance; 25 of January’s 31 days recorded below freezing temperatures, and other weather issues caused equipment damage. And Byford noted that performance has improved in subsequent months.
Still, there’s no getting around it—that number is bad, especially compared to the on-time performance data for other U.S. cities. (Per the Times, “on-time performance was 85.7 percent for Washington’s Metro system, 95 percent for Chicago’s L-train system and 96.7 percent for Atlanta’s Marta rail system.” None of those cities has as large a system as NYC, or one that runs 24/7, but still.)
“It makes you upset,” Horace Medley, who commutes from Canarsie, told the Times. “They keep on raising the fare, and the service is not getting any better.”