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MTA’s ‘major incidents’ caused just 11% of subway delays in August

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A new analysis suggests that the agency’s classification of “major incidents” doesn’t acknowledge the many delays that impact riders


If you commute on the city’s subway on a regular basis, chances are you’ve been affected by subway delays at some point in time. The MTA has been working to reduce its number of major incidents that result in subway delays, however, there’s a problem with how the agency determines what classifies as a “major incident.”

According to the MTA, a major incident is one that impacts at least 50 trains. But in an analysis, the New York Daily News found that major incidents only accounted for 11 percent of subway delays last month.

“There were 74 major incidents a month on average this year as of August, two more a month than during the same period last year,” says the Daily News. “Major incidents in August accounted for on average just 6,758 of the average of 60,211 delayed train trips each weekday in August.”

According to a recent analysis from transit advocacy group, the Riders Alliance, there was only one day in August where the subway system did not experience some sort of delay. Most of those delays were caused by signal problems and malfunctions, with the worst offenders on the D and R lines. The MTA called the report an “oversimplification.”

In regards to the Daily News’s analysis, MTA spokesman Jon Weinstein stated that “Any delay is unacceptable no matter how it is categorized among our dozens of detailed performance metrics.”