New York City commuters lost pay, missed doctors appointments and even got fired due to subway delays, a new survey finds.
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, the city’s chief financial officer, administered a survey asking commuters how subway delays impacted their jobs and families. Eventually, 1,227 riders, mostly city residents, filled out the survey at 143 stations over a two-week period.
The survey found riders arrived late at meetings, job interviews, doctors appointments and appointments for children or the elderly. As a result, some reported being reprimanded at work, losing wages and even getting canned.
What’s worse, effects from subway delays were significantly worse for low-income city residents. Employers reprimand and cut wages for subway-delayed low-income patrons 14 percent and 4 percent more often, respectively. The low-income residents also are more likely to be late for a job interview and a medical appointment than those from higher-income neighborhoods.
This summer saw some of the worst subway-related issues in recent memory. Video of a massive waterfall-esque leak circulated the internet just last week. A 45-minute F train delay caused passengers to disrobe from the heat and a recent subway derailment in Harlem injured 34 riders.
Crumbling infrastructure and insane overcrowding are to blame for the subway’s current meltdown. The Comptroller’s report found while 356,607 trains experienced delays in 2012, that number jumped to 823,582 last year — a 152 percent increase. Though the survey lists overcrowding as the main culprit of delays, replacing outdated signals and renewing infrastructure could allow trains to run faster and more frequently.
Though the Metro Transit Authority, the state agency charged with running the subway even though they don’t ride it, sought to improve communication with riders in light of the sucking subway with on-train announcements. Though the MTA called these announcements a success and gave themselves a 94.8 percent grade, most survey respondents found them unhelpful.
Overall, nearly three-quarters of respondents gave subway services a “C” grade or lower. Over 70 percent of respondents reported significant delays at least half the time, 14 percent of which experiencing delays “always.”
The outer boroughs are really feeling the subway woes; 68 percent of respondents from the Bronx give subway service a “D” or “F” grade, compared to 41 percent of Queens residents, 37 percent of Brooklynites and 21 percent of Manhattan residents.
“In short, when subway performance declines, so too does the health, financial security, and quality of life of everyday New Yorkers,” the report states. Great.