The Delays Aren’t Just our Imagination

Remember almost a year ago when we reviewed the Top 10 causes of subway delays? Well, it turns out those delays add up. There’s been a significant decrease in “on time” running on the system.

On-Time Performance By Line
(click for larger view)

The oldest lines appear to be the most unreliable (no shock there). If you notice, though, the reliability has declined year to year. For the 1 thru 6 lines, running at 80-90% on time is a bit embarrassing. Sure, this is just one month (July), but that doesn’t make the situation any better.

Subway: Weekday 24-Hour Terminal On-Time Performance
(click for larger view)

This is the overall performance of the system. What immediately jumps out at me is how poorly the system does in the summer. SUBWAYblogger has always said that it seems like the trains are always late in the summer, and now we have the data to back it up!Is it the heat that the system just can’t handle?  By “the system” I mean all aspects.  Some of the top causes of delays are signal trouble, sick customers, and unruly customers.  These can, and probably are, all because by the oppressive heat.  However, I suspect much of the mechanical and electronic issues are a result of old technology, and poor preventative maintenance.

What bugs the hell out of me is the idea of actually decreasing the number of rush hour trains in order to cut down on congestion.  Doesn’t that just leave more people waiting on the platforms?  Therefore, every train that comes by gets packed with even more people?

2 thoughts on “The Delays Aren’t Just our Imagination

  1. Re decreasing trains. I’m not so sure it’s that simple. Remember that with roads, adding capacity often increases congestion. Spreading out the rush hour trains might allow more-efficient loading of the trains, by allowing longer station stops, and might reduce the amount that one delay affects other delays. Or not, but it’s at least a possibility…


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