NYCT Reports Most Subway Cars Well Air Conditioned

According to the MTA, most subway cars are well air conditioned.

Well, ok then.  Thanks for letting me know…I guess?

A hot mess.  (sardinetea via flickr)
A hot mess. (sardinetea via flickr)

Wait, wait.  Did they just guess at that?  Of course not.  They commissioned a full scale study.  Transit officials inspected 2,666 train cars throughout the system.  Of them, 73 cars failed.

It appears that the pass/fail mark was 78 degrees.  Personally, I think that is a little toasty, but manageable.  That’s certainly better than some trains over 88 degrees!

The E train had the worst score, which is not a surprise at all because they are the oldest trains.

So I’m left wondering why a study was needed.  I mean, sure it probably gives you an official looking number when you’re done, but it doesn’t really fix anything.

The MTA should be studying what would improve the a) reporting and b) repairing of overheating cars.

I guess you can just see which cars have no AC because they are usually empty!  However, I doubt if riders report overheated train cars.  Air conditioning, along with other general repair needs should be easily reportable, but they aren’t.  I mean you could call 411 I guess, but who has time for that?

8 thoughts on “NYCT Reports Most Subway Cars Well Air Conditioned

  1. Trusting the MTA to review it’s own quality control is like asking a used car salesman for the grand tour. It is stupid to even ask. If you ask the Army how Pat Tillman died they would tell you he was a hero charging up a hill shooting it out with the enemy. Then weeks later Tillman’s dad saw a CNN report where some Afgan soldiers said to the camera “And please tell Mrs. Tillman that we are very sorry we shot Pat”. The Army has zero accountability and the MTA is worse. An impartial 3rd party vendor should be used for inspections like this. When you see in the news “checked by transit workers in June and July, according to agency data.” know it is massaged crap they are feeding you.


  2. heh, i’ve always thought it was just me because it always seemed like i was destined to get into the hot car whenever i got on the E. for the last three weeks i’ve been on one of the boiler cars at least twice a week, all on the E trains. they should really do something about that…


  3. I switched from the Lex line to the 1 recently after a move. I would say once a week a train shows up at Rector with one non AC working car, and the cars on either side get really crowded fast


  4. Nat Marie, yes, you are.

    And its funny that the current check has 78F of the border for AC working or not — according to the e-mail they sent me in response to my complaint last year about the E trains always being above 90F they sent a form letter about how they maintain it between 58 and 72.

    The only way what they say about only 22% of the E cars failing this check is possible is if they checked at 3:30AM when there are only 1 or 2 trains running on the entire line.


  5. Not sure how much we can put here, lets see if the form letter they sent me last year fits:
    Discussion Thread
    Response (Melissa Glasgow) – 08/28/2007 01:04 PM
    This is in response to your recent e-mail message to MTA New York City Transit with various issues.

    We regret any unpleasant conditions you have encountered in the subway. Our subway cars are designed so that the air conditioning comes on automatically when the temperature of the car exceeds 71 degrees Fahrenheit, and the heat comes on when the temperature drops below 59 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, an air conditioning or heating unit may sometimes malfunction during the course of a train’s run. Our maintenance personnel will continue their routine inspection of all climate control systems to ensure that they are functioning properly.

    Despite our efforts to maintain scheduled service, delays and related overcrowding sometimes occur for a variety of reasons, including mechanical malfunction, sick customers, police activity, and system repair work. During disruptions in service, staff in our Department of Subways is required to make timely announcements to customers regarding the nature of the disruption and what alternative services are available. In addition, station agents should note service disruptions and alternative routes on the delay information boards located in their booths. We will continue to closely monitor the E and F lines and take corrective measures to ensure that adequate service is provided and that customers are properly informed in the event of a service disruption.

    When scheduled service is interrupted, a blinking “Transit Alert” link is posted to the homepage of our website, Our website is updated once a week, on Fridays, for planned and scheduled changes. In addition, emergency updates take place on an “as needed” basis. Trip Planner is a new web-based service from MTA New York City Transit that gives you directions about how to get from one place to another using New York’s subways and buses. Visit Trip Planner at A variety of information and options are available to you depending on your travel needs and preferences. From train and bus schedules to step-by-step instructions that bring you from your starting point to your destination, Trip Planner also provides service alerts and advisories to give you
    the ability to plan ahead so you’ll know exactly what to do before you head out.

    Otherwise, please note that bus and subway service information along with travel itineraries within New York City may also be obtained by calling our Travel Information Center at (718) 330-1234, from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., 7 days a week, where customer service representatives are available. Please have a pen and paper ready, provide each starting point, destination and the approximate time you will be traveling.

    You may be interested to know that we have a Delay Verification Program, which provides customers with documentation of bus and subway delays that they may submit to their employers. If you need a delay verification, you may call Customer Services at (718) 330-3322, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., weekdays. Customer Services can take two delay verification requests per call. If you have more requests, please mail them to Customer Services, MTA New York City Transit, 2 Broadway, Room A11.146, New York, NY 10004, or fax them to (646) 252-5348.

    MTA New York City Transit is also currently operating e-mail notification program. If you have not already done so, you may sign up for the subway e-mail notification program by visiting:

    Our conductors are discouraged from making connections during the peak service periods, in order to maintain schedule adherence and to avoid unnecessarily delaying service. However, conductors are instructed to allow across-the-platform connections during off-peak hours when two trains arrive simultaneously and neither is behind schedule nor would be unduly delayed if held for a connection

    Thank you for having taken the time to contact us.

    Robbin Gust
    Associate Transit Customer Service Specialist II

    Auto-Response – 08/25/2007 12:12 PM
    If you would like travel directions, the fastest and best way to get them is to visit the Trip Planner (, our online itinerary planning system. Trip Planner also provides service alerts and advisories to help you plan before you head out.

    You may also contact New York City Transit Travel Information at 718-330-1234; 7 days a week, 6AM to 10PM. Non-English speaking customers should call 718-330-4847; customers with disabilities call 718-596-8585; and TTY customers call 718-596-8273. Please note that we are unable to provide specific travel directions via our email system.

    Title: How do I find travel information for subways and buses in New York City?

    Title: What subway lines can I take to Penn Station?

    Title: Which stations are accessible for persons with disabilities?


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