New York

Bus, Subway Service Bad and Getting Worse (But, Unlike D.C., Non-Fatal)


You’re not imagining it — subway service is lousier now than it was last year. amNY tallies the MTA data and finds that between November 2008 and 2009, the number of trains arriving more than five minutes behind schedule went up 18 percent. The B train is the worst, coming in late 95 percent of the time.

It’s about to get worse, too, as the MTA last week outlined proposed cuts to subway and bus service, which proposals are now working their way through a schedule of public meetings.

Second Avenue Sagas explains these well, and finds some of the cuts justifiable — like the Staten Island S60 bus, the proposed abolition of which has natives complaining to the Post, but which strikes SAS as no big deal compared to some proposed removals — like Brooklyn’s B37 and B71 lines — which have thousands more riders than the S60, and which cuts he calls “devastating.” (Carroll Gardens residents and politicians agree, and have protested.)

Each neighborhood will no doubt find its own proposed cuts the most interesting — the Columbia University Spectator, for example, has its eye keenly on late-night uptown service, while NYU’s Washington Square News worries about the W train. Pressure may alleviate some cuts, but will probably worsen others in recompense, and nothing will make them go away; the MTA says it’s out of money and, with Albany unleashing a doomsday budget of its own, there’s no tax recourse on the horizon.

At least the system’s relatively safe. The D.C. Metro, which suffered a terrible crash that killed several passengers last June, had to close a stretch of the Red Line this morning after two of its workers were killed by a service truck. Here at least you’re much more likely to be killed by a madman than by the system itself. And there’s your silver lining for this morning.

(Being assholes, we can’t help but point out that the Straphangers Campaign chastised us last year for talking about subway service cuts as if they were still a threat: “You say the Straphangers Campaign survey ‘does not get into bigger issues like the massive service cuts the MTA has promised.’ Maybe because riders beat these proposed cuts back in the fight over an MTA bailout. You can’t measure what isn’t going to happen.” You’ll never go broke betting against the public interest in this city.)

Most Popular