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Report Finds Number of Subway Delay Alerts Soar, L and F Trains Most Plagued

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A new report finds real-time alerts that tell riders about delays in the subway system are on the rise. And transit advocates say that's a troubling sign. NY1’s Jose Martinez filed the following report.

You can find out on your phone or at your desktop why the train's running late by signing up for MTA electronic alerts.

But a new report by the Straphangers Campaign says the number of alerts spiked from nearly 3,000 in 2011 to just under 4,000 last year with no line getting more than the F train.

It's the second year in a row the F has earned that dubious distinction.

"I think the F train riders who complain about the quality of the service they get have a real beef. And next time around, a year from now, we would hope to see it knocked from its lofty position,” said Gene Russianoff of Straphangers Campaign.

More than 90,000 subway riders get the real-time alerts, letting them know about significant system slowdowns caused by switch, signal or mechanical glitches and the increase troubles riders' advocates.

"We found something that shows that subway service is significantly deteriorating,” said Russianoff.

The MTA disputed the report, saying the amount of time riders have to wait for a train has remained flat since 2011.

But F train riders say they know the score.

"Signal problems, something is going on, sometimes we don't even know what it is,” said one rider.

"You know, if you were going on the 1, 2 or 3, then you'd feel that you could ride on it to get where you wanted to go. But with the F, it's kinda like lottery, isn't it? But you know the lottery isn't necessarily going home with a nice surprise,” said another.

The analysis measured only delays the MTA can control and not those caused by sick passengers or police activity. And it found that the J and Z was the only line that saw a reduction in delay alerts with 9 percent fewer than in 2011.

Otherwise, between 2011 and last year, the number of alerts increased in all the boroughs served by the subway: 24 percent in Queens, 25 percent in the Bronx and 39 percent in both Manhattan and Brooklyn.

But the MTA says the alerts don't offer a comprehensive enough look at subway performance. That falls to something known as wait assessment.

"We really haven't seen a major spike in the amount of time customers have to wait for a train,” said MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz.

Try that one out on flustered F train riders. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP