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The biggest gripe we heard tonight was the MTA not posting service change notifications at subway station entrances. Straphangers who called, e-mailed and tweeted "The Call" said they'd be pretty satisfied if they knew a certain train wasn't running before they headed downstairs and swiped their MetroCards, only to be disappointed and inconvenienced. I know it's happened to me before and really puts a damper on my day.
As the MTA begins another week of FASTRACK repairs underground, a report from the New York City Transit Riders Council found service change notifications were "mediocre at best." The NYCTRC surveyed 48 stations at the end of last year, and found only 55% of entrances had notices posted about service changes; five stations had no signage at all.
The report comes at the same time the MTA is winning praise for its FASTRACK initiative. By closing down stretches of the subway overnight, repair and maintenance work that usually takes weeks or months is completed in four days. The 1, 2 and 3 lines between Penn Station and Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn are affected this week. How is the MTA doing?
What have your experiences been like dealing with subway changes? How would you improve notifications about track and maintenance work? Do you welcome FASTRACK? What message would you like to send to new MTA Chairman Joe Lhota?
Send your thoughts using the link above.
Last night, I had that the 2 ,3 and 1 trains stopped at West 34th street.I had to go back uptown to West 42nd street to get another line so I could get home.
They had a man standing at the West 34th street station handing out flyers about the service changes.Somehow I didn't hear about it till then.
What can we say. I know that I would like to know what do they do when they are not working on the fastrack project. How do we know if they finish the job in time? Do they just work on the most important repairs? Do they work for MTA or is this an outsourced project?
To me this guy is only a puppet to the phantom that lives up-state.
ATTN: Joe Lhota Fastrack is a necessary evil but holding trains on the J line which has been effected by the M line having Right of way so an unintelligible announcement can be made is absurd and further fewer lifestyle announcements on J train; its as if this is class warfare.
My commute could be called SLOWTRACK, because the #4, and 5 express trains are constantly on crawl mode during the rush hour causing commuters much consternation, adding to the frustration is the fact that FASTRACK work had been performed on those lines with the promise of better service.
Felix Bay Ridge
First of all I see no REAL major changes at Court Square Station in Long Island City. The station is new but the workmanship to me is very shoddy. They inconvenienced riders for 3 months and it looks somewhat better but this work should have been done years ago. Why now? its election year that's why. How much money did the MTA pay these contracted workers to do work that is mediocre? The system should have been overhauled years ago to accommodate the steady increase of rider ship. You are getting less for more money. We are supposed to be the greatest city with the best public transportation in the world and this is the best we can do? Shame on US
It’s not just that the signage is mediocre. The whole dame operation is mediocre. It will remain so until it is sold out to qualified operators on the free market.
Why is the government in the transportation business? Where in the constitution are governments authorized to operate subway, bus, railroad and taxi service?
Someone should file a suit challenging the government’s monopoly on transportation.
Port Richmond, SI
Less service, higher prices. The MTA, like all other New York Authorities, are out of control. They have monopolies that gouge consumers, usually poor, and there is nothing we can do. The only winners with the MTA are the growing number of executives and their ballooning payrolls.
Frank, Sunset Park, Brooklyn
A good idea my be a central kiosk similar to those used to post flights at airports at main entrance as well as area on platform where the system map and multiple signs are posted. W e are in the electronic age after all.
It is absolutely ridiculous that the MTA has the nerve to defend their failure to post service limitation notices due to costs. What about the riders who are not refunded when they pay for the ride and then have to exit without receiving the service they paid for? An easy way to fix this problem would be 1) disable the turn-styles when there are no trains stopping at the stations and 2) block off the entrance for these stations as well. It would be optimal to have electronic signs outside of the station so that elderly and disabled persons do not have to go down the stairs to find out about the service changes. This would also eliminate these posting costs and could probably be done remotely. They would also eliminate instances of signs being taken down or falling down.
Jenna in Manhattan
How much is the MTA really saving with this questionable program? How much overtime is being paid out and what are these workers doing after the project is finished?
First off, they need to employ people who aren't rude and refuse to do there jobs, secondly the signage is awful, how are they going to take my money then tell me my train isn't running. Thirdly, I waited 2 hours for a Q train for the Mta worker in the booth to tell me "what do you want me to do" It's disgusting that I pay this extortionate amount of money and get a garbage service and a disgusting attitude all because I want to know where my train is so I can get home after being at work for 10 hours. Not to mention the state of the trains when I board them. As far as the work they do, I think it's stupid to do work on weekends, do the work of a nigh time. When there's no one trying to get work. It's a huge problem, bigger than what the mta know of and all of the above needs drastic improvements.
I sometimes wonder what's going through the mta exec heads, it's very, very poor planning on there part, there happy to raise the prices and take our money but clearly refuse us a good service.
To the new guy in charge, please sort this out, most days traveling to the city is a nightmare, either I'm waiting too long for a train or there isn't any and no one knows what's going on because there's no signage or announcements.
Tell me how I get to the park side avenue stop on the Q line and they have signage up, the funny thing is, the signage was in Russian and Spanish meanwhile parkside avenue is a predominantly African American neighborhood, that's a joke. Absolutely ridiculous.
The system for informing people on all changes is unacceptable. Commuter Info. must be a fast tracked priority. Instead of removing Mta booths with tenants, there should be people working them to inform.
I understand the need for the MTA for better communication of service changes to customers, especially for tourists and visitors of NYC. The MTA has done very well in informing riders about service changes through their website, mta.info, and its mobile version of their website. Customers can sign up to receive alerts via text message, as well. They should check their subway line before they ride. The typical english-speaking subway and bus rider has NO valid excuse.
DID MR LHOTA ATTEND THE BLOOMBERG COURSE OF STICKING IT TO THE MIDDLE CLASS
As you or someone mentioned earlier, just about everybody nowadays has a cell phone, so why doesn’t the MTA have an app where you can sign up for MTA alerts. It should allow you to select only those trains and buses that you use or are interested in, or to sign up for all-system alerts. If you get an alert for your selection, your cell phone would ring or vibrate; since it wouldn’t work on many underground subway stations, a quick tap on the app prior to entering a station would bring you immediately up-to-date on any problems. If your mode of travel is affected, another tap could also offer alternate routes to your destination. It could also help tourists if every hotel posted a sign in their room when they check-in about the advantages of downloading the app before they go traveling around the city. The MTA should be required to join the 21st Century.
PS...the app is probably the cheapest possible way to alert the world.
I cannot agree that the MTA.info is fast enough, or accurate. I check before leaving my apt, I check on the platform in Astoria, and I check while on the train being held with no communication from the train crew... And, when I ask why the website isn't faster, I was told its not in their best interest, followed by the request to join their text message and email alerts...
We need something like GasBuddy where us commuters can have input and a faster response to what is actually happening.
With the MTA in increasingly worse shape regardless of the fare hikes and the work done, I can think of only one way for the system to be revitalized and Bloomberg to leave his mark on the city: buy out the MTA. Why wouldn't Mayor Bloomberg want to see his name on "Bloomberg Transit Authority"? With his lack of success or outright failures in most areas that voters can recall, why not try to fix one of the most broken pieces?
Mark from South Slope
I'm on the A line (old cars and no countdown clocks). I don't mind the construction but there is little signage or notice about changes, especially on late night changes. Its also frustrating that I frequently wait 20 mins for a train only to get on a crowded train and here them say there are two trains directly behind us. I also see morning trains filled up by the 200th St (2nd station). Why can't they space these out some?
At my station, 110th st on the 2&3 line, we have a board on the platform, which informs us of all service disruptions occurring on all lines in the system. Riders just have to pay attention when they enter the system.
The should have an advisory screen like the LIRR giving you updates on trains or service changes..
Mike from Woodside