The data is in and the MTA says the subway got better in 2019. Some riders say they're feeling it.
“Most of the time the A runs pretty solidly for me,” said Kaitlin Byrd, who uses the train frequently. “It's my main train. It's been pretty consistent. There were a handful of delays this morning.”
But the improvements are uneven across train lines.
“I also use the J Train, that one's painful all the time,” said Byrd.
According to the MTA, 80 percent of trains reached their last stop on schedule last year, the system's best performance since 2013.
It was a significant improvement over the previous year when nearly one in three trains were late, a 67 percent on-time rate.
That’s in part the result of a nearly $850 million repair blitz that began when Governor Cuomo declared the system in a state of emergency two and a half years ago because of breakdowns and delays.
The improvement also reflects an effort to move trains faster and the completion of a new signal system on the 7 line.
Charlie Schwartz, a regular 7 Train rider, noticed fewer delays.
“Sometimes, during the summer, I have to go into the stadium for the games—when I used to work there—and there’s always delays on the weekends, but it’s getting better,” said Schwartz.
"Our train trips are faster, our wait times are decreased and service is overall more reliable," said rider Sally Librera, the Senior Vice President of Subways for NYC’s MTA.
MTA officials say they hope to keep up the momentum, even as the system faces large projected deficits over the next few years.
"We have a fleet right now so we have to make some choices sometimes between where we think is the best place to put those trains," said Librera.
MTA officials say the service improvements are contributing to a ridership rebound.
There were 56,000 more riders each weekday last year, totaling an average of nearly 5.5 million trips taken each weekday.
And even more New Yorkers are expected to take the subway once a new fee on driving into Manhattan below 61st Street takes effect next year.
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