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7 train riders lost over 1,000 hours to delays as of May, up 60% from 2012: report


Crowded subway car of 7 train Queens bound late evening at 74th Street station. (Daniel Schwen/Wikimedia Commons)

Oct. 26, by Nathaly Pesantez

New infographics from the city’s Independent Budget Office detailing how much time subway commuters lost to delays from 2012 to 2017 per line reveal that 7 train riders lost a combined total of over 1,100 hours this year.

An estimate of 1,125 combined hours of delay during the morning rush was determined for the 7 line as of May 2017, a 61.6 percent uptick from an estimated 696 hours in 2012.

The IBO used data from the MTA and the Hub Travel Survey to calculate the collective average hours of delay. The hours lost were calculated using the number of riders on each line commuting between 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. during the weekday morning rush, along with the length of time riders spent waited for longer than the scheduled interval between trains.

Estimate of Passenger Hour of Delay by Subway Line (IBO)

The IBO says the 7 line is among four lines that have seen the greatest increase in hours of delay since 2012. The J and Z lines saw a 71 percent increase, and the C line saw a 69 percent hike. 

The Oct. 25 data visualization is part of the IBO’s report released earlier this month, at the request of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, that calculates how much time and money subway riders lost due to delays.

The report determined that the average number of subway delays per month increased to 67,450 in May 2017 from about 20,000 a month in 2012.

In total, the average number of passenger hours lost grew by 45 percent from an estimated 24,023 in 2012 to 34,900 hours through the 12-month period ending in May 2017. The IBO also estimated that about $1.2 million a day, or $307 million a year, is lost to workday morning delays. The MTA, however, said the data used in the report was outdated, and released new numbers after the IBO’s report was published.

“Our city’s annual loss of $307 million to preventable subway delays is a critical derailment of the economic lives of many businesses and New Yorkers, particularly those from economically challenged communities who feel any hit to their wallet harder than those with access to alternate commuting options,” Adams said in an Oct. 12 statement. “I thank the IBO for working with my administration to highlight the gravity of this issue, one that can be immediately addressed by the MTA re-prioritizing the modernization of our antiquated subway signal system.”


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