Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
bikkuri bahn

New York subway faces surge in ridership

Recommended Posts

bikkuri bahn

For New Yorkers who rely on the 86th Street subway station on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the morning commute is a humbling experience. An endless stream of people funnel onto the platforms. Trains arrive with a wall of humanity already blocking the doorways.

 

As No. 6 trains pull into the upper level of the station, riders scan for an opening and, if they can, squeeze in for a suffocating ride downtown.

 

“You can wait four or five subways to get on, and you’re just smushed,” Cynthia Hallenbeck, the chief financial officer at a nonprofit, said before boarding a train on a recent morning.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/04/nyregion/surge-in-ridership-pushes-new-york-subway-to-limit.html?action=click&contentCollection=Opinion&module=Trending&version=Full&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article

Share this post


Link to post
spacecadet

It's been a while since I regularly rode the subways here (in NYC) - I normally drive in from outside now and just park - but even when I did ride every day a few years ago, sometimes the platforms would be so packed that you couldn't even get onto them. And that was when there were maybe 4-5 million riders per day.

 

Now there's another million on top of that. Nothing the MTA can really do about it in the short term I don't think, unless they decide to just start closing stations when they get unsafe.

 

My experience up to a few years ago, though, was that most of the increases seem to be coming at off-peak hours, so maybe it's not much worse at rush hour than I remember. When I was a kid and the subway had under 3 million riders per day, it would really be *empty* at night. I used to work until something like 2AM and I'd ride the A or C home through Manhattan and I'd usually be the only person in the car. But the last few times I've taken a train that late, it's been almost like the middle of the day. Can't even get a seat! At like 2 in the morning.

Share this post


Link to post
bill937ca

There it is.  First 103rd Street with narrow platforms and express trains rumbling through the station.and  86th Street with a double deck station.

 

 

 

Edited by bill937ca

Share this post


Link to post
Jace

The east side IRT (4, 5 and 6 lines) has long been the most overcrowded in the city. Other lines are now catching up. This 2014 report (http://web.mta.info/mta/news/books/docs/150518_SubwayPerformance.pdf) shows that 15 of the 20 lines are at capacity during the peak. It also shows how ridership has grown throughout the day, not just in the peaks.

 

The system is starting to show the strain. Cars need to stay out on the road longer than before between lay-ups. Periodic inspection and maintenance intervals have been extended to better meet service but car reliability is suffering. The key measure, Mean Distance Between Failures, is down 10% from last year and that's after a mild winter. Several fleets are performing half as well as they should, particularly on the overcrowded IRT (numbered lines) and L lines. We're not at a crisis point yet with equipment but it won't take much to get us there.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Nick_Burman

The east side IRT (4, 5 and 6 lines) has long been the most overcrowded in the city.

 

Something which will only get better (if...) when the 2nd Avenue Subway is opened.

 

 

Cheers NB

Share this post


Link to post
miyakoji

From a non-technical, non-operational point of view, it just sounds like business is good, but I assume it's not that simple.  Is there room in the schedules for more runs, and is the increased ridership providing enough funds and motivation for more equipment and personnel?

 

In the US, significant increase in demand for public transportation service sounds like a fairly rare thing :(.  I hope MTA can do what's necessary to hold on to their gains, or else an upward spiral could become a downward spiral.

Share this post


Link to post
Sacto1985

A BIG problem is that the traffic control system for the NYC subways is still very manual in many ways, and as such can't handle that many trains per hour. It's not like the Tokyo Metro or Toei systems in Tokyo, which have highly-computerized traffic control to handle trains entering and leaving stations every 2 to 4 minutes during the commute peaks.

Share this post


Link to post
Jace

A BIG problem is that the traffic control system for the NYC subways is still very manual in many ways, and as such can't handle that many trains per hour. It's not like the Tokyo Metro or Toei systems in Tokyo, which have highly-computerized traffic control to handle trains entering and leaving stations every 2 to 4 minutes during the commute peaks.

I disagree. Many lines on the system handled more trains per hour 25+ years ago compared to today. The Flushing line (7 train) had 90 second peak period headways until the 1980s. Operations were much more manual then. What's changed in the last few decades is that there were a few serious, high profile wrecks that gave management a lot of unwanted publicity. Rather than fixing the problems, the reaction has instead been to slow the trains down, both over the road and in the terminals. The road's been slowed down with the addition of signal timers and restrictions all over the place while the terminals now face operating rules that slow train arrival speed and door opening times. The once proud IND has become painfully lethargic in places.

 

Given this, what's really needed is a change in operating attitude if not philosophy. Fortunately I've started to see this. Crews are becoming more focused on keeping dwell times down and the trains moving. But there's still a lot to be undone to get the system back up to speed.

Share this post


Link to post
kvp

The Manhattan elevateds had no signalling on normal tracks (proceed on sight rule) and only used signals to protect junctions. This allowed far more trains than the fixed block system in use today.

 

On the other hand, the new ATO systems would probably allow 2 minute headways. Even a classic fixed microblock system could allow 1 minutes headways. Add automatic speed curves and the required capacity can be achived. This needs resignalling and more rolling stock though.

Share this post


Link to post
miyakoji

90 second peak period headways until the 1980s

 

This is what I was wondering about. So there is capacity.

Share this post


Link to post
bikkuri bahn

A quite good video by MTA about traffic control issues, the old infrastructure, and implementation of CBTC. Apologies if posted before.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Bernard

I take the NYC Subways daily.....lets put it this way, it is very easy to get around the city it is based on a grid. A co-worker moved from Boston to NYC and had a car and he ask me about parking. The first thing I told him to do is sell the car and rent one when he needs it, it's impossible to find a parking spot and when you do you don't want to leave it.

The best and fastest way to get around the city is to take the subway.....it's fast and efficient. It you choose to take a bus or taxi good luck in getting to your destination on time especially from 8am - 8pm. A major problem I have is the MTA cards don't always work, for some reason the magnetic strip wears down....I've already have 2 passes that I've have to return and fill out a loooooong form to get my money back.

I have a friend that works for the MTA and he told me some interesting facts......there is a Old Steam Engine in one of the spurs, it's been there for years and they can't get it out. And the other interesting and scary fact in the tunnel that the #7 train takes, there is a bend in the middle because when they were building the tunnel the calculations were off and had to make a bend in order to meet.

Still the Subway is the best way to get around the city!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
kvp

Actually Keio seems to be using microblocks. They could be as short as half a train length and allow very short distance between trains with gradually slower speeds as trains get closer. This can be done with conventional signalling and you could see the signals (at least three of them) on the image above. (set to: yellow-red-green) The microblock system was installed first on the first electrically powered subway line in the world (in Budapest, exactly 120 years ago) and is still in use today with a headway of 60 seconds during rushhours.

Edited by kvp
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
bikkuri bahn

That Keio video is pretty old. The lineside signal ATS has been replaced by cab signal ATC, similar to JR East’s digital ATC.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Bernard

I have to mention that one of the best additions to the MTA was the Air-Train. It's an elevated shuttle train from Jamaica station to JFK airport.....it's fantastic!

The train takes you right to the air terminal that you need to go....it is the quickest way to get to the airport. Oh, the train is unmanned (wished it wasn't)

Edited by Bernard

Share this post


Link to post
Mudkip Orange

Interesting that they're now calling tripcocks "stop arms."

 

PC marches inexorably forward.

Share this post


Link to post
Jace

Interesting that they're now calling tripcocks "stop arms."

Stop arms are the trippers on the tracks. The valve on the car is still called a trip cock although some now call it a device. The latest spec I have (from earlier this year) still has angle cocks in it.

 

I have to mention that one of the best additions to the MTA was the Air-Train. It's an elevated shuttle train from Jamaica station to JFK airport.....it's fantastic!

Air-train was built by the Port Authority of NY-NJ not New York's MTA. The two are competing agencies, not for traffic but rather for money, hence the lack of compatibility between them. It would have been much nicer to have a one seat ride from the airport into Manhattan.

Share this post


Link to post
spacecadet

I take the NYC Subways daily.....lets put it this way, it is very easy to get around the city it is based on a grid.

Manhattan above Canal St. is, yes. The other boroughs, not so much.

 

A co-worker moved from Boston to NYC and had a car and he ask me about parking. The first thing I told him to do is sell the car and rent one when he needs it, it's impossible to find a parking spot and when you do you don't want to leave it.

It's not impossible - for years I owned a car in Queens. After moving to LI, I used to still park in Manhattan every day (and always a free spot, not metered). I still do it at least once a week. You get to know the tricks, just as you do when you take the subway.

 

And you have to leave your spot due to alternate side parking. That's how it's possible to find a spot too. Every day, entire swaths of parking spots are cleared out, then re-filled.

 

Lots of people have cars in NYC and they just figure it out.

 

Still the Subway is the best way to get around the city!

I don't disagree with that, though - if you want to go 20 blocks somewhere, it's much easier to take the subway. I just disagree that it's impossible to drive or park in the city. If that were true, the city would literally be out of business. Where do you think all the goods for sale in the city come from? How do you think most people get in or out? It ain't the subway!

Edited by spacecadet

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...