|Embargoed for Release:
Monday, April 5, 2010, 4:00 am
|For More Information Contact:
Cate Contino or Jason Chin-Fatt at 212-349-6460
(New York, New York) – More than 80% of basic announcements made on subway cars are clear and accurate, according to the annual survey of subway car announcement released today by the Straphangers Campaign. (See Table One.)
At the same time, in 55% of delays and disruptions experienced by our raters, there was either no announcement — or an inaudible, garbled or incorrect one.
Official transit guidelines require conductors to make basic, in-car announcements including the line, station name and any transfer points.
The guidelines also list 18 possible delay announcements with detailed reasons for the delay ranging from “unruly person on the train” to “waiting for connecting train.” The policy says, “If there is a delay, [the conductor] must make an announcement immediately [and again] within 2 minutes after that.”
“We’re glad basic subway car announcements are improving, but disappointed most riders are being left in the dark to cope with delays and reroutings,” said Cate Contino, Campaign coordinator who oversaw the survey.
“Poor announcements can mean missed stops, longer trips and a lot more stress,” said Jason Chin-Fatt, field organizer for the Campaign.
The survey was conducted by 51 staff and volunteers between February 3 and July 11, 2009.
They made 6,600 observations of in-car announcement opportunities on 22 subway lines. Our surveyors experienced and rated 121 delay and service change announcement opportunities during the same survey period. The survey follows eight similar surveys conducted between 1997 and 2006. We privately released our findings in 2007 to New York City Transit in deference of the start of a new transit administration. This is the first survey we have released since then. (See methodology.)
Among the key findings of the survey were:
MTA New York City Transit does not survey delay and disruption delays on subway cars. The agency did survey the “percentage of cars with public address announcements” in the first half of 2009.
Some 90% of cars are rated as having public address announcements. This is broken down by cars with automated announcements (99%) and conductor announcements (84%).