Riders Guide is a first for the Straphangers Campaign in several ways.
more than two decades of rating New Yorks 20 subway lines, this is
our first-ever rating of the citys major subway stations. Its
also our first report based on a poll of rider opinion.
campaign believes that polling riders is the fairest and most effective
way to rate stations. New Yorkers rate everything from restaurants to nightlife,
so why not subway stations?
poll also puts the passengers in the drivers seat, giving them a way
to tell transit officials how they feel about their stations.
Riders Guide to the Citys Major Subway Stations
comes in two main sections. The first is a review of our findings, which
comes immediately below. The second is a profile for each of the 15 stations.
The profiles include: the ratings; selected comments of polled riders; amenities
at the stations, such as number of elevators, escalators, newsstands, benches,
maps and pay phones; major institutions served by the station; how much
use has increased in the last year; when the station was built and last
rehabilitated; and the name and contact information for the stations
always, the Straphangers Campaign hopes this Guide empowers riders to win
improvements to the systemand provides them with information that
will improve their daily rides.
April 25th and August 14th 2000, the Straphangers
Campaign distributed 39,500 postcards to riders at 15 highly-used stations
in the four New York City boroughs served by subways.
asked the riders to rate the stations on a scale of one to five for cleanliness,
security, crowding, ease of getting around; and available information, such
as announcements and signs.
received a total of 3,879 legible, complete and usable postcards from riders
who mailed the postcard back to us, yielding nearly a 10% response rate
and a statistically valid sample.
detailed description of our methodology and a copy of the poll postcard
can be found in section III of the Guide.
poll results are presented in the maps and tables that follow this introduction
and summary of findings. Among our key findings:
Riders gave their highest overall mark to the Yankee Stadium/161st
station, which serves the C, D and 4 lines in the Bronx. It received
an overall rating of 3.2 out of five and among the highest ratings on security,
crowding, and information. (See Map One.)
The 51st Street and Lexington Avenue station, which serves the
E, F and 6 lines in Manhattan, had the lowest overall rating2.2
out of five. It was in the cellar on four of the five conditions
rated in the pollall but cleanliness, where the station was next to
Overall, riders gave their lowest rating to crowding for the
five conditions surveyed2.5 out of five. The number of riders
entering these 15 stations on an average weekday increased by 8%more
than 58,000 riders a daybetween 1998 and 1999, according to transit
officials. Comparable data is not available for earlier years, but the increase
is likely to be at least 17% between 1997 and 2000, given the overall increase
in ridership in that period.
Crowding: Riders were the least unhappy about crowding at the Court
Street/Borough Hall station in Brooklyn (M,N,R,2,3,4,5), which received
the highest rating, 3.1. Riders were most unhappy with crowding at the 51st
Street and Lexington Avenue station (6, E, F), with a rating of 1.5. Riders
expressed strong concern that severe crowding there could lead to tragedy.
(See Table Two and comments in Recommendation section at end of this report.)
Cleanliness: The Chambers Street/World Trade Center station (A,C,E,2,3)
in Manhattan received the highest rating on cleanliness (3.3); the Roosevelt
Avenue/74th Street station in Queens (E,F,G,R,7) had the lowest
rating (2.4). (See Table Three.)
Security: The Yankee Stadium/161st Street station received
the highest rating on security (3.5); the 51st Street and Lexington
Avenue station the lowest (2.3). (See Table Four.)
Ease of Movement: Riders at the Court Street/Borough Hall station
(M,N,R,2,3,4,5) were the most satisfied with the ease of movement at the
station (3.4); riders at the 51st Street and Lexington Avenue
station felt it was the hardest to get around (2.0). (See Table Five.)
Station Information (Signs and Announcements): The 34th
and 6th Avenue/Herald Square station (B,D,F,N,Q,R) got the best
marks for available information (3.3); the 51st Street and Lexington
Avenue got the poorest marks on available information (2.7). (See Table
to MTA New York City Transit Poll
telephone poll of transit riders is commissioned annually by MTA New York
City Transit. How do our results compare to theirs?
is important to note first that there are major differences in how the two
polls are conducted. New York City Transits is based on a telephone
survey of 1,200 people; ours is based on the voluntary return of postcards
from 3,879 riders. Theirs covers a wide range of service issues; ours focuses
on station conditions. Theirs does not break down ratings by individual
stations; ours does. There are also some slight differences in wording of
questions and in whats rated. In New York City Transits poll,
riders are asked to rate conditions on a scale of one to ten; its
a scale of one to five in our survey. Their most recently released survey
was conducted in 1999; ours in 2000.
our poll is new, we cannot compare to previous years; New York City Transit
conducted a poll in 1998, so it can make comparisons between 1998 and 1999.
(See Tables Seven and Eight.)
the differing methodologies, there are some similarities in the findings:
Riders in both surveys give their lowest ratings to crowding. In New
York City Transits poll, crowding on station platforms
gets a 4.5 out of ten. Thats the lowest rating given to any aspect
of station conditions surveyed. Thats the same in our poll, where
crowding comes in with the lowest of the five ratings, at 2.5
out of five. Both scores are well below the mid-point for each survey. Riders
are growing more unhappy with crowding, according to New York City Transits
poll; crowding ratings were significantly worse between 1998 and 1999, dropping
from 5.1 to 4.5.
Overall, riders were somewhat more satisfied with stations in the New York
City Transit poll than in the one we conducted. Riders in the New York
City Transit poll gave the subway station environment a 5.9
out of 10 a rating that is slightly above the 5.5 mid-point of their
survey. Riders in our survey gave a 2.9 out of five slightly below
our 3.0 mid-point. (It should be noted that the polls difference in
approach here. In the New York City Transit poll, riders are asked to rate
the overall subway station environment, as well as to rate specific
aspects of stations. We average the five specific ratings to get an overall
is a comparison of the similar aspects of service rated in both surveys:
York City Transit
on station platforms 4.5 out of 10
2.5 out of 5
of stations 5.8 out of 10
out of 5
feel safe and secure 5.7 out of 10
out of 5
of platform announcements 4.8 out of 10
in station on train delays 4.9 out of 10
out of 5