Tuesday, June 26, 2007

NYT: Water Is Wet, Subway System Bursting At Seams

As I waited 10 minutes for a crowded F train at rush hour this morning, I passed the time with a revelatory article in the NYT Metro section: Some Subways Found Packed Past Capacity.

The article has an accompanying graphic, however, that is of questionable accuracy. It lists the F train at 100% of track capacity . . . which is only true if you ignore the unused express tracks lying between the local tracks through Brooklyn.

The Times article does highlight THE key issue facing New York City today: our underfunded transit infrastructure is at the breaking point. At some point, NY will either buck up and fund the system properly, or face another exodus of people and wealth as the quality of life plunges.

The desire for change is palpable; I put a petition for better service on the F&V online, and nearly 2500 people signed on in under two weeks! People want better transit options. We need dedicated streams of funding for transit, and a re-imagining of the system that looks at the historical inefficiencies left behind by the disjointed history of subway construction and brings the system to a level of service better than any city in the world.

Demand it! I'll be delivering the petition to the MTA Board tomorrow morning at 9:30 sharp. The meeting is open to public comment, but you must arrive by 9:00 to sign up.


Marc Shepherd said...

It is indeed true that the F is at 100% of track capacity, because of the portion of the route it shares with the E. On the Queens Boulevard express tracks, no more F trains can be added without subtracting E trains. Since the E is at 100% passenger load, that clearly isn't going to happen.

What could happen (if they have the rolling stock for it) is to extend the V into Brooklyn. But as that graphic makes clear, there are many lines that are over-crowded. The cost of providing Culver express service has to be weighed against other investments on lines where the problems are more acute.

Gary said...


It is not at capacity in Brooklyn; running the F or V as an express as a local would not have a grave impact on the E.

And I am all for increased funding for the system in general; the city and state have systematically underfunded the transit system for years, and we're beginning the process of reversing that.

The stream of funding from congestion pricing is a good start but the city and state also need to step up with a steady flow of $ to fund expansion and improvement.

There are few ways to impact the quality of life for millions so directly, and to strengthen the allure of an entire metro area with one policy. Investing in transit accomplishes that.