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Riders Rejoice! MTA Boasts Best On-Time Rates In Over 5 Years

May 19, 2019 - 3:06 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) -- The MTA released new performance stats on Sunday, with the subway showing its best on-time rates in five and a half years -- but transit advocates say there's still a lot of work to be done.

Subway trains were on time 79.8 percent of the time in April -- the highest on-time performance level since October 2013.

Danny Pearlstein, of the Riders Alliance, says these numbers should always be taken with a grain of salt, but he's giving credit where credit is due, mostly to NYC Transit President Andy Byford.

"Andy Byford, with his Save Safe Seconds campaign, has sped up the trains in a way that few thought possible a short time ago," Pearlstein said.

He says this should help the MTA get some credibility when it starts the bigger projects.

"Revamp the signals, buy new subway cars and create an accessible subway with elevators citywide," Pearlstein said.

Related: Most NYC Bus Routes Receive Failing Grades For Speed And Reliability

The MTA was also able to reduce track fires sparked by track debris. So far this year there have been 81 of those incidents, compared to 133 at the same time in 2018.

There's also good news for commuter rail riders. The MTA says 95 percent of LIRR trips are on time, the highest number since October 2012. Metro-North had similar numbers.

But the MTA made no mention of its buses, which have been hemorrhaging riders for years on increasingly slow routes.

"Right now buses spend about 20 percent of their time just at bus stops, another 20 percent at red lights and then 60 percent of their time in slow traffic," Pearlstein said.

Pearlstein says there are high hopes for the borough by borough redesign of the bus network that's already underway.