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Overwhelming rider congestion, delays and cancellations continue to plague New York City’s subway system, with no apparent end in sight.
Nowhere is the city transportation system’s dysfunction more evident than the Lexington Avenue line, the nation’s most travelled subway line. The line, which is comprised of the 4, 5, and 6 trains, is currently stuck in a negative feedback loop in which rider congestion leads to delays that result in greater rider congestion, further delays and cancelled trains, according to an analysis conducted by The New York Times.
Analysis - Delays - Quantity - Riders - Trains
The analysis found that delays, produced by an unprecedented quantity of riders boarding trains, has resulted in 14 percent of scheduled trains never arriving at the line’s hub, Grand Central Terminal. Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) officials told TheNYT that the massive number of riders relying on the antiquated system leads to a chain of delays in which trains become so backed up that many of them never make their scheduled stops.
In the last two months, the Lexington Avenue line has reached its hourly weekday rush hour scheduled train count zero times. This failure to hit the scheduled train count is the result of the MTA’s strategy of maintaining a consistent time intervals between trains. When trains are delayed, workers continue to space them at consistent intervals instead of running them closer together, because they believe it is the best way to reduce platform wait time.
Decision - Trains - Means - Trains - Phenomenon
The decision to keep trains evenly spaced means many scheduled trains never end up arriving. This phenomenon is exemplified by 6 train data from morning rush hour on July 20. Due to delays, only one southbound 6 train arrived at Grand Central between 8:04 a.m. and 8:23 a.m., rather than the five scheduled trains. When service returned to the normal pacing, two to four minutes apart, the trains that should...
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