state of the d – april 2010 – delay-prone

Official data from the MTA’s Web Site has updates for the month of April; thus, I will present the latest performance numbers for my home line, the D.

On-Time Performance: In April 2010, only 49.6% of D trains arrived at their terminals within 5 minutes of scheduled arrival time. This is an EXTREME drop in performance – namely, a 16% drop in timeliness from March 2010 and a 20.1% drop in timeliness compared with April 2009. In any case, this is terrible – especially considering the D line’s infrequent service (6-8 minute rush hour interval, 10 minute off-hour interval).

That said, MTA counts as late all rerouted trains, “abandoned” runs, and trains operating under schedule changes. I emphasized the last point because April marked the start of the baseball season; on weeknights when the Yankees are in town, PM-rush hour D express trains make an extra stop at 161 St – Yankee Stadium for the benefit of Yankee fans (this is what I call the “butchering” of the Concourse Express service). Subsequently this low performance statistic doesn’t surprise me, given that construction-related diversions didn’t seem to occur more often in April than in previous months (from what I saw on MTA’s Web Site).

To further illustrate how bad the D’s on-time percentage is, let’s compare it to the overall average. In April 2010, an average of 65% of trains arrived at their terminals within 5 minutes of schedule. This statistic itself is a 5.1% drop in overall timeliness from March 2010 and a staggering 12.7% drop in overall timeliness from April 2009. As bad as this is, the D’s numbers are clearly worse!

Further proof that D stands for Delayed – and it doesn’t look like things will get better any time soon! 😦

Wait Assessment: For my home line, a glimmer of hope appears in the midst of bad news. April data shows that 88% of D trains arrived on or close to schedule – which, by MTA’s standards, means within 2 minutes of schedule during rush hours and within 4 minutes of schedule other times. This is a 0.4% improvement over March 2010, which is small but still OK.

Overall, 88.8% of trains arrived on or close to schedule – a 1.8% drop from March 2010 and a 0.2% drop from April 2009. Certainly not a good sign, especially with service cuts on the horizon. For the record, these numbers show that the D is roughly on par with the system average.

It’s clear that the D line – from its service to its stations – need improvement; unfortunately, it will see service cuts on the weekends instead! 😦


Ridership: A total of 137,493,648 riders rode the subway in April 2010; this is about a 2.893% increase in ridership from April 2009. Thus, for the second straight month, 2010 ridership improved over 2009 ridership. The grand total for the first four months of 2010 stands at 520,284,637 – an overall change of +0.67% – a slight increase. This is good news – though I wonder if the trend will hold up after the service cuts take effect this weekend.

Needless to say, if demand continues to increase, will MTA still be able to meet it after the cuts go through?

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