Subway Overcrowding & Etiquette

Discussion relating to the past and present operations of the NYC Subway, PATH, and Staten Island Railway (SIRT).

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Subway Overcrowding & Etiquette

Postby Jeff Smith » Tue May 03, 2016 7:59 pm

Saw this interesting article on the NY Times web site today: Surge in Ridership Pushes New York Subway to Limit

One of the specific stations mentioned was 86th St on the Lexington Avenue IRT. I used to live on 87th and 3rd in the early to mid 90's. It was crowded then; I can only imagine now. Thankfully, I had alternatives; I often walked to work (53rd and 7th). It was close to an hour walk, at about 3+ miles, through Central Park. But a lot of people, either due to their work schedules, or more distant commutes, or their physical condition, don't have that option.

Now, the Second Avenue Subway should help a lot. That may be offset years from now, when East Side Access opens, bringing in a new crush of commuters to Grand Central, which is also one of the subway's busiest stations.

I was wondering if a solution wouldn't be to simply start a subway run at these locations. It would of course require a long deadhead run. But it might alleviate crowding at those stations.

Here's a quote from the article:

For New Yorkers who rely on the 86th Street subway station on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the morning commute is a humbling experience. An endless stream of people funnel onto the platforms. Trains arrive with a wall of humanity already blocking the doorways.

As No. 6 trains pull into the upper level of the station, riders scan for an opening and, if they can, squeeze in for a suffocating ride downtown.

“You can wait four or five subways to get on, and you’re just smushed,” Cynthia Hallenbeck, the chief financial officer at a nonprofit, said before boarding a train on a recent morning.

The Lexington Avenue line is the most crowded in the system, but subway riders across New York City are finding themselves on platforms and trains that are beyond crowded. L train stations in Brooklyn are routinely overwhelmed. In Queens, No. 7 train riders regularly endure packed conditions.
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Re: Subway Overcrowding

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed May 04, 2016 8:20 am

I noted same article this morning in the print edition (lead article in the New York section); my biggest takeaway was why there has not been more aggressive action - even if the "Subfans" could happily do without - to enclose platforms such as the case with airport "people movers".
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Re: Subway Overcrowding

Postby Allan » Wed May 04, 2016 10:15 am

If you are referring to the platform doors which would open when a train enters the station and opens it's doors - there is a big problem there. It requires that the train be the same length and have the doors in the same place in each car.

The R46 cars are longer (75') and have doors in a different position than the R38, R42, R143 and R160 cars (60'). There are lines where both length cars are operated. Example: N and Q trains which are mainly R160s run share trackage/platforms with the R train which is mainly R46s (with an occasional R160).

Even the A Division would have problems. Even though al the cars are 51'4" long the door positions in the "A" car in the R142/142As and 188s are different than the door positions in the "B" cars (and "C" cars on the R188s). The doors in the "A" cars are parallel to each other on each side while the doors in the "B" and "C" cars are offset from each other. The same offset doors issue applies to the R62/62A cars (all cars).

Until such a time that there are no longer "conflicting" (for lack of a better term) subway, platform doors would have to be very limited in scope. Maybe they could use it on the L line which is 100% R143 and R160 cars.
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Re: Subway Overcrowding

Postby Jeff Smith » Wed May 04, 2016 10:45 am

One of the big issues I see is "dwell" time. And a complicating factor is those crowding onto the trains preventing those needing to disembark from doing so. That was always my huge complaint; I'd just have to shove my way out. (That's an elevator pet peeve of mine, too LOL).

I wonder if a potential solution for major stations, where there's enough space, is a barrier set back from the platform edge several feet. You could design it so it's solid up to about three feet, then something resembling a chain link fence above it (to keep people from hopping it). Only so many would be admitted to the boarding area before each train. Kind of like the Disney World monorail.

I'll admit this may not be practical given the crush loads NYCT is currently experiencing. The solution, clearly, is transit expansion.
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Re: Subway Overcrowding

Postby rr503 » Thu May 05, 2016 8:09 pm

Agreed. NYC is still suffering from the aftershocks of the Robert Moses era, when the city fell extremely behind on system improvements. Who knows what would NYC would be like today if we had the IND second system instead of the Grand Central Parkway. Because of our past errors, the city is in a situation where undeserved areas are so developed that it is almost impossible to run lines through them without incurring massive costs. But what must be built must be built, and like it or not, 21st century New Yorkers will have to foot the bill for system expansions and improvements that should have happened fifty or sixty years ago.
Personally, I ride the F many times a week, and to put it lightly, it's a living hell. Trains are so full that nobody can get on, there are delays everywhere, and like many other routes, there is no alternative to riding it.
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Re: Subway Overcrowding

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Thu May 05, 2016 8:58 pm

Today's Times has a further article regarding the "L" Line addressing the East River tunnel that has only been "patched up" since Sandy:

http://nytimes.com/2016/05/05/nyregion/ ... oject.html

It certainly suggests that the overcrowding will be of the "you ain't seen nuttin yet"
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Re: Subway Overcrowding

Postby NorthWest » Fri May 06, 2016 8:52 am

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Re: Subway Overcrowding & Etiquette

Postby Jeff Smith » Fri May 06, 2016 11:14 am

This article came up on the radar today: NY Daily News

So I thought I'd broaden the topic a bit. Article mentions things like dwell times, and delays caused sometimes by poor etiquette. If our moderator thinks it should be a separate topic, go ahead.

New York City subways plagued by disorderly exits, manspreading and other bad underground etiquette, study says
...
The most common form of poor etiquette is “disorderly exits” — when people try to squeeze onto trains as other passengers are still trying to move out the doors.

More than 12% of exits were considered “disorderly.”

Even worse for riders, when train cars were extremely crowded, disorderly exits went up to 20.3%, according to the study.

The platform logjam causes trains to stay in the station longer — and creates bigger delays.

“The problems cascade down the line,” Professor Peter Tuckel, one of the study’s principal investigators, told the Daily News.

“For every subway delay, it goes up incrementally until there’s significant time delays for passengers,” Tuckel said.
...
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Re: Subway Overcrowding & Etiquette

Postby Jeff Smith » Fri May 06, 2016 11:16 am

Here's some more links:

http://gothamist.com/2015/03/03/subway_ ... te_cat.php

Was Etti-Cat real? Was it kept in the G train portal? What do we know about Etti-Cat? Not much... the Times noted that when they asked the authority spokesman if the cat was real, they were pointed to the authority's official announcement, which said: "Charles L. Patterson, T.A. Chairman, indicated that if Etti-Cat is adopted by the public he will hold a news conference for the pet so that riders can learn more about the new subway mascot."
Etti-Cat (who also authored a book about etiquette outside of the subway system) was never heard from again... but does live on at the Transit Museum—ask about him/her at their etiquette event later this month!


http://gothamist.com/2013/12/10/vintage ... _insid.php
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Re: Subway Overcrowding & Etiquette

Postby STrRedWolf » Sat May 07, 2016 1:21 pm

Okay, we got Sadie, Token, Arthur, August, and now Etti. Okay, how many more cats are we going to have before NYC starts doing PSA animations.
I ride the (MTA Maryland) Penn Line (between Odenton and Baltimore). I used to work for MTA Maryland's IT department, and out of professional courtesy my responses may be limited. Wikimapia is wonderful (for track/interlocking locations)!
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Re: Subway Overcrowding & Etiquette

Postby GirlOnTheTrain » Sat May 07, 2016 7:56 pm

Ummm...Etticat predates them all.
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Re: Subway Overcrowding & Etiquette

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Mon May 22, 2017 11:05 am

Interesting Opinion today in.The Times;

http://nytimes.com/2017/05/22/opinion/n ... cuomo.html

Best "take-away" :

The other reason for Mr. Cuomo’s avoidance is that fixing mass transit is difficult. It’s expensive, it’s complicated and the benefits often don’t accrue until long after the elected officials who funded them have moved on. Many a politician takes a hard look at public transit and decides to find an easier fight


Sorry, pols, that underground infrastructure is not conducive to "photo ops".
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Re: Subway Overcrowding & Etiquette

Postby Patrick A. » Tue May 23, 2017 10:52 am

Excuses excuses:
-Expensive: Reform prevailing wage laws and Davis-Bacon regimes, competitive bidding
-Complicated: Seriously, after all of what humanity has achieved in its existence building a subway tunnel is too much to bear?
-Too Long: Streamline permitting and approval processes, incentivize on-time / early (gasp!) completions

The real reason is the lack of political will to address these problems. Easier to pound the fist and 'demand action,' versus actually taking it.
I have lived to ride on the M8.

Complete Constant Tension on the New Haven Line ETC: Mid-2018
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Re: Subway Overcrowding & Etiquette

Postby rr503 » Tue May 23, 2017 2:16 pm

Yeah. Cuomo needs to learn to walk before he can run. If he can't apply common sense to a subway system, I wouldn't trust him to run a country.
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