Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What's wrong with MTA NYC Transit? Part 2, the signs and posters

How bad and incompetent can NYCT make any type of blatant error in a website or map and leave it there for years?

So incompetent, the blatant error involved a hospital in the south Bronx which closed in 1966.

That's not a typo, I said 1966, at the height of the Batman TV craze and the television premieres of the original Star Trek and Mission:Impossible series, is when St. Francis Hospital in the Bronx closed it's doors.  There were pay phones instead of cell phones, Facebook and Instagram were never heard of.  But 48 years later, St. Francis Hospital is still on the neighborhood maps which were first designed in 1985 and "updated" in the early 2000s.  When the Weekender was introduced by the MTA in 2012, the same error appears in this webpage, see screenshots below - all taken directly from the MTA's Weekender application for Android phones.

It might be an abnormality if that was the only mistake in the neighborhood maps.  Sadly, there are over 100 mistakes, some of them really outrageous such as the NYPD 40th Precinct at the wrong location; NW corner of East 149th Street and Melrose Ave.  The 40th Precinct is unmistakably located on the NW corner of Alexander Ave and East 138th Street right by the full time entrances to the 3rd Ave/East 138th Street subway station on the 6 line.  Also note the wrong corner for Citibank

Looking for the Gateway Mall to do your shopping and the new Yankees/East 153rd Street rail station on Metro-North's Hudson Line?  Don't bother finding it in the MTA Weekender, the Bronx House of Detention (closed in 2000) is still standing there according to the  neighborhood maps.   


The MTA may have renamed the newest station complex name in to Court Square and added the Q/M lines in Long Island City but they haven't touched the Municipal Parking Garage at Queens Plaza, now an office building which houses the NYC Department of Health.  The garage was razed in 2010.

Coney Island has Luna Park. not Astroland Park.  The Brooklyn Cyclones play at MCU Park, not Keyspan (even though it's the same ballpark)

Where is the Barclays Center?  This arena is 2 years old and not on the "latest" neighborhood map.  Also note the old B63 bus routing before 5th Ave was permanently closed between Atlantic Ave and Flatbush Ave.

The 44th Precinct in the Bronx is at the wrong location,  Also (not shown) the 43rd Precinct on Ryer Ave, near East 183 Street is missing.

There are a lot of other errors to list such as old exits along certain stations on the B/D Concourse lines in the Bronx, Eastern Parkway on the J, movie theaters such as the Loews Elmwood and Trylon theaters in Queens as well as the Allerton theater in the Bronx, and Prospect Hospital, closed in the early 80's.   Recently, the MTA and NYCT collaborated with NYC Department of Transportation in producing the next generation Neighborhood maps  based on NYC DOT's successful WalkNYC wayfinding neighborhood maps with a maximum 12 block radius for each station.  Paul Fleuranges, Senior Director of Corporate and Internal Communications claimed in the linked MTA story that "Though we’ve kept the MTA’s neighborhood maps up-to-date,..." the pictures I posted show that Mr. Fleuranges statement is false as nobody corrected them for years.  The same neighborhood maps with the mistakes can been seen on the MTA Weekender's pages online.

Signs are wrong too, like the recent job fair held at the NY Transit Museum on May 19th, the E train hasn't run to Jay Street since the early 1970s.  Dozens of NYCT employees installed them and nobody caught this mistake.

 Here's a mind-boggling location to place a sign - - not just wrong station - - wrong line, borough
AND division.  This sign (installed around 1999) was to inform customers about signal system modernization on the West End Line in Brooklyn, part of the current D line, along with a proposed completion date of 2002. 

The sign was mistakenly placed at Central Park North-110th Street on the West Side 2 and 3 lines in Manhattan instead of  a station on the West End line (sounds alike) and sits unnoticed (or just ignored) by NYCT employees for over 15 years.  So we have wrong line (West Side instead of West End), wrong borough (Manhattan, instead of Brooklyn) and wrong division (IRT instead of BMT)
Sometimes reading signs can be confusing.  How about the set of posters at Gun Hill Road/White Plains Road station on the 2 line?  Which poster is correct? 
In January, 2013 when the highly successful FastTrack nightly work program made it's only appearance on the 2 line in Brooklyn, the information about 4 trains replacing 3 service in Brooklyn was really hilarious - - especially when 4 trains from Borough Hall and Bowling cannot stop at the Hoyt Street-Fulton Mall station due to the existing track layout.   If NYC Transit managers really know how their own subway system works, they would realize that they need to add two sets of switches north of Hoyt Street.    
Sometimes signs can have the right directions but in the most time consuming and circuitous manner.  This poster was taken at East Tremont/West Farms Square.  The robotic instructions on this poster tell you to take a downtown 2 train all the way down to 149th Street/Grand Concourse then double back up, when a 5 to 10 minute walk to East 180th Street will allow you to catch uptown 2 (and 5) trains there.   Sorry for the blurry picture
 The MTA website has improved in their accuracy but still suffers from years of neglect to correct their mistakes.  The current subway map  doesn't note that there is no elevator service at 63rd Street-Lexington Ave station through February,2015 due to all elevators being replaced at this station.  Other mistakes I found on some webpages are the Q18 and 64 bus route errors in the Flushing, Main Street LIRR page as well as missing the Q20A/B.  Funny part of this error is the QBx1, listed on the NYC Transit bus list, was replaced by the Q50 (and Bx23 in the Bronx) which is shown on the same page within the MTA Bus Company list.  The joint LIRR/Metro-North Cityticket map shows weekday services when the discounted program is not in effect, such as the Hudson River bus connections, the M train at Forest Hills, the 5 line at Atlantic Terminal and the M98, Q26 bus routes. 
The above examples show a complete ignorance of NYC Transit of correcting these errors.  NYC Transit should take a pro-active approach in fixing mistakes instead of ignoring them.  I will watch closely the new neighborhood maps and will post an upcoming blog about them when I see more of these maps at stations.  As for the other errors I posted, that is why customers get confused about the service changes.  On the other hand, very few customers actually read the service notices.  

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