Wednesday, July 22, 2015

NYCT's World Cup miscommunication

Blog Note:  I haven't had time to do any blogging until this week - - I am playing catch up now - - this blog post was intended to be posted last week but is still worth mentioning about incorrect information.  DG

MTA now has a Pledge to Customers which among other things, will now strive to provide "... accurate, timely and useful information on service conditions, including station, platform and onboard announcements, roadway and toll plaza signage, email alerts, postings on, and media reports."  When I read this page for the first time, I howled in laughter because I thought this was funnier than watching "Airplane".  

That said, I will discuss a relatively minor NYC Transit event on July 10th during the U.S. Women's soccer team ticker tape parade.  Such a minor thing and NYCT doesn't post the right information.

Before I begin, I want to give belated congratulations to the Women's United States team for winning the 2015 World Cup.  Their well deserved championship got them prized front row seats to NYC's world famous ticker tape parade up the Canyon of Heroes on July 10.  Meanwhile, MTA tells us that their public transportation network (NYC Transit, Long Island Railroad and Metro-North) is the best way to get to the parade (actually a ferry boat ride from Staten Island is the best way to Lower Manhattan because it's free). 

But even with the World Cup transportation information, MTA omits something from that webpage.  On the day of the parade, a switch problem outside Chambers Street on the 1/2/3 lines threw everything into a mini-chaos on the IRT West Side - - along with complete misinformation.

First the web omission  - - Park Place on the 2/3 lines is missing from the station list - - it is a transfer point to Chambers/WTC station on the A, C, and E lines - - was Park Place going to be fully closed like the R City Hall or would it subject to closure only as directed by the NYC Police Department (NYPD)?  The eastern end (or railroad south, towards Brooklyn) has two direct exits to Park Place and Broadway, along the parade route and close proximity to City Hall.  Also NYCT thinks about the old weekend J service pattern when the J used to terminate at Chambers Street on weekends - Fulton Street and Broad Street stations were also omitted from that page.

Now the miscommunication part, and this was observed by me during my lunch hour.   I walked to Wall Street when I first discovered the PA/CIS displays (the "countdown clocks") were not working.

Then I realized about the switch problem at Chamber Street - - because of this, there was no service on the 1/2/3 lines between Chambers Street and 34th Street, according to NYCT's service advisory.   About 30 minutes later, there was "limited" service.

Wall Street on the 2 and 3 has three fare control areas, the main staffed area on the north side of Wall and William Streets and the unmanned entrances on the south side of Wall/William as well as Pine Street. There were station agents at the main entrance (north side of Wall and William Streets) giving out block tickets, but nobody was at the other 2 entrances.

The illuminated outdoor ads with the service notice tickers - - one of the MTA's so-called hallmarks of informing customers, don't show the entire notice on screen as you can see.  What good is this customer benefit if it is not used to the fullest potential by giving half of a service notice?

At the main entrance, NYCT employees were telling customers that there was no uptown service but service to Brooklyn was running (that world make NYCT's service advisory incorrect because nothing was stated about 2/3 service from Hoyt Street in Brooklyn to Park Place in Manhattan).  Now let's look at the original advisory which affected service between Chambers and 34th Street due to a switch problem at Chambers Street.  The interlocking (a series of switches where trains can go from track to another) is all located north of Chambers Street.  By virtue of having no service between Chambers and 34th Street implies that there is normal service on the 1 line between Old South Ferry and Chambers - - and normal service on the 2/3 between Chambers Street and Brooklyn.  But where would the 1/2/3 trains turn?  Right through the entire interlocking which makes it impossible because one of these switches is under repair.  So NYCT failed to mention that some 2 trains were running on the 4 and 5 Lexington Ave lines between the Bronx and Brooklyn while 3 service was not running between Atlantic Ave and 34th Street.  The PA/CIS confirms that there was no service at  If the service advisory was done correctly, then it would have been written like this:

Due to a switch problem at Chamber Street, the following service changes take place.

1 - - No service between 34th Street and South Ferry

2/3 - No service between 34th Street and Atlantic Ave.  Some 2 trains will run on the 5 line in both directions between Nevins Street, Brooklyn and 149th Street/Grand Concourse.

When limited service resumed between 34th Street and Chambers, there was nothing about limited or no service between South Ferry/Chambers on the 1 and between Brooklyn and Chambers Street on the 2/3.  The omission of this information implies to the customer reading this notice that service is running with delays south of Chambers.   

With the wrong service notices and incomplete information during a major parade event - - MTA and NYC Transit continue to break the so-called Pledge to Customers.  Taking a line from that classic Airplane movie - - surely the MTA can't be serious. 

Next NYC Transit related post will be an unbelievable sight I found in Queens.

No comments:

Post a Comment