Subways seem like they are are falling apart across the United States. And still, people want them, even though cost is a barrier. The ones that work seem to be safe and reliable.
Today, the United States is seeing a boom in mass transit. Since 1995, mass transit ridership is up 34 percent while vehicle miles traveled by individual drivers has risen 33 percent, according to the American Public Transportation Association.
Yet, every day brings more stories of stranded passengers, crumbling systems and even derailments. Let’s look at what’s happen with the subways.
In 2016, ridership of the New York City subway system, supervised by the Metropolitan Transit Authority, hit over 1.7 billion riders, according to the MTA. However, that ridership does not help the system turn a profit. In 2017, the MTA’s projected operating expense is $12.7 billion, while operating revenue is projected to be only $8.5 billion. That means there will be more than a $4 billion shortfall.
Faced with continuous headaches, New York Gov.Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for the New York City subway system. The action followed the derailment of a car in Harlem which injured 34 people.
The derailment delayed cars on the rail for hours, just the latest in a series of delays that have become more and more common for the New York City subway. In the past five years, the number of subway delays has tripled, according to USA Today.
There are plans to make repairs and improve the system. In announcing the state of emergency, he pledged $1 billion to the MTA capital plan. But, that’s only one-quarter of the expected shortfall just in operating expenses, not long term improvements.
Starting July 1, the M train, which runs in Manhattan, was shut down for two months in order to demolish and replace a section of its tracks, according to Metro. In 2019, there are plans to shut down the L line, which runs between Manhattan and Brooklyn, to make improvements. Many Brooklynites are already beginning to panic, fearing they won’t be able to travel easily into the city. Continue reading