That’s according to the latest NYC Transit data, at least, which covers the past three years of service. The New York Post points out that while the days of broken-down cars and graffiti-filled stations, at least, is long gone, there is a significant trend downwards in the quality and reliability in subway services. Through June this year, the average number of delayed trains is up 24% from last year, and a whopping 71% from two years ago. Meanwhile, the average distance that rail cars travel between break-downs is down 7% from last year and 17% from two years ago.
NYC Transit blames the issues on more track work, rising ridership and decreasing income from federal and state sources. Unfortunately, none of those problems really seem to be going away – and NYC Transit is not the only organization battling the dangerous forces of system troubles. As gas prices increase, ridership on mass transit systems around the world is going up. Also, subway systems are not getting any younger. Many of the world’s oldest transit networks have already passed the 100-year mark – some by a lot (London’s Underground, the oldest subway system in the world, started service in 1863). Without adequate funding and support from the traveling public, mass transit systems will just keep getting less and less reliable.