Subway Announcements Tough to Decipher During Delays in Service, Survey Says

By Ben Fractenberg on March 30, 2011 2:24pm | Updated on March 30, 2011 2:23pm

The Straphangers Campaign released a report ranking the clarity of subway announcements.
The Straphangers Campaign released a report ranking the clarity of subway announcements.
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Flickr/Heath Braden

By Ben Fractenberg

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN — Those famously garbled New York City subway announcements may be getting better — unless there is a service disruption.

A new survey released by the Straphangers Campaign revealed that 83 percent of basic announcements made on subway cars were clear accurate, according to their polling data. However, 60 percent of announcements made during delays in service were inaudible or incorrect.

"Transit gets good marks for subway car announcements of basic information," said campaign coordinator, Cate Contino, in a statement.

But the group was less enthusiastic about the MTA’s ability to deliver information about service disruptions.

"A failure to make delay announcement means more stress and confusion for riders," campaign field organizer Jason Chin-Fatt said.

The announcements during delays reportedly worsened from 2009 to 2010, going from being clear 55 percent of the time to 40 percent.

The B train got the lowest marks, having clear and accurate basic announcements only 55 percent of the time, the survey reported.

People commuting on Manhattan’s east side had better luck. The 5 and 6 lines both had clear basic announcements 100 percent of the time.

Transit guidelines require conductors to make announcements including the line, station name and any transfer points, according to the Straphangers Campaign.

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