MIDTOWN — We are being delayed due to train traffic ahead of us — just not as much as we were in March, the MTA says.
Rampant subway delays — which are up 20 percent this year compared to last — have frustrated commuters across the city, but the MTA says delays have been improving slightly over the past two months.
There were 6,000 fewer delays in May of this year than in March — with approximately 46,000 delayed trains in May compared with 52,000 in March — according to an MTA spokesman and an agency report.
There were about 2 percent more trains reaching their stations on time on the 6 and 7 lines, according to an MTA spokesman. Service improved after the MTA issued a rapid-response plan in May to fix problems on the often-delayed lines, officials said.
Etian Nodarse, 27, who commutes from Midtown East to an auto dealership on the far west side of Chelsea, said he hasn't noticed things getting any better.
He said that while the E train generally comes on time, the C has caused him to be late about 20 times so far this year.
"The C train is very bad, always late," Nodarse said. "I give myself 45 extra minutes in the morning."
The MTA said workers have started to focus on more quickly fixing problems like signal issues on the targeted lines.
The MTA has also added workers at clogged platforms to help get commuters on and off of trains more quickly, they said.
Still, there were an average of 44,809 trains that were delayed in reaching their final destination from June 2014 through May 2015, up from 37,662 during the same 12-month period the year before, according to the MTA’s monthly operations report.
Delays have increased as ridership has expanded over the past several years, officials said. Daily ridership increased to 5.5 million people in 2013, the highest number since the late 1940s.
The agency said its plans to alleviate overcrowding are, in part, dependent on expanding the existing system.
About 250,000 people are expected to use the Second Avenue Subway, which is slated to begin service at the end of 2016, an MTA spokesman said.
The agency also wants to improve signal service, and is hoping to spend nearly $3 billion in the next capital program budget to improve its aging communications system.
Donna Lang, 73, said she has become much less frustrated with delays since the MTA started putting countdown clocks on certain lines.
"I don't fret," Lang said. "I can decide what to do with my time."
She said adding more clocks would be a "huge help" in alleviating frustration with delays.
"It makes me a much happier traveler."