M Train Rider Report Card Breakdown

M train
Middle Village/Metropolitan Ave. bound M train leaving the Myrtle-Wyckoff Aves. station. Resized photo courtesy of Eye On Transit

Earlier this morning I briefly wrote about the initial results for the M train rider report card. The MTA has released the full report card so it is time to get down to business!

Here are the M train riders top 10 priorities for improvement:

01. Reasonable wait times for trains
02. Minimal delays during trips
03. Station announcements that are easy to hear
04. Train announcements that are easy to hear
05. Cleanliness of stations
06. Adequate room on board at rush hour
07. Sense of security in stations
08. Sense of security on trains
09. Cleanliness of subway cars
10. Station announcements that are informative

Now here is the entire order of priorities according to M train riders:

01. Reasonable wait times for trains
02. Minimal delays during trips
03. Station announcements that are easy to hear
04. Train announcements that are easy to hear
05. Cleanliness of stations
06. Adequate room on board at rush hour
07. Sense of security in stations
08. Sense of security on trains
09. Cleanliness of subway cars
10. Station announcements that are informative
11. Working elevators and escalators in stations
12. Lack of scratchitti in subway car
13. Train announcements that are informative
14. Comfortable temperature in subway cars
15. Courtesy and helpfulness of station personnel
16. Lack of graffiti in subway cars
17. Lack of graffiti in stations
18. Availability of MetroCard Vending Machines
19. Signs in stations that help riders find their way
20. Ease of use of subway turnstiles
21. Signs in subway cars that help riders find their way

Now here is the graded breakdown for all 21 categories:

Minimal delays during trips C
Reasonable wait times for trains D+
Adequate room on board at rush hour C
Sense of security in stations C
Sense of security on trains C
Working elevators and escalators in stations C-
Signs in stations that help riders find their way C
Signs in subway cars that help riders find their way C
Cleanliness of stations C-
Cleanliness of subway cars C-
Station announcements that are easy to hear D
Station announcements that are informative D+
Train announcements that are easy to hear D+
Train announcements that are informative D+
Lack of graffiti in stations C
Lack of graffiti in subway cars C
Lack of scratchitti in subway cars C-
Courtesy and helpfulness of station personnel C
Comfortable temperature in subway cars C+
Ease of use of subway turnstiles B-
Availability of MetroCard Vending Machines B-

After going through the top 10 list of priorities, I feel that some accurate choices made the cut. Like its fellow Nassau Street counterparts the J & Z, the M could use a huge improvement in wait times. Sometimes you feel like you are waiting forever for a train to show up when these 3 are involved. The train announcements choice clearly depends on what part of the fleet you are riding on. I am not surprised to see security be a huge issue as that was a big issue for the J & Z in its rider report card.

However I do question a couple of the selections. When I ride through the majority of stations on the J, M, or Z, I don’t really see many stations looking poorly cleaned. From the few stations I recall off hand, they were in decent condition considering some of the areas or characters surrounding it.

One of the other choices that is debatable is the “adequate room on board at rush hour”. If you were to believe some of the posters on forums such as the Rider Diaries or Subchat, you would think the M is a virtual ghost town. I have lost count over the years or how many different individuals I’ve read feel that the M should never serve Southern Brooklyn.

I for one think the M serves a huge purpose in Southern Brooklyn during rush hour. I have ridden the line during that stretch in the aforementioned area a lot over the years & feel it is utilized by a decent percentage of riders. The thing I wonder about is what portion of riders voted this category in the top 10. I don’t think it was the riders who utilize the line in Southern Brooklyn. In my times being out there on the D or M, I can’t recall ever seeing a sardine can atmosphere on the M. I assume the riders who voted this category into the top 10 are those riding it along Broadway in Northern Brooklyn.

Overall I feel most of the grades were accurate in this report card. Other than maybe an odd grade here or there, the riders were pretty accurate in grading the Nassau Street lines. Unfortunately the amount of riders giving out those grades were still way too low. The MTA said they received over 1,360 report cards from M train riders. You already know that I feel that is way too low!

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M + Straphangers = C-

M Train
Middle Village/Metropolitan Ave. bound M entering Kings Highway during G.O. Resized photo courtesy of Eye On Transit

This math problem was brought to you commercial free by the straphangers via the 2007 rider report card. Getting back to the seriousness at hand, the riders have spoken & they were clearly not satisfied. Like its fellow Nassau St. counterparts the J & Z, the M earned an overall grade of a C- in its 2007 rider report card. The MTA has not posted the full report card on its website but some details have leaked. Lets look over what little we know so far courtesy of this morning’s upcoming edition of AMNY.

The M train earned its lowest grades in the same exact categories that the J & Z did. We also learn that the M earned a D for the category “reasonable wait time for trains”. MTA New York City Transit President Howard H. Roberts, Jr. had these comments to share about the M’s report card:

“Looking at the results for the M, our customers are placing a strong emphasis on service reliability & communications. We appreciate this feedback, as it helps us decide how to allocate our resources as they become available.”

I will have a full breakdown & personal analysis of the M’s report card as soon as the MTA releases the information on their website.

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F & G Train Riders To Suffer A Lengthy Loss


Coney Island/Stillwell Ave. bound F train entering the Smith-9th Sts. station on the F & G. Resized photo courtesy of Eye On Transit

Yesterday’s edition of the Metro paper had a story sure to make riders on the F & G cringe. The MTA has announced that the Smith-9th Streets station will be closed up to 1 year as repairs made on the crumbling Culver Viaduct, which stretches over the Gowanus Canal. The repairs will also cause temporary platforms to be in use at the 4th Ave. station. No exact time frame has been given as to when the station will start being closed. Based on initial estimates, the initial guess is the closure will take up most of the year 2010.

Here are some comments about the project:

NYC Transit spokesperson Paul Fleuranges – “The bottom line is quite simple: The infrastructure work and system upgrades that comprise this project are necessary for the continued and future safe operation of the current F and G service.”

NYC Transit’s Connie Crawford – “We’ve talked to the community about that — they’re well aware. his is major, major work at that station.”

However Community Board 6 District Manager Craig Hammerman disagrees with Connie’s assessment which prompted him to say “We’ve jumped a step somewhere. We might have been blazed over. It would be an outrageous inconvenience.”

This is definitely a huge blow as that station is one of the most important stops the F makes in Brooklyn. I am sure local residents are not thrilled with this announcement. However I hope they understand that this is for everyone’s good & sometimes inconveniences are part of making things right.

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MTA Looks To Go Trick Or Treating With The State

The MTA is looking to get $338 million dollars from the state next year. The funds would be obtained from dedicated taxes from the state’s Mass Transit Operating Assistance Account. If history is any indication, the MTA shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for that amount if any to be given to them. Though the money is owed to the MTA, history has shown that the state has regularly raided the fund for non MTA related projects.

The MTA expects the state to hand over $169 million dollars in 2009 from the account. They also want a recurring $50 million from the legislature beginning in 2008 along with an annual $600 million in recurring state aid starting in 2010. MTA CEO Elliot Sander also hopes to get money from congestion pricing if the plan gets approved.

My opinion, good luck seeing a dime of the money you truly deserve!

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Subway Stabbing Victim Blames MTA

Yesterday afternoon I wrote an entry about a 51 year old woman who was stabbed at the 169th St. station on the F train. The victim we now know as Paula Jean Baptiste of Elmont, New York is thankful for 3 straphangers who helped her & the police lead to the arrest of 32 year old Hollis resident Matthew Corchado. However she is not extending her thanks to the MTA as she feels they are partially responsible for the attack taking place.

We now have details as to what exactly transpired during the attack. Mr. Corchado approached Paula at approximately 3:30 p.m. He told her that “You dropped something.”. She was suspicious of the claim but decided to take a peak anyway. When she saw nothing there, she said “No, I dropped nothing.” After she said this, he lunged at her & first stabbed her in the head. He followed that up by stabbing her in the shoulder. According to Paula, “He tried to kill me to get my bag.” She thought she would pass out but found it in her to fight him off. She went on to say; “I got strength and fought him. I screamed very hard and he let go.”

As she stood on the front steps of her home describing the attack, she offered praise to the two women who helped her after the altercation. She also wanted to thank the man who followed the suspect down the platform. However her next set of words were for the MTA & police who she feels fail to provide a sense of security inside the station. She feels more vigilance would have prevented the attack. She also offered this quote; “If there were police, then it would prevent it because he would be scared.”

As one would expect, this was not Mr. Corchado’s first run in with the law. His arrest for this attack was his third in the last 3 months. He was arrested 2 months ago for hitting a woman in the back of the head in Jamaica. 3 weeks after that, he was arrested for violating an order of protection set up for the woman who he hit in Jamaica. He went to a Queens Public Library where the victim was carrying a 4 inch pocket knife. He is currently being charged with attempted murder, attempted robbery, assault and criminal possession of a weapon for the attack on Paula Jean Baptiste.

The first question that jumps out at me is why was this guy walking our streets freely? Seriously if the signs weren’t there to tell you that he belongs behind bars, I don’t know if they will ever arrive!

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