Canarise-Rockaway Park bound L train leaving the Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues station. Resized photo courtesy of Eye On Transit.
Well ladies & gentlemen, the first set of results are in from the 2008 Rider Report Card series. The first set of results are for the & lines. In this entry I will focus exclusively on the L which showed only a slight improvement from last year in terms of an overall grade. Last year the line finished with an overall grade of a C. This year, riders gave it a C+. You know the drill so lets get to the details!
I will start with part of the press release that the MTA just sent out via e-mail:
L Canarsie Line riders’ “C-Plus” grade for overall service was an improvement when compared with the “C” grade they gave the line in 2007. This year, 2,216 riders graded service, 2,118 by mail and 98 via the Internet; that’s compared with the 4,033 responses received in 2007. Riders graded “Minimal delays during trips” a “C” this year compared to “C-minus” in 2007. “Reasonable wait times for trains” improved from a “C” in 2007 to “C-plus” in 2008. “Cleanliness of stations” went from a “C-minus” to a “C-plus” in 2008, while “Cleanliness of subway cars” scored a “B-minus,” which was up from the “C-plus” grade it received in 2007. Canarsie line riders graded “Station announcements that are easy to hear” “C-plus” this time around, up from “C”, and “Station announcements that are informative” jumped from a “C-minus” last year to “C-plus” in 2008. However, “Adequate room on board at rush hour” remained unchanged with a “D” grade.
“I am pleased that Canarsie Line riders have noticed the effort put in by Line General Manager Greg Lombardi and his team to improve the service they receive,” said NYC Transit President Howard H. Roberts, Jr.
Riders were also asked to prioritize what improvements they’d like to see made to service. As was the case last year, the top three improvements in order are “Adequate room on board during rush hour,” Minimal delays during trips” and “Reasonable wait times for trains.”
Here are the top 10 priorities according to riders; Their 2007 priority rank will be in ( ):
01. Adequate room on board at rush hour (1)
02. Minimal delays during trips (2)
03. Reasonable wait times for trains (3)
04. Sense of security in stations (5)
05. Sense of security on trains (6)
06. Cleanliness of stations (4)
07. Comfortable temperature in subway cars (14)
08. Courtesy and helpfulness of station personnel (9)
09. Station announcements that are easy to hear (7)
10. Train announcements that are easy to hear (10)
Now here is the graded breakdown for all 21 categories; Their 2007 grade will be in ( ):
01. Minimal delays during trips C (C-)
02. Reasonable wait times for trains C+ (C)
03. Adequate room on board at rush hour D (D)
04. Sense of security in stations C+ (C+)
05. Sense of security on trains C+ (C+)
06. Working elevators and escalators in stations C (C-)
07. Signs in stations that help riders find their way B- (C+)
08. Signs in subway cars that help riders find their way B- (B-)
09. Cleanliness of stations C+ (C-)
10. Cleanliness of subway cars B- (C+)
11. Station announcements that are easy to hear C+ (C)
12. Station announcements that are informative C+ (C-)
13. Train announcements that are easy to hear C+ (C)
14. Train announcements that are informative C+ (C)
15. Lack of graffiti in stations B- (C+)
16. Lack of graffiti in subway cars B (B-)
17. Lack of scratchitti in subway cars B- (C+)
18. Courtesy and helpfulness of station personnel C+ (C)
19. Comfortable temperature in subway cars B- (B-)
20. Ease of use of subway turnstiles B- (B-)
21. Availability of MetroCard Vending Machines B- (B-)
I have to question how the line showed an improvement on the grade when you really look at the actual sentiment being shared in the grading. Lets first look at the priority grading. Compared to last year, the top 3 priorities are exactly the same including the actual order of them. Those 3 priorities are arguably the most important in terms of determining how service is on the line. When these priorities continue to be just that, I do not see how this warrants the line being improved overall which is what the grade indicates even if it is in the slightest manner.
When you further look at it, the sense of security in the train & on the platform waiting rose one spot each. While this was not a huge jump, it is cause for some concern if you ask me. Maybe more officers need to be deployed throughout the line to see what can be done to provide a safer environment.
New York City Transit can take some solace in knowing their cleanup efforts are making somewhat of a difference on the line since the priority dropped a few places. However can we assume that the huge jump from 14 to 7 is an alarming sign in terms of temperature comfort inside the cars itself. The fleet is running newer model cars & one would think that this would not be an issue. I wish riders were able to spell out why they feel uncomfortable temperature wise inside the car. Is it a seasonal or year round issue? If I were the agency, I would find a way to get answers to this question.
In terms of overall grades, the top 2 priorities showed only a slight improvement while the 3rd remained the same from last year. Overall 14 of the 21 categories showed improvement. Even with saying this I still question how the grade rose. I will always feel the top 3 priorities listed are the most important.
The results are clearly skewed for the line when certain categories like MetroCard machine availability & ease of use of subway turnstiles continue to give out free grade boosts. Also could somewhere share how car temperature was the 7th highest priority for riders while it graded out a B-? This makes absolutely no sense & begs to question how serious some took these report cards when filling them out.
xoxo Transit Blogger