Is the subway the best in the world?

I recently posted this on NYC Transit Forums; thought it would be interesting here as well. It’s a response to the question of whether or not the New York City Subway is the best rapid transit system in the world even though it’s not exactly the prettiest or nicest to use. I’d say that the … Continue reading

Manhattan’s missing cycle links

Let’s be honest, New York City is nowhere near the most bicycle friendly city in the US, let alone compared to some cycling meccas in Europe. Yet it’s rapidly making improvements, and once bikesharing comes to the city, things will radically change. Unfortunately, facilities for cyclists are very unevenly distributed, with much of Lower Manhattan, … Continue reading

Kick 1-0 Vignelli

Apart from confusion, rats, and the smell of stale urine, perhaps the most definable element of the subway system is its map. Having gone through a multitude of changes from three separate diagrams for the IRT, BMT, and IND to the unified version we see today, there is constant debate over how best to represent … Continue reading

At capacity with room to expand

A number of reports by the MTA, Straphangers Campaign, and other organizations claim that almost every line of the subway is at maximum capacity. While this is true, the subway system has much in the way of hidden capacity, even at rush hours. Although dependent on the amount of rolling stock, population growth, and other … Continue reading

Evolution of a MetroCard

As anyone travelling from Jersey City or Hoboken to somewhere outside of Lower Manhattan knows, using PATH and then the subway can be an irritating and expensive affair. Because both are operated by different agencies, the Port Authority and the MTA, users of both for a single trip must pay two fares. Compounded by the … Continue reading

A new revenue source

The MTA’s financial problems aren’t new. For decades, fares have had to increase while service has declined, a loss for all users. Part of this is that the agency simply cannot make a profit while its required expenditures increase faster than it can make money. Only so much money can be gained from fares and … Continue reading

Countdown clocks and after

It’s finally happened, almost all of the IRT (apart from the 7) has received countdown clocks and they’re working pretty well, with a hiccup every once and a while. They may be up to four years late and well over-budget, but they’re certainly a welcome improvement to New York’s unfortunately outdated system technology. That brings … Continue reading

Subway up, bus down, but why?

The following fact is making heads spin at the MTA’s headquarters: there were 1.6 billion subway and 696 million bus rides in 2010. Those numbers seem pretty high, and they are. However, a chronology of public transport ridership in New York City reveals something interesting. Compared to 2009, subway ridership is up 1.5% to the … Continue reading