TRANSPORTATION: SUBWAY : COUNTRIES: UNITED STATES: CITIES: NEW YORK, NEW YORK : POPULATION: GROWTH : DEMOGRAPHICS: Surge in Ridership Pushes New York Subway to Limit

David P. Dillard
 

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TRANSPORTATION: SUBWAY :

COUNTRIES: UNITED STATES: CITIES: NEW YORK, NEW YORK :

POPULATION: GROWTH :

DEMOGRAPHICS:

Surge in Ridership Pushes New York Subway to Limit

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Surge in Ridership Pushes New York Subway to Limit

Emma G. Fitzsimmons

Tuesday, 3 May 2016 | 9:51 AM ET

CNBC

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/03/ surge-in-ridership-pushes-new-york-subway-to-limit.html

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/hb5z3cr

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For New Yorkers who rely on the 86th Street subway station on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the morning commute is a humbling experience. An endless stream of people funnel onto the platforms. Trains arrive with a wall of humanity already blocking the doorways.

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As No. 6 trains pull into the upper level of the station, riders scan for an opening and, if they can, squeeze in for a suffocating ride downtown.

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"You can wait four or five subways to get on, and you're just smushed," Cynthia Hallenbeck, the chief financial officer at a nonprofit, said before boarding a train on a recent morning.

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The Lexington Avenue line is the most crowded in the system, but subway riders across New York City are finding themselves on platforms and trains that are beyond crowded. L train stations in Brooklyn are routinely overwhelmed. In Queens, No. 7 train riders regularly endure packed conditions.

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Subway use, now at nearly 1.8 billion rides a year, has not been this high since 1948, when the fare was a nickel and the Dodgers were still almost a decade away from leaving Brooklyn. Today, train delays are rising, and even a hiccup like a sick passenger or a signal malfunction can inundate stations with passengers.

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Delays caused by overcrowding have quadrupled since 2012 to more than 20,000 each month, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

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The crowded trains can make for tense commutes, contributing to an uptick in assaults among disgruntled passengers, the transit police say. With crowds lining the platform edge, some riders and train operators worry that someone could fall onto the tracks.

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And with summer approaching, the imposed intimacy will soon be even less welcome, as platform temperatures climb into the 80s and 90s.

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"In terms of physical discomfort and feeling that life stinks in the subway, this is the No. 1 culprit," said Gene Russianoff, the longtime leader of the Straphangers Campaign, a rider advocacy group.



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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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