MTA Press Releases

Press Release
May 19, 2019
MTA Announces Continued and Dramatic Improvements in Service on Subways – At 79.8%, Best On-Time Performance in Over Five Years

Subway On-Time Performance Was 79.8%, the Highest Since October 2013; Weekday Trains Delayed Decreased 35% Compared to Last April, Reaching the Lowest Level Since December 2013

The Average Weekday Commuter Spent 34 Fewer Seconds on the Train and Platform Per Trip, This April Compared to Last

Long Island Rail Road Also Saw Major Improvements – On-Time Performance for April Reached its Highest Level Since October 2012: 95.3%

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced new statistics showing the continued dramatic improvements in NYC Subway performance, with the highest on-time performance numbers in more than half a decade, showing that the Subway Action Plan – passed by Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State Legislature - and Transit’s Save Safe Seconds campaign are working. The full datasets can be found here, starting on page 26.

“Month after month we’re making progress in giving our customers the system they deserve, allowing them to spend less time in transit and more time with family, friends, and at their careers,” said Patrick Foye, Chairman and CEO of the MTA. “With an extraordinarily able team heading our agencies, a dedicated and talented workforce, and substantial investment from the state and city through the Subway Action Plan, we’re seeing real improvements – and know that we still have a long way to go.”

“I am hugely encouraged by the sustained improvements we’ve had month over month, to the point that we are now at a performance high of nearly six years,” NYC Transit President Andy Byford said. “These improvements were achieved thanks to our intense focus on investments in the system and improving on the basics through the Subway Action Plan and the Save Safe Seconds campaign, and through the dedication of our 50,000-person workforce. Despite these gains, I believe the best is yet to come as we continue to improve our operations, re-signal our system, and improve our decades old infrastructure.”

New York City Subway

Subway on-time performance (OTP) for April reached its highest level since October 2013: 79.8%. Major incidents continue to decline steadily, while customer-focused performance numbers are also pointing higher, and track debris fires have significantly decreased.

In addition to near-80% on-time performance on the subway, weekday Major Incidents decreased 32% from last April, matching the fewest since measurement began in 2015. Furthermore, Weekday Delays decreased 35% from last April, reaching the lowest level since December 2013. Positive numbers were also realized in NYC Transit's customer-focused metrics, including Service Delivered, Additional Platform Time, Additional Train Time, and Customer Journey Time Performance, as all metrics were better than one year ago and better over the past 12 months compared to the prior 12 months. Most notably, Additional Train Time – the average additional unanticipated time customers spend onboard the train due to various service issues – dropped to a new low of 53 seconds. Customer Journey Time Performance for April was 83.5%, the highest since August 2016, and Service Delivered, or the ability to deliver the service that’s scheduled, reached a new high of 97%.

Another contributing factor to the reduction in subway delays has been the significant progress made in reducing track debris fires, which are significantly down since NYC Transit started attacking this problem with new equipment in 2017. This has included clearing debris at an unprecedented rate using new platform-based mobile vacs, and vacuum trains that move around the system picking up trash. Year-to-date, track debris fires have dropped by 52 incidents compared to 2018, to 81 from 133, and over the last 12 months, track debris fires dropped by 128 incidents from the prior 12 months, to 289 from 417.

Long Island Rail Road

LIRR on-time performance for April reached its highest level since October 2012, approximately 95.3%. So far in 2019, LIRR on-time performance is 93.7%, four percentage points above this point last year, translating to 1,645 more on-time trains operating in the first four months of 2019 compared to the year before.

Further improving conditions for LIRR customers by reducing crowding and the need to stand inside a train, the number of LIRR trains that operated with fewer cars than normal has tumbled 21.4%, with 285 fewer trains operating short so far in 2019. The falling number of short trains is an indication of increased mechanical reliability of the LIRR’s fleet, and a testament to the hard work performed by the LIRR’s equipment maintenance staff. The mean distance between failures on LIRR trains also improved recently. In March, the most recent month for which data is available, the LIRR’s train cars logged an average of 208,687 miles before experiencing a mechanical failure, an improvement of 1.2% over a year ago.

Full datasets can be found here, starting on page 149.

Metro-North Railroad

Metro-North Railroad’s on-time performance in 2019 so far hasbeen 95.7%, 2.1 percentage points higher than the same period last year. The number of trains the railroad had to cancel or terminate mid-run has been reduced by 74% this year, and the railroad has reduced the number of trains delayed more than 15 minutes by 50%.

Full datasets can be found here, starting on page 196.