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Transportation

Overcrowding Is Not the New York Subway's Problem

Yes, the trains are packed. But don’t blame the victims of the city’s transit meltdown.
The MTA claims overcrowdedness is causing delays. But what's causing overcrowdedness?
The MTA claims overcrowdedness is causing delays. But what's causing overcrowdedness?Bebeto Matthews/AP Photo

The New York City Subway, scoliotic backbone of the country’s most powerful urban economy, is snapping. On-time performance has dropped from 85 percent in 2011 to 63 percent today. A dissection of the issue in today’s New York Times shows that trend hitting every subway line over the past 10 years, with only a handful of routes running with on-time rates above 70 percent.

What gives? The system’s antiquated signals are one culprit, a systemic issue that the Times has investigated in depth. But decrepit technology isn’t the main issue, according to the article: