Why New York Subway Wait Times Are Longer Than Ever
“We are now seeing the real-life results of what the pandemic will continue to mean for cyclists in terms of delays and longer trips,” Ms. Daglian said.
Danny Pearlstein, spokesperson for Riders Alliance, a grassroots rights group, said complaints about longer journeys and waiting times on the subway have dramatically increased among passengers, even overshadowing concerns recent reports on metro crime. He added that some passengers have told stories of waiting half an hour for a train.
“This is a real crisis because people who see a train arriving every 20 to 30 minutes will be much less likely to take the train,” said Pearlstein. “It couldn’t have come at a worse time as the city is opening up and people wanting to move. New York’s takeover relies on public transportation.
Home health aide Carolyn Holman, 42, said subway service had become so inconsistent she would switch to Uber if she could afford it. She even considered walking about 50 blocks to work in Upper Manhattan because she thinks she can get there faster. “It’s frustrating,” she said.
The bulk of the vacancies among train operators, conductors and signal tower operators are the result of more than 300 retirements since the start of the pandemic, many of whom have been motivated by concerns about the exposure to the virus, said Eric Loegel, vice president of rapid transit operations for Local 100 of the Transit Workers Union, which represents transit workers.
“We are far from having replaced these 300 retirees and more,” he said.
As the MTA is hiring new workers, Mr Crichlow said it was focusing on high priority positions, including train operators and drivers. Salaries start at $ 36.48 per hour for train operators and $ 23.67 per hour for train drivers.
Andrew Rein, chairman of the Citizens Budget Commission, a government watchdog group, said the staff shortage underscored the importance of the MTA finding ways to operate more efficiently.