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June 26, 2007

NYC Transit Authority releases sobering data, contradicting figures used to justify Atlantic Yards

The big news today is that subways are overcrowded — as if New Yorkers couldn't tell — and it's going to get worse before it gets better.

The articles in the daily papers didn't mention the possible implications of the massive new developments all around Brooklyn, including the Atlantic Yards, but Norman Oder of Atlantic Yards Report had something to say.

The NY Times, Some Subways Found Packed Past Capacity

In an unusually candid effort at self-examination for a habitually insular agency, New York City Transit yesterday presented what could be called an index of straphanger frustration. It made an analysis of each subway line that shows at a glance how often trains run late, how crowded they are and whether more trains could be added to ease the problems.

What is revealed is both predictable and eye-opening. Many subway lines are simply maxed out, meaning there is no room on the tracks they use to add trains that could carry the swelling numbers of riders. And that has implications that range from day-to-day decisions about how trains travel through the system to long-term planning on how to best move people around a growing city.

MetroNY, Subway crush

Adding more cars to trains and extending station platforms could alleviate pressure. But that takes money the MTA doesn’t have, said Roberts, and one potential funding solution — congestion pricing — could exacerbate the problem in the short run, especially if diverted drivers choose to take trains on already overcrowded lines.

“There’s no room in the inn,” Roberts explained, before pointing out that other busy lines, such as the C and the 7, can still accommodate new riders. But that does mean the MTA would have to rely on buses to meet the increased demands caused by congestion pricing. “If all those cars don’t come in, there will be more room for the buses,” Roberts said.

amNewYork, Transit head: No quick fix for overcrowding

The [transit] authority has gathered engineers to brainstorm ways to ease overcrowding on the No. 2 and 3 lines, as well as the notorious Lexington Line, which is served by the No. 4, 5 and 6 trains.

TA officials realized that the lines are too overwhelmed after a study completed in April.

The overcrowded lines cannot fit any more trains on the tracks to help with packed cars during the busiest hour of the day, according to April statistics the TA released Monday. And the No. 2, 3, 4 and 5 lines had the most delays systemwide in April.

Atlantic Yards Report, NYCT contradicts ESDC, saying subways are too crowded
Norman Oder ties in the latest news to the little we do know about Atlantic Yards, which, after yesterday's revelations, isn't much:

Contrast [the NY City Transit Authority's conclusions] with the sunny predictions of the Empire State Development Corporation in its Atlantic Yards environmental review, predictions that were criticized again and again by transportation analysts Brian Ketcham and Carolyn Konheim.

From the Atlantic Yards Final Environmental Impact Statement (Response 13-2):

The DEIS includes a detailed subway line haul analysis based on 2005 NYCT passenger counts that show that all subway routes serving the project site would continue to operate below capacity in the peak direction in the AM and PM peak hours at their maximum load points in both the 2010 and the 2016 future with the proposed project.

Apparently the statistics were a little bit out of date.

Posted by lumi at June 26, 2007 7:50 AM