We're Really Freaking Happy With the Subway, Apparently
Despite our own Steven Thrasher's harrowing experience on a smoke-filled 4 train last night, the MTA believes that we are mostly happier with New York City transit than we used to be (and apparently we do, too). According to the results of their just-released 2011 Customer Satisfaction Survey, we're more satisfied with subways and buses, though less so with railroad service (particularly the New Haven Line and the LIRR), due to service disruptions on account of weather (blizzards and such) and an Amtrak derailment in May.
Amazingly, 84 percent of subway customers said they were satisfied with the "the overall comfort and convenience of using the subway, up six percentage points from last year." We were also happier with the temperatures on the trains (this survey was taken in June). Other things we liked: countdown clocks (when they're accurate!), getting information about planned service changes (when we can hear and understand it!), safety and security (when we're not stuck under the East River inhaling smoke or getting our iPhone stolen!), service frequency and reliability (when we don't have to wait!), and cleanliness of cars (when there are no rats!). We liked bus service a bit better, too, in terms of frequency, speeds, reliability, and wait time.
Although this survey might seem to indicate we are a bunch of easy-to-please Pollyanna commuters, that is simply not the case! We are still very irritated with the L train, for instance. Oh, except the MTA has formalized plans to improve that, too. In fact, "the MTA uses the information learned from the survey to focus resources on areas that need improvement."
You know what's really annoying? When you can't legitimately complain about your commute anymore. Fortunately, we're not quite there yet. Thank god, because THAT would be dreary! Get off our train, you yoga-doing jerk.