It's not really a surprise that the NYC Transit Authority found that only 17% of the NYC subway stations had audible delay announcements - if the NYCTA stood on the platform every once in a while, they'd know (especially during rush hour). But they got official and issued findings from a study during the second part of 2005. AM New York has the stats:

-17% understandable
-17% partially understandable
-31% marginally understandable
-35% not understandable
-90% subway cars with public address announcements

The NYCTA tried to cover its butt by saying the study was only a partial study, but really, we think any commuter would be able to weigh in on how the PA system is just terrible - on the platform, on the train, everywhere. However, there are some riders who just don't pay attention to announcements - think iPod users. But this is a nice complement to the Straphanger's recent survey about how train announcements are pretty bad.

The real dumb comment, though, from the NYCTA about the issues with a PA system was this one from spokesman Paul Fleuranges: "If you see smoke on the platform you are not going to stand there and wait. If there is a real emergency situation, people are going to know on their own, or our people will get them out. It's not really an issue of a public address system." Uh, what if there's a fire on a track on another level - the people up or downstairs or going to have to wait to see smoke to know to leave?

And in other subway news, the Daily News says that TWU President Roger Toussaint won't be charged for the subway strike. However, the Attorney General is looking to stop the automatic deduction of union dues from paychecks, which is a considerable amount of the TWU's revenue.

Photograph by Tien Mao