Breakdowns and overcrowding plague NYC subways

- Transit experts say the New York City subway problems date back to 2010 when the MTA cut the budget, service, and maintenance. That has led to overcrowding and subway breakdowns.

Even as MTA ridership reaches record levels, the number of subway car breakdowns is on the rise taking trains out of commission. In some cases, that cuts the capacity to move tens of thousands of passengers during rush hours.

Based on a New York Times analysis of the MTA's own numbers, so many trains are breaking down that the MTA is unable to keep up with its train schedule. One example: the 4, 5, 6 lines at Grand Central were found to be running morning rush hours with 14 percent fewer trains. And it's not just about reliability or overcrowded platforms.

Ellyn Shannon of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA said these problems also have an impact on safety and the economy.

The MTA acknowledged its schedules aren't being met but said overcrowding is leading to more breakdowns. The MTA has decided to space out working trains rather than stick to a schedule. But some riders said to Fox 5 that with the existing trains already packed, what is the point?

The question here is how the MTA sees these numbers. Inside the agency, there is a growing sense of urgency about the crisis.

What will be done about it? That remains to be seen.

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