Survey: NYC Subway Riders Can Actually Hear Announcements Instead Of “Grrblt, Shknamzbffft”

Anyone who’s ever found themselves speeding past their stop on New York’s subway system after a train has just unexpectedly gone express knows how infuriating it is to try and decipher conductors’ announcements. “Flllrtlelt brebrtltelt, gershafawq West 4th Sturble ka burble. Shlomf.” But finally, those garbled announcements are getting better, according to a new survey released today.

The Straphangers Campaign found  in its annual survey that 59% of subway announcements were rated “clear” and “accurate.” It’s the first time since 1997 that there’s been such a majority of clarity, notes the New York Post.

The numbers showed that the announcements did quite well for delays and disruptions between January and April, which means people actually had more of a chance to hightail it off a train about to go express instead of winding up in who knows where at what hour with no clue how to get home.

In a statement the MTA says:

“We continue to see improvements as the average age of our trains continues to decrease. Customers will see further improvements once we start taking delivery of the more than 300 new cars on order starting next year.”

There has to be a loser, however, and in this case it was the R train with only a 56%. The 7 wasn’t so hot either, with just 64% of announcements rated claer and accurate. The 4 train won the day with a 100% rating in the survey, with the L/N/Q and 6 and tied at second with 99%.

Sometimes no announcements were made at all — 14% of the time — even though the MTA requires immediate announcements of delays followed by a second announcement tow minutes later.

Last year only 51% of announcements were rated clear and accurate, so we’ll take the 8% boost and get home in a timely manner, thank you very much.

Subway announcements finally getting clearer: survey [New York Post]