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A new study shows exactly how the subway is ruining the lives of New Yorkers

Written by
Clayton Guse

New Yorkers have had their fair share of subway struggles in 2017. From derailments to increased fares to abysmal on-time rates, commuting on the city's primary transit system has been a bit of a crapshoot this year.

Beyond mental aggravation, subway delays take a major toll on the day-to-day lives of residents across the city. A new survey from the office of New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer looked into exactly how the decline in subway service has impacted New Yorkers, and the results should come as no surprise to straphangers.

The survey queried 1,227 subway riders across 143 stations during a two-week period in June, asking poignant questions about how crummy subway service affects their quality of life. The study found that delays in the system caused 74 of the respondents who were employed to be late for a work meeting, 18 percent of whom were reprimanded. On top of that, 22 percent of those surveyed said that poor service had caused them to be late for a job interview, and two percent said that delays caused them to be fired altogether.

What's more, the study suggests that subway delays disproportionately affect parents and low-income New Yorkers. More than 60 percent of parents surveyed said that they had been late to pick up, drop off or attend a child's function over the previous three months as a result of delays. Residents who reside in zip codes with average incomes below the city average for a three-person household ($62,150) were 14 percent more likely to be reprimanded at work due to a delay. 

The results of the survey are pretty telling but ought to be taken with a grain of salt. The study's methodology includes no form of fact checking when it comes to if—or why—the respondents's lives were actually negatively impacted. It does, however, paint a pretty harrowing picture of what happens when the quality of New York City subway service starts to go down the toilet.

The MTA is on pace to see nearly 900,000 subway train delays in 2017, an increase of more than 250 percent compared to 2012. Unless something amazing comes out of Governor Andrew Cuomo's Genius Transit Challenge, New Yorkers shouldn't expect that figure to drop anytime soon.

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