During Delays, Subway Announcements Mostly Garbled, Wrong

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Attention riders: About 80 percent of basic subway announcements are clear and accurate.  But if there's a delay our route change, you have a 1 in 2 shot of getting any information, a new Straphangers report said.

The survey was conducted between Feb. 3 and July 11, 2009. Surveyors made observations of in-car announcement opportunities on 22 lines.

The news wasn't all positive. In 55 percent of delays and disruptions, ths either no announcement or an inaudible or incorrect one. 

Announcements were not made at all 26% of the time, 2% were inaudible or garbled, and 27% were rated “incorrect.” These were meaningless announcements that “we have a red signal,” ones lacking key information such as, “This local is now an express” (with no explanation), or ones with jargon such as, “We have a schedule adjustment," the report said.

The 4, 5, 6, L, M and N lines have the best announcements. The D, G and 7 performed the worst.

Transit guidelines require conductors to make basic, in-car announcements, including station name and any transfer points.

“Poor announcements can mean missed stops, longer trips and a lot more stress,” said Jason Chin-Fatt, field organizer for the Campaign.

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