imageStudents react to surge in MTA ridership Text, photo and infographic by Tiffany McKay

Does the subway feel crowded? It should. A recent report from the MTA reveals that more and more people are riding the train.

From 2014 to 2015, annual ridership increased to over 1.7 billion, the highest figures since 1948.  And on 49 weekdays last year, 6 billion riders packed onto the trains. Manhattan experienced about a 1 percent increase in ridership — and with it an increase in delays and lack of breathing space on the subway platforms and trains.

As the weather gets warmer, our campus full of commuters students are feeling the squeeze.

Akasha Solis, a double major in international studies and political science, says that the train delays affect her ability to get to class on time. In this semester alone, she has been late to class about 8 or 9 times due to delays during her commute from Westchester. “I had to wait 35 minutes for the one train and then they switched it to another track and they didn’t tell us,” she explained. “One time I was 45 minutes late so I only caught the last 15 minutes of class.”

Sayed Jamal, 19, says that the unreliability of the subway system has made him late as well. “The train made me late to my exam,” said Jamal who travels from Queens.

Kevin Kuang, senior in psychology, treks it to campus from Coney Island in Brooklyn and can recall the many times the B train has made him late. “I’ll be on the middle of the bridge for maybe 20 minutes.” he said. “The train delay easily made me late about 5 times in the beginning of the semester. I’ve been late to quizzes.”

What can we do to avoid the chaos? Virtually nothing. Just leave home a little earlier, hope that the stars align and in a crowded train, be ready to bob and weave, if necessary. Try apps like Transit and Citymapper or refer to the MTA website for train and bus times.

May the odds ever be in your favor.

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