NYCTRC Research Reports
The PCAC and councils regularly undertake research studies and projects on issues of important to MTA commuters.

100 Days & 100 Nights: From Astoria to Lower Manhattan and Back PDF : The New York City Transit Riders Council (NYCTRC) report, 100 Days and 100 Nights, documents a daily commute from Astoria to Lower Manhattan to better understand the true rider experience. For more than 200 AM and PM peak hour trips, our rider recorded many of the same frustrations seen every day throughout the system – delays caused by signal problems and slow track speeds, and overcrowding on trains, platforms and stairwells.

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Freedom Ticket: Atlantic Branch Analysis (2017) PDF : Freedom Ticket is a three-phased program that will reduce the city commuter rail fare and provide a free transfer to NYC Transit subways and buses. ​In Phase 1, Freedom Ticket would allow South East Queens and Brooklyn riders to use the LIRR for a reduced rate and provide a free transfer to NYC transit subways and buses. One-way travel times could be reduced from two hours to only 32 minutes.

Freedom Ticket: Southeast Queens Proof of Concept (2015) PDF : The New York City Transit Riders Council (NYCTRC) is concerned with the speed and cost of commuting to and from Southeast Queens. SE Queens commuters can get to Manhattan and Brooklyn quickly on the LIRR, but the cost of the commuter ticket is unaffordable for many. Our Freedom Ticket: Southeast Queens Proof of Concept proposal to the MTA can be implemented quickly in 2017 at minimal cost, enabling the LIRR to fill current empty seats. The project can then be expanded to other city commuter rail stations that are distant from subway stations.


Every Which Way But Direct! (2014) PDF : A review of NYCT subway service diversion communication.

Bridging the Gap (2013) PDF : The NYCTRC’s analysis examines how accessible New York City Transit’s accessible subway platforms are for wheelchair users and assesses four issues that undermine the efforts of wheelchair users to successfully use New York City’s subways. The NYCTRC hopes that by highlighting these issues and recommendations, NYC Transit will improve the accessibility of the subway system and instill confidence in wheelchair users that the subway system is a safe and efficient way to travel.

False Alarm (2010) PDF : The NYCTRC monitored locations in the subways with access gates to gauge the degree of improper use of emergency exit gates in the system in the summer of 2010.

Don’t Count on It (2010) PDF : In order to test the perception that weekend subway service affected by system maintenance, repair, and construction projects is significantly less frequent and more variable than schedules and service advisories indicate, in the fall of 2009 the NYCTRC conducted a limited survey of service on lines where NYC Transit was implementing temporary weekend service changes.

Unwelcome Mats: New York’s Subway Stations in Disrepair (2008) PDF : The NYCTRC first conducted its own survey of subway station conditions in 1994. A second survey was done in 2004. This report is the result of the most recent survey done in 2007 and 2008. The Council survey serves as an independent assessment of station conditions and incorporates rating definitions and criteria not included in the surveys done by NYCT.

Waiting and Watching (2007) PDF : Results of the New York City Transit Riders Council Bus Service and Destination Signage Survey. In this project, the NYCTRC addressed the problems of bus bunching and unacceptable waiting times between buses. In this survey, the Council members collected arrival and departure times for each bus observed at a survey point. This information allowed us to calculate headways for most of the bus runs observed and to make comparisons between actual and scheduled headways, which was used as an indicator of correct spacing of buses.

Hit or Miss (2004) PDF : A Survey of New York City’s subway stations. While it is doubtful that bus and subway customers would rate NYC Transit facilities as highly as NYC Transit does, it is clear that Transit’s critical eye has been sharpened when evaluating itself. When the Council’s stations survey was first undertaken in 1994, Transit Passenger Environment Survey (PES) scores, as reported, were too good to be true. Nearly half of the 27  indicators (49%) scored 98, 99 or 100%. In the most recent PES (fourth quarter 2003), only 4 (20%) indicators scored 98%.

Troubling Signs PDF : A Signage Survey of the New York City Subway System. The objective of the 2002 New York City Transit Riders Council survey was to determine whether New York City Transit is doing a poor, adequate or excellent job in communicating all service, transfers, and hours of service through their signage program. The study also compared the condition of subway station signage in 2002 to that of 1997 to identify where improvements have been made and where they are needed.

Reopening Closed Subway Entrances (2001) PDF : The NYTRC performed a survey of subway entrance to determine which could be reopened with high entry/ exit turnstiles.

Timing is Everything (2000) PDF : Although ridership stands at a 30-year high, service levels do not. As more riders compete for limited space, the Transit Riders Council is concerned that unacceptable gaps in scheduled service may be on the rise. Therefore, we decided to perform a new service reliability study for 2000.

Analysis of Alternative Fuel Technologies for NYCT Buses (2000) PDF : Based on these considerations, the Transit Riders Council recommends that NYCT not adopt an all-CNG policy. The agency, though, can improve its bus program in some respects. The Council shares the concerns of environmental advocates about the large diesel bus component of the upcoming capital plan.

Not Going Your Way (1999): A study of New York City Transit’s service diversion notices.

Destination Unknown: Bus Stop Signage Survey (1998) PDF : In response to numerous errors identified on the new signs by TRC members and staff, and complaints received by the TRC from members of the public, the Council undertook a random survey of 286 of these signs. The survey found widespread inaccuracies, some of which are statistically significant, in destination information, Guide-A-Ride listings, and panel color-coding for Limited routes. The study also found a total lack of Hours-of-Operation information for NYC Transit Express bus routes, and several instances of incorrectly sited signposts.