There’s No Room on the N

The subway overcrowding problem is “scary,” according to MTA president Howard Roberts in the Times yesterday. The MTA is several years from building a solution to the problem, so the ever-expanding pool of subway riders will just have to deal.

“It’s bad news,” Roberts said. “There’s no room at the inn.”

Making matters worse is Mayor Bloomberg’s plans to charge motorists for driving into Manhattan. And if you think that will only affect the subway situation, look for substantially more riders on the commuter trains as well.

Reporter William Neuman unearthed this subway tidbit: Transit agency guidelines state that each rider is entitled to a three-square foot space to stand in. Mention that next time someone’s armpit has snuck into your cocoon.

The Times also shows which subways are the most tardy. The 4 came in last with 83% on time performance, while the 5 wasn’t much better (87%).

At the other end of the spectrum, the J-M-Z line clocked in at 99% on time.

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