Subway delays could cost businesses, employees nearly $400m annually: audit

NEW YORK — Delayed subways could cost workers and businesses nearly $400 million annually, a new analysis found.

The report from New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, which drew from a survey of riders and looked at various scenarios with minor and longer delays, found that nearly 75 percent of commuters had been late to work because of subway delays over a three month period. It showed that the annual economic impact of subway delays ranged from $170.2 million to $389 million dollars.

"What these new numbers show is that the cost of inaction is greater than the cost of action; that subway delays take a massive toll on our economy," Stringer said. "We need to fix our subways both to improve quality of life and our economy. This isn’t a choice – it’s a must."

The study used average salary data from the took the Bureau of Labor Statistics to calculate costs: each hour lost is worth $34, the average hourly wage in New York City.

Delays on the 4, 5, 7, F and A lines are the most costly, the study found. Stalled trains on those lines cost $140 million a year combined using worst-case scenario delay data.  The 'Summer of Hell' could fade into a 'Fall of Frustration,' Stringer warned.

"Our subway system is the backbone to our economy," Stringer said. "That means with every delay, there aren’t just lives affected – there’s an economic consequence.”

An MTA spokesperson shared the following statement with PIX11:  "As the City economy continues to grow and outpace the nation which is due largely to our unparalleled mass transit network, we appreciate the Comptroller’s support of Chairman Lhota's Subway Action Plan and his call for City Hall to commit to paying its fair share to implement the Plan.”‎