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Study: Defective Signals Cause Majority Of Subway Delays

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority's outdated signals are a big problem for straphangers, as they cause 65 percent of subway delays, according to a new report from the Straphangers Campaign.

The report says the 2, 5 and N lines had the most signal-related delays, with 251 and 247 respective incidents last year.

The G, J, Z and B lines had the fewest signal-related delays.

The Straphangers Campaign analyzed 5,000 alerts sent through the MTA's email and text message system to compile the results of the report.

Some of the defective signals date back to 1932.

Gene Russianoff, the head of the Straphangers Campaign, told NY1 he saw the problem firsthand.

"We looked at signals in the West 4th Street station. I swear to god, they looked like the controls of the ship Titanic, and when I asked the dispatcher how she dealt with the 80-year-old signals, she said she tried to touch them as little as possible," said Russianoff.

Riders of the 2 and 5 trains at The Hub in the Bronx told NY1 they suffer through delays constantly and were not surprised by the report's analysis.

An MTA spokesman said the agency knows there are signal issues and that is why "signal upgrades remain a top priority and are a crucial part of the MTA capital program."

This was the first analysis of text and email alerts from the MTA, so the Straphangers Campaign plans to use these results as a baseline for studies in years to come. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP