Today’s news:

MTA study reveals straphangers approve of subways, but not LIRR

TimesLedger Newspapers

The MTA says 84 percent of straphangers are content with subway service, although commuter satisfaction with the Long Island Rail Road declined.

The annual Metropolitan Transportation Authority survey indicated that overall satisfaction with buses and subways increased over the past year.

“Satisfaction on the railroads was adversely impacted by weather-related disruptions and other external factors,” the MTA said.

The survey was conducted in June.

“Countdown clocks appear to be having a positive impact on the overall customer experience,” the survey said.

“Customers using stations with countdown clocks rated 54 attributes more highly than customers at stations without the clocks,” the MTA said, and 96 percent of customers reported satisfaction with clocks.

Customer satisfaction with information about planned service changes rose to 76 percent this year from 69 percent in 2010, the MTA said.

Overall satisfaction with local bus service increased to 70 percent from 62 percent last year.

Bus customers reported increased satisfaction in overall service availability, service frequency, bus speed, wait time, service reliability and predictability of travel time.

On the LIRR, however, customer satisfaction declined from 89 percent to 78 percent. Courtesy and responsiveness of LIRR employees stayed at a high rating of 90 percent, only one point down from last year.

On MTA Bridges and Tunnels, satisfaction with the availability of information improved by 15 percent to 82 percent and customer satisfaction with e-mail alerts rose 12 percent to 74 percent.

In other transit news:

• The MTA has launched a 60-day experiment in which garbage receptacles are being removed from subway stations in the struggle against rats. Transit officials said the experiment into whether straphangers will leave their trash above ground began at Flushing-Main Street in Queens and an R station in Manhattan.

• The city Taxi & Limousine Commission is cracking down on taxi drivers who honk for no reason. Cabbies could be fined $350 for what the agency deems illegal honking. Commissioner David Yassky sent a message reminding taxi drivers that honking is illegal “except when warning of imminent danger.”

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at timesledgernews@cnglocal.com or phone at 718-260-4536.

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