I am a tech guy so of course in part one of my Tube vs Subway showdown i was going to talk about Payment systems. In Part 2 I focus on reliability or how bad can a system get. Let’s find out.

The New York City subway is not what most people would call reliable. I remember countless mornings where I would take the local train after dropping the kids at school because the express train was taking as long or longer. On the local I would at least get a seat. Other times I would count 5 to 7 trains in one direction before the train I needed showed up. This was in Penn Station and not some remote location mind you. In many other cases sitting in a tunnel for 30 to 45 minutes with no explanation as to why. Then doing that again the next day. And again a few days later. This was a regular thing when living in Forest Hills. Hopefully for those not living in New York you get the point. The subway is slow, and prone to incidents. How can anyone explain to me why an express train regularly is slower or maybe equal to a local when the express skips 5 stops?

Besides the delays there was the construction. When I lived in Long Island city for 8 to 12 weeks of winter I wouldn’t have a train on the weekend direction. That might not fall under reliability category however it wasn’t available when I wanted it so….. I also know that the underground may be similar in that there are sections that get shutdown for construction. Thankfully for now i have not experienced this.

Local friends in London have said I should be wary of the underground with regards to service and reliability. We were looking for a house in November we had to radically change our plans to get to the airport because one of the underground lines was down. Besides that incident and a few other minor ones I have not had as many issues as in NY. I cannot stress enough how regular the issues were in NY. In London so far the train arrival time boards seem relatively accurate. I just don’t feel like I’m stuck in a tunnel as much on the underground.

One area unreliability that I do have an issue with the underground is strikes. For this arbitrary comparison i will put strikes in the reliability category. Twice so far I’ve been living here.DLR has not been running for a few days due to strikes. I’ve also experienced an underground strike when I was here for business a few years ago. I will say this that the strikes are relatively orderly. They are pretty frequent compared to the New York City subway. The subway on the other hand does not strike very often. When it does it’s terrible. You also don’t know when it will end.

Score another one for the underground. It’s just more reliable. This isn’t even a close one.

That is it for Part 2 of my Underground vs Subway showdown. In Part 3 I talk about all of you people when I complain, um I mean compare the crowds in each system.

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