Because so many of us in the five boroughs depend on the subway for day-to-day travel, it’s an important question. Recently, Andrew J. Guralnick, a master’s student at Baruch College who is also an intern at the Hearing Health Foundation (HHF), conducted a study to determine the answer. He gave his findings in this HHF blog post.
Based on a random sampling collected between January and August 2018 on platforms and in subway cars, the results show that decibel levels are well above the U.S. EPA-recommended safe level of 70 decibels. In fact, per Guralnick, “with maximum readings actually as high as 119 dB on platforms and 120 dB on rides — based on actual recorded data within the sample — the NYC subway is likely an auditory minefield.”