Subway riders face longer waits this summer

February 24, 2009 4:09:09 PM PST
Starting in June, about two million subway riders will have some extra time to wait on the platform.

Jamal King of Brooklyn already dreads the weekends, waiting up to an hour for the Q to come.

"I have to get out of the house so early. Waiting for the Q is the worst, he said.

MTA says it has a plan to make things better on lines like the Q and R.

"Rather than kidding ourselves or anybody else, it's now telling everybody this is going to be as long as we're fixing the trains," Dale Hemmerdinger of MTA said.

Crews typically perform track work on Saturday and Sunday. Officials say doing so means they can't run the number of trains listed on the schedule.

So, this spring they'll change the schedule on 10 lines to reflect when trains are actually coming and going.

The end result is fewer trains and, on average, an additional 2 minute wait.

"I think communication is the important thing. If they're able to communicate what they're doing, I can live with it," Charles Guder of Manhattan said. "It's the fact when I don't know what's going on and they send me emails, I don't have time to read through 35 emails about what's going on on certain trains

Although the MTA says tweaking the weekend schedule had nothing to with dollars and cents, the move will save the agency 4.4 million dollars annually.

Critics charge that the MTA may be trying to make it look like they're doing more with less, when in reality it's simply less with less. That's a notion with which riders agree.

"With metrocard prices going up, it's to bad we don't get the benefits. So frustrating," Jackie Drewett of Queens said.

The plan is to set the time between trains at 10 minutes on the A, D, E, F, G, J, M, N, Q and R lines. Most weekend service on those lines runs with 8-minute gaps.


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