NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The MTA says it is expanding midday service on the N and R subway lines to reduce wait times to about eight minutes.
"By improving service, by running trains more frequently, no longer will have to tell riders that they have to wait for the 'rarely train,' or wait for the 'never train.' This is going to be a game changer," said New York State Senator Andrew Goundares, (D) 26th District. "Evidence has shown that the way to bounce back public transit is not to cut more public transit, it's to give riders more options,"
The N and R subway lines run through Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens.
""They're a little slower than most trains," said subway rider Edward Cameron. "I'm not going to lie."
The changes go into effect on weekdays, beginning Monday, August 28.
Trains will arrive every eight minutes instead of every 10 minutes between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on weekdays.
Commuting patterns have changed since the pandemic. Although the overall number of riders is still down, weekend ridership is up and there are more riders dispersed throughout the day.
"(Customers) continue to tell us that one of the top things that will get them to ride more is shorter wait times," said New York City Transit President Richard Davey.
The service improvements are made possible by $35 million in funding included in the FY 2024 New York State Budget and are expected to benefit the 180,000 customers who ride the N and R lines midday during the week.
New York City Transit is responding directly to "Customers Count" surveys that have consistently included rider feedback requesting decreased wait times along the N and R lines with satisfaction rates below the systemwide average.
The change comes after the MTA added service on the G, J, M, 1, 6 and C lines.
Davey says New York is improving service at a time when other major cities are looking at cuts and layoffs.
"Customers on the N and R lines have told us loud and clear in surveys that more frequent weekday service would improve their satisfaction, and I am thrilled to say that we are delivering just that," Davey said. "Thanks to historic funding secured in the state budget, we are able to provide more frequent and reliable mid-day service to hundreds of thousands of customers in Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, making the subway an even faster option to get around New York City."
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