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Straphangers Demand Better C Train Service

By Camille Bautista | November 18, 2014 3:03pm
 The Riders Alliance, a transportation grassroots organization, is calling for improved C train service, with greater frequency, countdown clocks, and clearer announcements. 
The Riders Alliance, a transportation grassroots organization, is calling for improved C train service, with greater frequency, countdown clocks, and clearer announcements. 
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DNAinfo/Michael Ip

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — C train users are demanding better service on the line between Washington Heights and East New York.

Grassroots organization Riders Alliance is coordinating a strategy session in Brooklyn on Wednesday to ask locals and commuters how they can improve the Eighth Avenue subway.

“The C train is slow. The C train is infrequent. The C train is the worst. But we can change that!” reads the group’s event invitation.

Up until 2012, the C held the title of worst line for four years in a row, according to an annual report card from the organization’s ally, the Straphangers Campaign. This year, the C tied with the A train to rank at number 16 out of the 19 subway lines.

The Riders Alliance recently asked the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and elected officials to address poor service, prompting the MTA to agree to a full-line review of the C, according to Rebecca Bailin, senior organizer with the advocacy group.

Campaign supporters want newer trains, greater frequency and better station announcements.

In 2013, the C came in second to last in a Straphangers’ list ranking subway car announcements, with only 65% of broadcasts deemed “clear and accurate.” The R train was rated the worst with 56%.

From 2010 to 2012, no more than 69% of basic in-car announcements were satisfactory on the C, according to the report.

Commuters say overcrowding is a daily hassle, only worsened by long wait times. The lack of space often leads to scuffles on the C, rider Dupe Ajayi told DNAinfo.

“I’ve never in all my years seen as many subway fights as in the last 12 months on the C train,” she said.

“I’ve seen a young man punch an older guy out over a seat. It’s a disturbing trend of people on edge and it makes me uncomfortable.”

Ajayi, who has lived in Bedford-Stuyvesant for 10 years, takes the subway daily from the Utica Avenue station. 

The lack of arrival information has commuters feeling less than safe in some “sketchy” neighborhood stops, she added.

While a report found that the C was one of the cleanest subway lines, it also holds the record for most frequent break downs and has the least amount of daytime service, according to the Straphangers Campaign.

The Riders Alliance hopes to bring the same results as those gained for the G train, with countdown clocks and greater frequency at all C train stations.

The Riders Alliance will host an open strategy session for C train riders at the Brooklyn Movement Center on Wednesday, Nov. 19 from 6:30pm to 8:00 p.m. Call 212-590-9427 or email info@ridersny.org for more details.