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Straphangers to Demand Improvements to C Train by Dressing in 1960s Garb

 Riders Alliance members and commuters will dress in retro clothing this weekend to call attention to the old C train cars.
Riders Alliance members and commuters will dress in retro clothing this weekend to call attention to the old C train cars.
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DNAinfo/Michael Ip

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Grassroots organization Riders Alliance and elected officials are going back in time this weekend to advocate for better C train service.

Straphangers will join the group to dress up in ‘60s garb for a rally, called “Retro Ride,” at Fulton Park, calling attention to the C train cars still in service from 1964.

“We really want to highlight the fact that the C train cars are the oldest in the system,” said Rebecca Bailin, senior organizer with Riders Alliance. “The fact that these are the same ones they would have been riding in ‘Mad Men,’ that’s just crazy.”

Commuters and transportation advocates are encouraged to don their best 1960s wear, and the organization will bring props, retro hats and sunglasses for attendees.

The Eighth Avenue line is the latest campaign for the group, which helped bring increased service and platform markers for the G train.

Riders Alliance is asking for improvements in frequency, announcements, countdown clocks, and newer trains to replace the “R32” cars.

Modern, shinier fleets have been spotted along the C line. The MTA swaps out some R32s for newer R160s every year to avoid strain on the older air conditioning systems, according to agency spokesman Kevin Ortiz.

The MTA previously agreed to a full-line review of the C, according to elected officials and Bailin.

“To be honest, the subway is my favorite part about New York,” said Riders Alliance member Neelima Panoli. “But I live on what I think is officially the worst line in the city.”

“You hear people complaining about subway delays and poor service all the time, but for any C train rider, this is our everyday story.”

The organization will meet at Fulton Park at 1 p.m. Sunday outside the Utica Avenue train station to rally for change. Elected officials including Assemblyman Walter Mosley and Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr. are expected to attend.

For more information on the event and campaign, visit the Riders Alliance website.