MTA cancels F and C train service cuts after union lawsuit

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Transit officials are bringing service back to pre-pandemic levels on two subway lines after the union sued to reverse the year-old cuts.

The C and F lines — which have been running on reduced schedules since the start of COVID-19 — will soon resume “full” pre-pandemic service levels, Interim Transit President Sarah Feinberg said during a video conference on Tuesday.

“We’re going to bring back full service,” Feinberg said of the two routes.

“That’s the right thing to do to make sure that all of our C and F riders are getting as much service as they possibly can and as much social distance as possible.”

Subway ridership is hovering around 30 to 40 percent pre-COVID levels, MTA stats show. Feinberg said officials contemplated “right-sizing” service to better match demand — but ultimately decided to provide as many trains as possible.

“We’ve sort of taken that debate off the table for now,” she said — promising the resumption of higher service levels in the next “several weeks.”

New York City Interim president Sarah Feinberg.
Feinberg responded to union calls to end service cuts.
Paul Martinka

F train frequencies will increase by early May, the MTA said — from every eight minutes to every four minutes between trains during rush hour. The resumption of full C line service “may take longer,” an agency rep said.

TWU Local 100 had sued the agency over its move to enshrine the schedules, which the union claimed constituted a “long-term reduction in service.”

Utica Avenue subway station.
Service was reduced on the C and F lines at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Paul Martinka

Union officials are “very satisfied” by the decision, Local 100 President Tony Utano said.

“New York needs more subway service, not less,” Utano said in a statement.

The MTA raked in $15 billion from three federal relief bills passed since the pandemic hit.

Subway riders gettin on and off the train.
Subway ridership is hovering around 30 to 40 percent of pre-COVID levels.
James Messerschmidt

“After we won $15 billion in federal aid to save public transit, service cuts are no way to thank essential workers and rebuild ridership,” said Riders Alliance organizer Stephanie Burgos-Veras.

“By restoring frequent service on the C and F subway lines, the MTA is delivering for today’s riders and helping bring New Yorkers back to transit.”

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Erin Mosley

Erin Mosley writes for the Hollywood section of Newzinto.