Nov. 15, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan
The W train’s return has received a cool reception from some local politician who claim that Astoria residents are now getting less subway service than before.
In a joint statement released yesterday, Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer and Costa Constantinides condemned the MTA for a reduction in train service to Queens with the return of the W train, which was brought back last week to make way for the Q to service the new Second Avenue line.
“MTA timetables show that with the return of the W, approximately 20 fewer trains will run to and from Astoria per day. It is unacceptable that increased service for Upper East Side residents has translated to fewer trains for people in Queens, who have just as much right to functional, timely public transit as Manhattanites,” the politicians said in the statement.
“We are demanding that the MTA restore these 20 trains to the N/W line in Astoria—because all New York City residents should have access to transit,” they concluded.
However the MTA maintained that the new service schedules make sense for Astoria.
MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said that service during peak hours remains unchanged from the N/Q service of the past, and that the wait times for trains are the same or better than the past during 17 of the 24 hours in a day.
“We schedule as many trains on the Astoria Line as the subway infrastructure can handle – 15 trains per hour between the N and Q before and 15 trains per hour between the N and W that started November 7,” Ortiz said.
He added that because the W line is shorter than the Q or N lines and does not go in to Brooklyn, the MTA expects it to have more reliable service.
“The impact on Astoria customers is negligible. All that said, we will monitor W/N/Q ridership closely over the coming months, and if necessary we will adjust schedules where feasible,” Ortiz said.