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MTA: Riders Won’t Feel Weekend Service Cuts

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The MTA is changing its calculation for how frequently some weekend subway lines will run, but the agency says even though the move will save money, it's not really a service cut. WNYC's Ilya Marritz has more.

REPORTER: The cash-strapped transit agency says it can save $4.4 million by running letter trains like the A, the N and the W every 10 minutes on weekends instead of every eight minutes.

But the agency says riders won't feel the change because trains have already been running about every 10 minutes for several years, because of repairs and maintenance. A similar change was made to numbered trains in 2003.

How does keeping things as they are save the agency any money? An MTA spokesman says the cost savings will come from not paying staff to manage trains that aren't running.

With a deficit of over a billion dollars, the MTA is lobbying Albany for a financial rescue plan. Agency officials have promised no meaningful service cuts but only if the rescue is approved. For WNYC, I'm Ilya Marritz.

REPORTER: The MTA Board is expected to discuss service changes and the ballooning deficit at its meeting this morning.

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