Transit workers union sues MTA to reverse subway service cuts

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The MTA’s largest union is suing to reverse service cuts in effect on the C and F subway lines since the summer.

TWU Local 100 hit the agency with a suit in Manhattan Supreme Court on Wednesday to suspend new schedules on the two train lines, which have been running reduced service since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes would bring worker schedules in line with the months-old cuts.

But TWU argues the move to enshrine the schedules — what’s known as the seasonal “pick” — constitutes a “long-term reduction in service.”

“We want the transit system to operate with as much service as we can provide,” said Local 100 Vice President Eric Loegel, a plaintiff in the suit. “That’s what we do. It’s good for the city, it’s good for riders, and it’s good for us.”

MTA officials aligned worker schedules with the reductions on the C line last month, codifying eight fewer end-to-end runs compared to before the pandemic. The new F train assignments commence next Monday, March 22.

The F schedule includes 36 fewer runs, the union said in its suit. Loegel warned that F and C riders could see crowding as subway ridership breaks pandemic-era records.

“When you take trains off the road during these pandemic conditions, you’re giving people fewer options for social distancing. It’s not good in terms of public health,” he said.

Both lines have been running reduced service since April. Labor leaders and transit advocates say the MTA should bring service pre-pandemic levels to encourage the city’s reopening — especially after receiving $14.5 billion in federal aid over the last year.

“The transit system is coming back like never before. The way to keep setting records is to add more service, not less,” said Riders Alliance spokesman Danny Pearlstein.

“Riders won 14.5 billion to save the transit system. We didn’t do that to see it die a death of a thousand cuts.”

In a statement, the MTA acknowledged the headway changes from over the summer, and denied that anything had changed since.

“As we have said, nothing has changed for customers on the C and F lines since nearly a year ago, and we continue to run 80 percent of service for approximately 30 percent of pre-pandemic ridership,” said MTA Chief Communications Officer Abbey Collins. “Beyond that, we will vigorously defend against these claims in court.”

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