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Announcements improve on subway lines: Report

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Information announcements aboard subway trains improved significantly over the past two years with lines serving Queens making some of the more notable progress, a transit watchdog agency reported.

The Straphangers Campaign, however, said announcements about delays were still inadequate for the most part.

The Straphangers survey said such basic announcements as giving names of the next station and transfer points were much better on 17 of the 18 subway lines between 1999 and 2001. For all lines combined, adequate basic announcements increased from 47 percent two years ago to 69 percent this year.

But in eight out every 10 delays and reroutings experienced by those who conducted the survey, there was either no announcement or an inaudible, garbled or useless one.

“We congratulate conductors and transit managers on doing a much better job of giving riders the basic information they need to get around the system,” said Gene Russianoff, senior attorney for the Straphangers. “Now we’d like to see improved announcements when riders need them the most — when they are delayed or have to cope with service disruptions.”

The No. 3 line was best for announcements while the No. 2 performed worst.

The most improved line was the L, which went from 35 percent adequate announcements in 1999 to 72 percent in the present survey. None of the 18 lines surveyed deteriorated as far as announcements were concerned, although two of the 20 lines — the J/Z and the M — could not be compared.

The Q line, which runs from Coney Island in Brooklyn to Queensbridge in Queens, improved by 26 percent over 1999.

The G was 23 percent better, the No. 7 was 24 percent improved, the F was 20 percent better, the E was 11 percent better and the R 5 percent improved.

The Straphangers said during delays, there were too many announcements such as “train is being held by supervision” or “we have a red signal” that were “meaningless and useless” to passengers, who need to know why they are being held up and how to cope with the situation.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 136.

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