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Study: Announcements Clear On Newer Subway Cars, But Older Trains Remain Problem

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TWC News: Study: Announcements Clear On Newer Subway Cars, But Older Trains Remain Problem
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A new study finds that for the third straight year, most announcements on subway cars are clear and accurate thanks to new trains coming into service, but for those riding on older trains, clarity is still far from a sure thing. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.

On the shiny new L and Q trains, crystal clear and accurate announcements happens all the time.

"This train, yeah. But the other trains you can't really hear. Like the 1, you have no idea where you're going until you get there," said a Q train rider.

This also happens on the R and C trains, which an annual Straphangers Campaign report says have the least reliable in-car announcements.

"I guess they need better speakers on the trains," said one commuter.

The report found that riders on the R train get clear and accurate basic announcements, such as the next station or transfer options, 56 percent of the time.

On the C train, which has the oldest cars in the subway system, that information was clear and accurate 65 percent of the time, down from 69 percent in 2012.

"'Wha, wha, wha, wha,' It's like Peanuts. You know, they're telling you something, but you just can't understand what it's meant to be," said Cate Contino from the Straphangers Campaign.

Still, the report shows that the majority of subway announcements are clear and accurate, something the Straphangers Campaign attributes to new trains being put into service.

"As the MTA's been able to replace rolling stock, the announcements have gotten better and more clear. We're just looking at them to continue this positive trend," Contino said.

To get the results, Straphangers Campaign volunteers listened to more than 6,000 in-car announcements on 20 subway lines.

It's no surprise, then, that riders on the newest trains got the clearest announcements.

But on subway cars where conductors still make the announcements, riders can get the wrong information.

"It could mean that you get off at the wrong stop, you miss a transfer. We think that in-car announcements are critically important for New Yorkers and tourists alike," Contino said.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says with even more new subway cars coming onto the tracks, riders can count on getting clearer information more often while on the train.

Got A Transit Tip?

Do you have a news tip or story idea about the city's transit systems? Send an email to NY1 Transit Reporter Jose Martinez.

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