If the Kingston Throop C train is your commuting destination, there’s some dire news in your future. Late last week Gothamist reported that Governor Cuomo plans to completely close 30 subway stations between 6 months to a year for upgrades like “On The Go” touch screens, new signage and new lighting. And yes, Kingston-Throop is on the dreaded closure list, along with other C train stations like Clinton/Washington and Van Siclen Ave. There’s no timeline on when these closures will happen. According to Gothamist, “An MTA spokesperson said the full shut-down plan may be modified at stations without an obvious alternative transit option nearby,” although it’s unclear if that would be the case for Kingston Throop since the Utica stop is (kind of) close by.
Kingston Throop is my regular station and it could obviously benefit from some of these user-friendly upgrades. But seriously, ask anyone who uses the C train on a regular basis what they would desperately like to see improved and they will not say lighting or wayfinding. The C is the only line still serviced by 1960 subway cars. It runs far, far less than E or A trains (it’s torture watching 5 to 6 E trains pass by when you’re trying to get home from the city during rush hour), and trains run only once every 10 to 15 minutes on weekends. The C is so bad, it has its own campaign demanding improvements.
The other weekend, I waited 30 minutes for a train and had to ultimately leave the station and catch a cab to be in Manhattan on time. It’s almost insulting — and definitely tone deaf — that Governor Cuomo would make a big deal about cosmetic changes that no one really cares about (unless you’re a lost tourist, perhaps) and for those changes we have to lose our station for up to a year. That’s a major loss for a neighborhood that does not have a wealth of on-time, reliable transportation options. And if you’re going to re-open the station with new lighting, but a clunky, 1960s train is only going to pull up once every 15 minutes on a Saturday, than I really don’t see the point.