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west side subway stations are about to get a little lonelier for straphangers. the mta, which has targeted stations for staff cutbacks, has detailed proposed changes that will reduce the number of subway employees.

"the plan to reduce staffing in subway station and to eliminate some secondary full-time agent booths is a part of new york city transit's larger cost-saving efforts," wrote howard roberts, jr., president of new york city transit, in a letter to council member gale brewer.

the staff cuts are expected to take about six years to complete, according to the letter.

express stops along the no. 2 and 3 train lines will have fewer station customer assistants. the broadway entrance to the columbus circle station, at west 59th street, will have reduced booth agent service hours-between 3:20 p.m. and 10:40 p.m.-and automated access the rest of the day.

a part-time station customer assistant at the west 72nd street and broadway express stop will be eliminated at the 71st street entrance.

the west 94th street entrance to the 96th street express station will only have part-time booth-agent service, between 6:20 a.m. and 1:40 p.m.

similar cuts will be made on local stops along the 1 line. the 66th street lincoln center subway stop will lose two part-time station customer assistants at the columbus avenue kiosk and northbound platform on the broadway side. on the 79th street local 1 train stop, a full-time station customer assistant will be cut on the northbound side of the tracks. the west 86th street station will lose two full-time station customer assistants and have part-time booth agent service on weekday mornings and late afternoons.

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