MTA, DOT aim to ease holiday travelBy
No one who lives in New York really loves the holiday time around here. Sure, the idea of holiday spirit is nice, and the family gatherings that mark Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s are generally fun and painless. But the tourists. They’re worse than the pigeons.
But that’s the price we pay in New York. With all of the great things the city has to offer come outsiders in their oversized SUVs clogging up our roads every holiday season. Traveling around New York from Thanksgiving to New Year’s is nearly impossible, and this year, the Department of Transportation and the MTA have unleashed a plan to combat crushing holiday congestion. The details, couresty of Metro’s Patrick Arden:
To make room for crowds attending the Thanksgiving Day Parade, NYC Transit will increase service on the 1 and the 42nd Street Shuttle. Trains will also be added to the E, F, Q, 1, 3, 4 and 6 lines on weekends between Dec. 8 and 23. Weekend subway construction will also be cut back.
Now through Jan. 2, non-emergency construction work on streets and sidewalks will be restricted to between midnight and 6 a.m. at 179 locations across the five boroughs. “You’ll find that more than half of current construction work will be curtailed,” said Michael Primeggia, deputy commissioner at the city’s Department of Transportation.
While the information from the MTA is limited right now, this is fantastic news for would-be straphangers. I have to imagine that these holiday travel plans will include regular express service on the West Side IRT lines following Thanksgiving. More trains and better service means we all win. So the tourists can stick to the roads. Those of us in the know can head underground.
As an added bonus — or a torturously brief sneak peak, depending on your point of view — New York City Transit President Howard Roberts dropped in some good news for railfans: Vintage subway cars and buses will run on some lines during December Sundays. I’ll of course have the details when the MTA releases the specifics of this plan, but you can bet that avid subway hunters will turn out in droves for glimpses at these old cars.
Better service and nostalgia train cars: Think of it as a holiday present from the MTA to New Yorkers.
Those love ornaments up there can be yours from the Transit Museum store.