Aug
20

A brief thought on PATH bustitution; weekend work for 16 subway lines

By
Bus-stituting over perfectly functional New York City Transit subway lines is a very Port Authority thing to do. (Click to enlarge)

Bus-stituting over perfectly functional New York City Transit subway lines is a very Port Authority thing to do. (Click to enlarge)

Due to a variety of circumstances — a post-Sandy rebuild, Positive Train Control installation — the Port Authority has had to shut down one of the two trans-Hudson PATH tunnels at various points over the past few years. The agency has come under fire for not providing alternate service, and they rang up quite a bill for ferry subsidies when the WTC tunnel was out of service. Now, with PTC installation coming to the 33rd St. line, service from Hoboken to Midtown will be out every weekend between now and late December.

As part of the service plan, the Port Authority will run free shuttle buses per the map above. Trains will run up 6th Ave. and down 7th Ave. Buses won’t pick passengers up at the new WTC Transit Hub because it’s not really a transit hub, and the buses will mirror existing New York City Transit buses and, of course, the subway. Why, you might ask, is one transit agency bustituting above another transit agency’s perfectly fine service? This is a good question, and it highlights how our region’s separate transit agencies cannot and often do not cooperate.

Allowing PATH riders to transfer to the subway and vice versa is simply an economic exchange. The PA could pay the MTA, and the MTA could provide free transfers. One obstacle is how the MTA can’t exchange PATH’s SmartLink cards, but these are solvable operational problems, not intractable obstacles. I don’t know if the PA approached the MTA for a solution; a press official from the MTA is working on finding this out for me. But for some reason, more buses are going to fill the streets of Manhattan when preexisting transit options are plentiful because the PA and MTA can’t cooperate. It’s simply silly.

These weekend changes are necessary because of capital construction work on the MTA New York City Transit subway system. This work is part of NYC Transit’s ongoing Capital Rebuilding Program aimed at upgrading and maintaining our tracks, stations and signal systems in order to continue to provide our customers with safe and reliable service. For more information on the 2015-2019 Capital Program log on to www.mta.info/capital. Customers who rely on these lines should allow for additional travel time.

Meanwhile, we have subway changes for this weekend. These come to me from the MTA and are subject to change without notice. Check signs; listen to announcements. Everything is listed after the jump.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, August 19 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, August 22, South Ferry-bound 1 trains run express from 145 St to 96 St.


From 11:30 p.m. Friday, August 19 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, August 22, 2 trains are suspended in both directions between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Take the 5 instead. For service to/from Park Place, Fulton St, Wall St, Clark St, Borough Hall, and Hoyt St, use nearby 4/5 stations instead. For service between Manhattan and Brooklyn, take the N/Q/R. Transfer between 2/3 and N/Q/R at Times Sq-42 St. Transfer between N/Q/R and 4/5 trains at Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr.


From 11:30 p.m. Friday, August 19 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, August 22, 3 trains are suspended in both directions between 14 St and New Lots Av. Take the 4 instead. 4 service will operate all weekend between Woodlawn and New Lots Av.


From 11:30 p.m. Friday, August 19 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, August 22, 4 service will operate all weekend between Woodlawn and New Lots Av, replacing the 3 in Brooklyn. 4 trains will run local in Brooklyn.


From 6:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, August 20, New Lots Av-bound 4 trains will run express from Burnside Av to 149 St-Grand Concourse.


From 8:45 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sunday, August 21, New Lots Av-bound 4 trains skip Mosholu Pkwy and Bedford Pk Blvd.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, August 19 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, August 22, 5 trains are suspended in both directions between Eastchester-Dyre Av and E 180 St. Free shuttle buses provide alternate service and operate all weekend between Eastchester-Dyre Av and E 180 St, making all stops. Transfer between trains and shuttle buses at E 180 St.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, August 20 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, August 22, A trains run local in both directions between 168 St and 145 St.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, August 19 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, August 22, A trains are suspended in both directions between 168 St and Inwood-207 St. 1 trains and free shuttle buses provide alternate service. Free shuttle buses operate along two routes:

  • On Broadway, between 168 St and 207 St, making stops at 175 St, 181 St, 190 St, and Dyckman St.
  • On Fort Washington Av, between 168 St and 190 St, making stops at 175 St and 181 St. Transfer between trains and shuttle buses at 168 St.


From 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Saturday, August 20 and Sunday, August 21, C trains are suspended in both directions between 145 St and 168 St. Take the A instead. Transfer between A and C trains at 125 St or 145 St.


From 11:30 p.m. Friday, August 19 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, August 22, d trains are suspended in both directions between Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr and 34 St-Herald Sq. Take the F/N/Q/R or free shuttle buses instead. Free shuttle buses operate between Grand St and W 4 St-Wash Sq, stopping at B’way-Lafayette St. For service between Manhattan and Brooklyn, take the N, Q or R. Transfer between d and nqr trains at 34 St-Herald Sq and/or Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr. For W 4 St-Wash Sq and B’way-Lafayette St, take the F and transfer between D and F trains at 34 St-Herald Sq. For service to Grand St, take free shuttle buses and transfer at W 4 St-Wash Sq or B’way-Lafayette St F line station, or, use the N, Q or R at the nearby Canal St station.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, August 19 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, August 22, E trains are rerouted via the F line in both directions between 21 St-Queensbridge and W 4 St-Wash Sq. Free shuttle buses run between Court Sq-23 St and 21 St-Queensbridge, stopping at Queens Plaza.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, August 20 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, August 22, E trains run local in both directions in Queens.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, August 20 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, August 22, F trains run local in both directions between 21 St-Queensbridge and 71 Av.


From 3:45 a.m. Saturday, August 20 to 10:00 p.m. Sunday, August 21, Manhattan-bound J trains run express from Myrtle Av to Marcy Av.


From 11:30 p.m. Friday, August 19 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, August 22, L trains are suspended in both directions between Canarsie-Rockaway Pkwy and Myrtle-Wycoff Avs. Take A/C or J trains and free shuttle buses instead.

  • Free local shuttle buses provide alternate service between Canarsie-Rockaway Pkwy and Myrtle-Wyckoff Avs, stopping at East 105 St, New Lots Av, Livonia Av, Sutter Av, Atlantic Av, Broadway Junction, Bushwick Av-Aberdeen St, Wilson Av, and Halsey St.
  • Free express shuttle buses serve Rockaway Pkwy, Broadway Junction, and Myrtle-Wyckoff Avs only, days and evenings.
  • Transfer between free shuttle buses and L trains at Myrtle-Wyckoff Avs.


From 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Saturday, August 20, and from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sunday, August 21, M trains run every 20 minutes. Manhattan-bound m trains run express from Myrtle Av to Marcy Av.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, August 20 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, August 22, N trains run local in both directions between DeKalb Av and 59 St in Brooklyn.


From 11:30 p.m. Friday, August 19 to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, August 21, and from 11:30 p.m. Sunday, August 21 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, August 22, R trains are suspended in both directions between 59 St and 36 St in Brooklyn. Take the N instead. Transfer between N and R trains at 59 St.


From 12:01 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. Saturday, August 20 to Monday, August 22, the 42 Street Shuttle will operate overnight.



15 Responses to “A brief thought on PATH bustitution; weekend work for 16 subway lines”

  1. Michael549 says:

    This is an interesting issue on so many levels.

    On one hand it is suggested that “preexisting transit options are plentiful” while at the same time noting a variety of weekly weekend subway service changes for regular subway riders, that PATH should now be subjected to.

    Regular subway riders simply can not forecast their particular train line months in advance and give simple basic directions that will work. The MTA constantly suggests to riders to daily check with their websites or posters for the up-to-date information, they guarantee nothing.

    From a PATH train rider point of view – a simple transit solution is better than multiple weekly changes of routine because the MTA is fixing this or that track. The PATH folks provided their riders with a simpler set of transit instructions and alternatives.

    PATH riders coming from New Jersey are given a 24-hour bus coupon to use for their return trip, and only those with the bus coupon can board their buses to return to the WTC. NYC riders who wish to travel to New Jersey via PATH just have to somehow get to the WTC, usually by subway or bus.

    Yes, on some weekends the E-train was diverted along Sixth Avenue direct to the World Trade Center – but that was a temporary re-route for certain weekends. There are almost weekly weekend changes on the #1, #2 and #3 lines – where this weekend none of the #1, #2 or #3 trains travel direct to the World Trade Center!

    Then there is the interesting statement:

    “But for some reason, more buses are going to fill the streets of Manhattan when preexisting transit options are plentiful . . . ”

    Folks on this forum have called for a “People’s Way Transit Way” on 14th Street due to the closing of the 14th Street L-train tunnel, and suggested several ideas concerning that tunnel repair project. Basically the majority of those ideas call for MORE BUSES on the “streets of Manhattan” to deal with the displaced L-train riders.

    So on one hand there’s “too many buses”, and on the other hand, “we need more buses”.

    Then there’s the criticism of recent “transit desert” maps for NOT INCLUDING BUS SERVICE, and protesting the idea that some how riding a bus renders one a “second class tranist citizen”. – as if there is negative sanction for riding a bus.

    This is an interesting issue on so many levels.

    • TimK says:

      Folks on this forum have called for a “People’s Way Transit Way” on 14th Street due to the closing of the 14th Street L-train tunnel, and suggested several ideas concerning that tunnel repair project. Basically the majority of those ideas call for MORE BUSES on the “streets of Manhattan” to deal with the displaced L-train riders.

      So on one hand there’s “too many buses”, and on the other hand, “we need more buses”.

      Big difference between running buses on Sixth and Seventh Avenues, with trains running underneath, and running buses on 14th Street precisely because there are no trains running underneath.

      • Michael549 says:

        Currently buses RUN along 14th Street, even though there are trains running underneath! These are the M14A, M14D bus routes.

        Currently buses run along Sixth and Seventh Avenues even though there are trains running underneath! These are the M5, M7, and M20 bus routes.

        Many of the plans for service for the 14th Street Tunnel closure call for more buses along the Williamsburg Bridge and in Manhattan to handle displaces L-train riders.

        If you’re going to argue that “when” the 14th Street Tunnel closes in Manhattan that there will be a need for “more buses” along 14th Street to handle the folks that used to take the subway – sorry other folks have already made that claim. They are calling for more buses!

        Basically the idea that having buses serve PATH train riders during an outage of PATH train service is such a “terrible idea” because it means more “more buses are going to fill the streets of Manhattan…”

        Then having proposal after proposal for the closure of the 14th Street Tunnel – mentioning, calling for and demanding more buses in Manhattan to handle those displaced riders described as “good planning” is a bit hypocritical. It is that plain and simple.

        Mike

        • TimK says:

          No, the point is that in the one case, there’s existing transit along those corridors that could carry the passengers if the two agencies would only work together. In the other case, there will be a significant reduction in existing transit capacity that will require replacing that capacity in some form.

          The situations aren’t really comparable, and there’s no hypocrisy involved.

  2. Nyland8 says:

    Well … for a lot of obvious reasons, it is far too complicated for the PATH system and the MTA to figure out the logistics and revenue sharing involved if one system was called upon to honor another system’s fares. You have … uh … well … there’s the fact that … hmm. How about … uh … no … that’s not it either. But of course … maybe if the … when it crossed the Hudson, what happens is that … because …. … .. . (sigh)

    I can buy an unlimited Eurorail pass and travel seamlessly through 22 different countries – with different jurisdictions, different laws, different political systems, different … you name it – changing trains in different cities at different times of the day to make connections to my destination. Somehow figuring all that out is not beyond human achievement … and they don’t even all speak the same language! But it’s too damned arcane for two overlapping subway systems in two adjoining states to arrive at accommodations suitable for each other’s mutual benefit ?? !! ??

    It seems as if things have been so broken, for so long, that nobody even questions when these absurdities occur. It’s almost as befuddling as it is embarrassing.

    • Tower18 says:

      Even taking Eurorail out of the picture, because, LOL, baby steps.

      Among the Western European nations, Great Britain isn’t even the poster child for first class rail service, but even they have been able to farm out operations of their rail lines to a multitude of private franchisees, retaining a centralized ticketing and scheduling system run by the government. Imagine that.

  3. Larry Greenfield says:

    I wouldn’t rely on having the Port Authority run anything more complex than a lemonade stand.

  4. Peter L says:

    [I]t highlights how our region’s separate transit agencies cannot and often do not cooperate.

    Semantic nit pick: *will not” cooperate. They clearly *do not* but they certainly can.

    This is not unlike the “radio problems” 15 years ago. It’s not that FDNY and NYPD could not interoperate, it’s that they would not.

  5. BruceNY says:

    The PA and MTA are both run by the governors of both states, neither of whom have shown any interest in bettering the lives of transit riders (oh, except for those USB ports about to be added to buses–great).

  6. Jerrold says:

    On another PATH-WTC-related issue:

    They finally opened up the direct entrance from Church St. to the station.
    The situation there is idiotic.
    Common sense would dictate that it should be possible to enter from the street, and access the lowest(PATH)level with ONE long escalator.
    But no!
    You need a series of escalators, and they are not even near each other.

    • Chuck G says:

      That’s because, as Ben astutely points out in his article, the WTC Transportation Hub is not a Transportation Hub, it’s a mall with access to public transportation stations.

      It’s no different than the original WTC/PATH dynamic, except this one has more people trying to keep the floors clean.

      • Jerrold says:

        But the original WTC PATH station had a very wide bank of long escalators going between the WTC Concourse and the actual PATH station.
        Remember PATH Plaza?
        There was a restaurant right there called The Big Kitchen.

      • AMH says:

        Right, the stores don’t want people going directly to the trains.

  7. Ike says:

    Bizarre! So *NOW* the PA believes in bustituting, when it doesn’t really have to?

    When the PA had to shut down the WTC line on weekends to install positive train control, etc., they didn’t run any kind of substitute service whatsoever at first. (Only after much complaining and political pressure did they add the ferry service between the World Financial Center area and the ferry station in JC near Exchange Place, for the same cost as a PATH ride, in cash, but you couldn’t get a free transfer or use a Smartlink card or a Metrocard, and the ferry didn’t leave you anywhere near a working PATH station on the JC side. Of course, they *should* have bustituted between Grove St. and WTC directly through the Holland Tunnel during that time — there was nothing else mirroring that exact service without a lot of rigamarole and going well out of our way, whereas adding a leg to your journey to get from WTC to 33rd on weekends currently, whether via bustitute or MTA subway, isn’t nearly so inefficient.)

    The PA makes the MTA look incredibly pleasant and competent by comparison — at least when the MTA shuts down a service with no nearby alternate options, they *always* run a substitute bus. Also, wasn’t there another time a while back (after a major storm, I think) that the PA had to shut down late-night PATH service for a while? They didn’t run substitute service of any kind then either! All the late-night workers were just completely screwed.

    For some reason, are 33rd St. passengers are considered more important, or perhaps more likely to make a fuss or apply political pressure, than WTC passengers? Or is the PA trying to show us it is improving and learning its lesson by adding this substitute bus? Of course, you still have to get an annoying voucher to board this thing. The PA is a tire fire.

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