October 27, 1904 was an important day in the history of New York City for that was the day the subway opened. Thus, Monday marks the 110th anniversary of the first ride from City Hall north. To celebrate, the MTA will be running special Nostalgia Trains on Sunday and Monday.

On Sunday, between noon and 5 p.m., the Low-Vs will run between Times Square and 96th on the original West Side IRT. The uptown trains leave Times Square on the hour and 96th St. on the half hour. Additionally, the “Train of Many Colors” will leave 96th St. on the hour and head uptown from Times Square on the half hour. On Monday, the Low Voltage sets will run between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., leaving Times Square on the hour and 96th St. on the half hour. Bring your cameras.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, October 24 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 27, Flatbush Av-Brooklyn College bound 2 trains run express from Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr to Franklin Av.


From 6:00 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. Saturday, October 25 and Sunday, October 26, New Lots Av-bound 3 trains run express from Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr to Franklin Av.


From 11:00 p.m. Saturday, October 25 to 6:00 a.m. Sunday, October 26, and from 11:00 p.m. Sunday, October 26 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 27, New Lots Av-bound 4 trains run local between 125 St and Grand Cantral-42 St .


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, October 24 to 6:00 a.m. Sunday, October 26, and from 11:45 p.m. Sunday, October 26 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 27, Brooklyn-bound 4 trains run express from Grand Cantral-42 St to 14 St-Union Sq.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, October 24 to 6:00 a.m. Sunday, October 26, and from 11:45 p.m. Sunday, October 26 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 27, New Lots Av-bound 4 trains run express from Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr to Franklin Av.


From 4:45 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Sunday, October 26, Woodlawn-bound 4 trains skip Fulton St.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, October 24 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 27, 5 trains are suspended in both directions between Eastchester-Dyre Av and E180 St. Free shuttle buses operate all weekend between Eastchester-Dyre Av and E 180 St, stopping at Baychester Av, Gun Hill Rd, Pelham Pkwy, and Morris Park. 5 service operates every 20 minutes between E 180 St and Bowling Green days and evenings only.


From 7:45 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Sunday, October 26, E 180 St-bound 5 trains skip Fulton St.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, October 24 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 27, Brooklyn Bridge-bound 6 trains run express from Grand Cantral-42 St to 14 St-Union Sq.


From 2:00 a.m. Saturday, October 25 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 27, 7 trains are suspended between Times Sq-42 St and Queensboro Plaza. Use EFNQ trains between Manhattan and Queens. Free shuttle buses make all stops between Vernon Blvd-Jackson Av and Queensboro Plaza. The 42 Street S shuttle operates overnight. Q service is extended to Ditmars Blvd from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 pm on Saturday, October 25, and from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 26.


From 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Saturday, October 25, and Sunday, October 26, customers should expect longer wait times between Queensboro Plaza and 74 St-Broadway. Service runs less frequently. The last stop for some 7 trains headed toward Queensboro Plaza is 74 St-Broadway.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, October 24 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 27, Inwood-207 St bound A trains are rerouted via the F line from Jay St-MetroTech to W 4 St Wash Sq, then run local to 59 St-Columbus Circle.


From 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, October 25 and Sunday, October 26, 168 St-bound C trains are rerouted via the F line from Jay St-MetroTech to W 4 St Wash Sq.


From 10:45 p.m. Friday, October 24 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 27, Norwood-205 St bound D trains run express from 145 St to Tremont Av.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, October 24 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 27, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound D trains are rerouted on the N line from 36 St to Coney Island-Stillwell Av.


From 11:00 p.m. Friday, October 24 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 27, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound D trains run local between DeKalb Av and 36 St.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, October 24 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 27, Jamaica Center- Parsons Archer bound E trains run express from Canal St to 34 St-Penn Station.


From 11:15 p.m. Friday, October 24 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 27, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound F trains are rerouted via the M line from Roosevelt Av to 47-50 Sts/Rock Ctr.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, October 24 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 27, Astoria-Ditmars Blvd bound N trains are rerouted via the D line from Coney Island-Stillwell Av to 36 St.


From 11:00 p.m. Friday, October 24 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 27, N trains run local from DeKalb Av and 36 St.


From 10:30 p.m. Friday, October 24 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 27, Q trains are suspended in both directions between Coney Island-Stillwell Av and Prospect Park. DFN and free shuttle buses provide alternate service.


From 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Saturday, October 25, and from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sunday, October 26, Q service is extended to Astoria-Ditmars Blvd.

42 St Shuttle
From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, October 25, to 6:00 a.m. Monday, October 27, the 42 St S Shuttle operates overnight.

Categories : Service Advisories
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Over the last few weeks, the MTA’s proposed $32 billion capital plan has faced criticism from just about everywhere. Staten Islanders are not happy with it; the state’s Capital Program Review Board flat-out rejected it; and State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is concerned about the ever-ticking debt bomb. Now we can add the influential Citizens Budget Commission to the list.

In a Policy Brief released yesterday (pdf), the CBC does not pull it punches. Citing “misplaced priorities,” the CBC calls the plan “misguided” and says that riders should not be asked to pay for a plan that doesn’t spend money on the right things. Essentially, the charge amounts to one of recklessness — the MTA has asked for an incredibly high sum of money without making the right case for the expenditures.

“The MTA is a core asset of the New York region’s economy, and funding its capital needs wisely should be a high priority,” CBC President Carol Kellermann said in a statement. “The public debate over the proposed MTA capital plan should focus on what the funds would achieve as well as how much funding is needed.”

The CBC’s critique can be boiled down to three salient points. First, the report alleges that the MTA is not making sufficient progress in achieving a state of good repair for aging and aged infrastructure. “Most of the facilities,” the CBC noted in a refrain we’ve heard before, “are not in a state of good repair.” To make matters worse — or at least, not better — the next five year plan will not close the gap and will, says the CBC, “leave many features of the mass transit and commuter rail systems, such as stations and less visible power stations and pumps, in need of repairs and renovations; the consequence will be less reliable and less safe service than the public needs.”

Second, the CBC is not impressed with the MTA’s plans to modernize the subway’s signal and communications systems. This should be a clear priority at this point as it’s one of the few ways, absent massive capital construction projects, that the MTA can expand service on preexisting subway lines, but it’s a tough sell politically as you can’t have a ribbon-cutting for some new signal system or CBTC. The CBC summarizes: “In the next five years work will begin on only two additional segments, leaving the vast majority of the system with outdated components for at least the next 20 years.”

Third, and perhaps most importantly, the CBC alleges that the MTA hasn’t properly made its case to the public. “The proposed plan allocates substantial sums, and implicitly commits even larger sums in the future, to new projects that expand the transit network without analyzing their benefits relative to other possibilities and without identifying their total cost.” In turn, the CBC states that the MTA does not have clear priorities in selecting projects and a “weak capacity” for implementing projects efficiently (which is probably being nice about it). The CBC wants to see explicit criteria for priority projects and evidence of long-term investments before anyone forks over money.

That final point is a key one as the MTA’s five-year plan includes requests for $1.5 billion for the second phase of the Second Ave. Subway and significant spends for the Penn Station and East Side Access projects. The Second Ave. Subway, in particular, has been problematic as the MTA has refused to release a full cost estimate for Phase 2. When the MTA first proposed the four-phase approach over ten years ago, Phase 2 was expected to cost approximately as much as Phase 1, but the MTA must refresh the EIS and engineering reports. Thus, the agency does not wish to give a final cost yet but insists that it needs the $1.5 billion to begin planning now and construction toward the end of the five-year plan. It’s a weird Catch-22 of this half-decade funding process but one that bears a closer look.

So here we are. No one seems to like the MTA’s capital plan, but it needs to happen in some form or another. How we get there remains to be seen, but it seems clear that the MTA should answer to these complaints once (if? whenever?) everyone in Albany gets serious about the next round of funding and spending plans.

Comments (38)

It’s starting to seem like a regular occurrence around here, but the MTA has again announced record monthly and daily ridership, this time for September. The numbers are staggering, and as they filtered throughout the transit community yesterday, various groups issued calls for funding and better representation of an important constituency.

According to New York City Transit, on Tuesday, September 23, the MTA recorded 6,106,694 paying customers. This was the fifth day in September alone that over 6 million riders swiped into the subway system, and it marked the first time since the late 1940s — when the elevateds still loomed over the streets of Manhattan — that ridership hit such a high level. Overall, 149 million passengers rode the rails in September, another figure higher than any time since the late 1940s.

MTA leaders were quick to point out the significance of the figure. Back in 1985, when the MTA started tracking daily numbers, the high peaked at 3.7 million. Now, it’s nearly two-thirds higher. “New Yorkers and visitors alike continue to vote with their feet, recognizing that riding the subway is the most efficient way to get around town,” MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast said. “This is a phenomenal achievement for a system that carried 3.6 million daily customers just 20 years ago. As ridership increases, the MTA Capital Program is vital to fund new subway cars, higher-capacity signal systems and improved stations to meet our customers’ growing needs and rising expectations.”

Prendergast wasn’t the only one noted the ties between increased ridership and the need for investment in the system. Yonah Freemark noted a connection on Twitter as a few of us were discussing the numbers:

The city’s advocacy groups too picked up the thread. “With more New Yorkers using public transit, we need to guarantee that our system can continue to thrive with the city it serves. These record numbers should be setting off alarm bells for our elected officials in Albany, who will need to find $15 billion in the next few months to fund the MTA’s basic infrastructure and construction needs,” John Raskin of the Riders Alliance (of which I’m a board member) said. “If we don’t continue to invest in our system and build for the future, these strong numbers could represent a peak instead of a trend. It’s vital that our elected officials find the funding needed to support the entire $32 billion capital plan, which represents the least we can do to maintain our system so it can last for years into the future.”

Gene Russianoff and the Straphangers echoed those sentiments. “The rain of riders,” Gene said, “is both an opportunity and a challenge for New York — an opportunity for economic growth that no other American city can even aspire to [and] a challenge to win the necessary capital funds – $32 billion over the next five years – that will allow the subways and buses to handle the millions flocking to the system every day.”

The needs are obvious. The popularity is obvious. The support isn’t there. Somehow, someway, this disconnect between politicians and their constituents who rely heavily on transit needs to be resolved. New York’s future, now more than ever, depends on it.

Comments (32)

When I read New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s release about his latest report on the MTA, I rolled my eyes a bit. DiNapoli, picking up on the MTA’s $15 billion capital funding gap, noted that while the MTA’s finances are better, the riders could wind up shouldering a huge portion of the next five-year plan, and the Comptroller said, riders shouldn’t be expected to pay for everything.

We could debate for hours whether or not that last statement is true, but DiNapoli’s point isn’t a new one. “The MTA is in better financial condition thanks to its own efforts and a stronger economy,” DiNapoli said yet again. “Over the coming months, the MTA will have to work closely with its funding partners to close the $15 billion gap in its capital program. Additional borrowing could increase pressure on fares and tolls, and while the MTA should look for opportunities for savings, deep cuts could affect the future reliability of the transit system and jeopardize expansion projects.”

Overall, DiNapoli’s report regurgitates MTA talking points. He notes that subway ridership has hit highs not seen since the late 1940s and that the MTA’s debt burden will continue to increase for the foreseeable future. He highlighted the new labor deals, unfunded pension obligations and steep fare hikes. It’s basically a summary of the last six months’ worth of news. (You can read it here as a PDF if you need a primer.)

Despite the mundane nature of DiNapoli’s report, one part is worth a deeper dive. His report “cautions that every $1 billion borrowed would increase debt service by an amount comparable to a 1 percent increase in fares and tolls.” Thus, if the MTA needs to borrow that $15 billion to cover its capital funding costs, it could do so simply by raising fares by an additional 15 percent. That’s a big fare hike. The MTA’s current plan for 2015 — once it gets released some time after Gov. Cuomo’s upcoming Election Day — calls for only a 4 percent hike, down from an originally planned 8 percent.

So while it’s easy to dismiss DiNapoli’s report for being nothing more than a news aggregator, the point he makes about the fares is a political chit for the MTA. If no one steps up with a different funding scheme and the MTA is serious about this $30 billion plan, the riders will be footing the bill for a substantial portion of it. Maybe that’s OK; maybe the people who use the system should pay for more of it. But now we know it’s a choice that Albany will make willingly. Is it the right one? I don’t think so.

Categories : MTA Economics
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Modernize Our Airports…with an amazing handshake. (Photo via Gov. Cuomo on flickr)

A few months ago, Vice President Joe Biden drew some heat when he unfavorably compared Laguardia to third world airports. Considering that Laguardia has terminal buildings that are, to some degree or other, air conditioned, it was an unfair comparison with a bit of hyperbole, but Biden’s criticism rang familiar. Traveling to and from Laguardia is not exactly a pleasant experience, and for millions who see it as their entry point to New York City, it is not a point of pride for New Yorkers.

Yesterday, Biden joined NY Governor Andrew Cuomo in announcing a plan to modernize and revitalize Laguardia, JFK, Stewart and Republic airports. It’s not clear where the money will come from, and the early stages will involve simply a design contest. But after years of lobbying for developers and NYC boosters, someone in DC and someone in Albany appear to be listening. (For more on the announcement overall, check out Dan Rivoli’s coverage and The Times’ rundown of the event.)

From a transit perspective, improvements are on the table. Both Biden and Cuomo mentioned concerns with travel times to JFK, and of course, there is no train to Laguardia. It’s possible that issue could be addressed in these plans, but I’m wary of the statements issued yesterday. Cuomo first talked about a ferry to Laguardia, but it’s not clear how a boat helps people getting to the airport. It will be convenient only for those who are near the waterfront and only if the ferry terminal is within walking distance to Laguardia’s terminals. With the Rikers Island Bridge a physical obstacle and the approach to Laguardia non-negotiable, ferries seem to be a non-starter before we even consider their high operating costs and low ridership potential.

For those of us hoping for rail, Cuomo mentioned the subway as a potential option. But that, as we know, will require some strong-arming as Astoria NIMBYs still leave every politician in fear. The other idea seemed to involve Long Island Rail Road access to Laguardia. It sounds great until you stop to think for five to ten seconds. While the Port Authority has issued a call for vague provisioning for heavy rail access to Laguardia, the LIRR doesn’t work. There’s no nearby routing that would provide direct access to the airport, and running a spur from, say, Flushing would be a engineering impossibility. The operations costs would be tremendous and the time savings minimal.

If New York politicians and DC leaders are serious about rail access to Laguardia, an extension of the BMT line from Astoria would be the easiest and best option. But for now, we’re just hearing lip service, and maybe that’s OK. After all, there are plenty of projects that could use the investment before we send a subway, commuter rail line or even the Airtrain to Laguardia.

Categories : Queens
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William J. Ronan, the MTA’s first chairman and one of the masterminds of the drive to push Robert Moses out of power, passed away last week at the age of 101. The one-time transit leader also headed up the Port Authority, and he oversaw a tumultuous time in New York City transit history. He died at his home in West Palm Beach, Florida.

“Bill Ronan was a legend in the field of public transportation and an inspiration for everyone who understands that mass transit is the engine that powers New York,” current MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast said. “His vision of how an integrated transportation system can improve the region, and his skill in turning that vision into reality, have made life better for millions of our customers every day. We at the MTA send our deepest condolences to his family, and remember his service fondly.”

Ronan became the MTA Chair on the same day the MTA came into existence — March 1, 1968 — having served as head of the successor agency, the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Authority, for three years. Ronan led the effort to integrate the LIRR into the new entity and was instrumental in pushing for an expanded system after years of contraction following the destruction of the elevated lines. Ronan though did not meet with much success as he become persona non grata following two quick fare hikes, and the public eventually stopped voting in favor of transit bonds. His MTA had restarted construction on the Second Ave. Subway in the late 1960s and had to stop work in the early 1970s.

The Times had more in its obituary of Ronan:

Dr. Ronan presided over two tumultuous increases in the subway fare: to 30 cents from 20 cents in 1970, and to 35 cents in 1972 (about $2 in today’s money). After the first increase, he received death threats, and the police detailed detectives to protect him. “I was at one point probably the most hated man in New York,” he recalled in a 2005 interview for this obituary…

The next six years were hard ones for Dr. Ronan, who inherited the chronic problems — vandalism, declining ridership and disinvestment — that would plague the transit system until the 1990s. “We’re making up for 30 years of do-nothingism in mass transportation,” he said in a 1968 interview. He laid out an ambitious expansion agenda that called for a subway line under Second Avenue, a connection from the Long Island Rail Road to the East Side of Manhattan and the construction of a new subway tunnel under 63rd Street. The first two projects, long dormant, were revived in 2000 and are under construction; the third project was completed in 2001…

He laid the groundwork for the creation of the Metro-North Railroad by acquiring, from the Penn Central Railroad, the New Haven line in 1971 and the Harlem and Hudson lines in 1972. Metro-North went into operation in 1983. But far from expanding under Dr. Ronan, the subway system actually contracted: The Myrtle Avenue El in Brooklyn shut down in 1969, the Third Avenue El in the Bronx in 1973. When he stepped down in 1974 to become chairman of the Port Authority, The New York Times described him as “the quintessential civil servant” but also as “a transportation mendicant.”

Ronan, who eventually earned some bad press while at the Port Authority for a first-class travel scandal, was a public servant through and through and a friend of transit. I wonder though if he inadvertently created a monster. In an effort to unseat someone who was beyond the touch of many politicians, he created an agency that many politicians do not want to touch. The MTA kinda sorta unified Conrail/Metro-North, the LIRR and New York City Transit under one roof but without streamlining operations and agency-level management. Today, the MTA is manipulated by the elected officials who have to pass off tough decisions and otherwise ignored. If that’s Ronan’s real legacy, it’s one to which time and, more importantly, practice have been unkind.

Categories : MTA
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Some folks stroll along the virtual QueensWay. (Rendering via WXY architecture + urban design and DLANDStudio Architecture & Landscape Architecture)

Thanks for bearing with me over the last few days. I’ve started a new job, and time was at a premium earlier this week. I’ve missed some big news though as someone smoke-bombed Bar Pitti by popping out of an emergency access grate just south of the West 4th St. subway station and Transit Wireless is set to unveil subway cell service at nearly 30 stations in Queens. I’ll cover that in due time, but tonight, we talk about the QueensWay.

Earlier this week, the folks behind the QueensWay — some CB heads in Queens, the Trust for Public Land, formers Parks Department head Adrian Benepe — unveiled a snazzy new website and the results of their state-funded study regarding the proposal to turn the defunct Rockaway Beach Branch right-of-way into a 3.5-mile park. They’ve designed something that they keep referring to as the High Line of Queens. It will supposedly have space for ample pedestrian pathways and a two-way bike lane; it will cost at least $125 million; and around 1 million people per year — 250,000 from outside of the area — will visit.

In a vacuum, it’s not a terrible idea. The costs are high; for only $25 million less than what it cost to build two phases of the High Line, the QueensWay would draw in around 3 million fewer visitors per year. But the renderings sure are nice, and Queens needs the to improve alternate transportation modes on a route that parallels Woodhaven Boulevard. But planning doesn’t exist in a vacuum. I’d rather see the city reimagine Woodhaven itself, and the RBBL ROW offers the city a unique opportunity to take advantage of a rail ROW through a neighborhood that badly needs high-speed transit connections. (Just look at the completely unironic Subway Links section of the website.) Unfortunately, no one as powerful as the Trust for Public Land or Benepe, let alone Gov. Cuomo who funded the latest round of renderings, is backing rail reactivation.

Over the past few days, a lot of voices have come out against the QueensWay plan. Assembly member Phil Goldfeder, one of the few politicians skeptical of the park, released his own statement:

The Queensway and Trust for Public Land have wasted taxpayer dollars on expensive, out of state consultants and one-sided studies that don’t actually represent the interests or needs of Queens families. Elected officials and community leaders from every part of the borough and as far as Manhattan have expressed full support for the complete restoration of the Rockaway Beach Rail Line and increased transit options.

In a few weeks, the Queens College Department of Urban Studies will release its own comprehensive and objective study, done by local scholars, faculty and students. I am confident that this new independent study will reflect the true needs of Queens residents and small businesses. Our growing coalition, including the MTA, will continue the fight to expand transit in Queens while easing commutes, creating jobs, cleaning the environment and expanding our economic development.

Gothamist too issued a takedown of the Queensway, echoing arguments I’ve made in the past. To me, though, there are two distinct problems with QueensWay. The first is that the people in the area and those arguing for it don’t really want it. Everyone keeps calling it the High Line of Queens as though that’s a net positive, but a non-insignificant portion of Manhattanites feel that the High Line isn’t what they wanted New York to become. It’s become a tourist trap and a high-end condo trap. Long-time residents and business have become priced out of what has become a very exclusive neighborhood. Even as I stray into NIMBY territory, divorce yourself from that Manhattan experience, and imagine it in Queens. It just wouldn’t fly.

But worse is the way this area needs rail. The MTA vaguely committed to RBBL reactivation in its 20-year needs assessment, but the project has no fiscal champion. As we’ve learned, if someone delivers money, the MTA will deliver a project. If the RBBL becomes a park, no matter how much we spend on that park, it will never be rail. When or if an impartial study says rail reactivation is a definite impossibility that no one would use, we can turn it over to the QueensWay. For now, though, this artery preserved for rail from the Rockaways to Queens Boulevard is too important to give up. It’s a shame that advocates who are usually on the same side have wound up fighting each other over this plan, but the choices we make now with regards to this 3.5-mile ROW will reverberate for decades.

Categories : Queens
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No trip to Philly is complete without a walk down memory lane. #tokens #septa

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I’m in Philadelphia this week for a few days for work, and I’m always reminded when I take a trip down here how, despite the problems New York has, I’d rather have the MTA running things than SEPTA. They did manage to get commuter rail through-running through Center City right — which is something the MTA and New Jersey Transit have yet to achieve. Meanwhile, my absolute favorite part of any SEPTA trip are the tokens. Somehow, Philadelphia doesn’t even have last-generation fare payment; they have mid-20th century fare payment in place. They’re working toward a new payment technology and may have something in place nearly half a decade before the Metrocard is phased out. For now, though, I’ll enjoy using the token. It’s a public transportation time machine.

Categories : SEPTA
Comments (44)

First, a survey: Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, a North Brooklyn-based advocacy group, is conducting a transportation survey for those who live in Williamsburg and Greenpoint. If you fit the bill, head on over to their website to answer some questions about how much you love or hate the G train, what the city could do to improve street safety, and the reach of Citi Bike. (For background, check out this DNA Info story.) Now, onto the service advisories.


From 11:30 p.m. Saturday, October 11 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 13, 1 trains are suspended in both directions between 137 St and Van Cortlandt Park-242 St. AC, M3 and free shuttle buses provide alternate service.


From 3:45 a.m. Saturday, October 11 to 10:00 p.m. Sunday, October 12, Wakefield-241 St bound 2 trains run express from 3 Av-149 St to E 180 St.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, October 10 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 13, Flatbush Av-Brooklyn College bound 2 trains run express from Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr to Franklin Av.


From 6:00 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. Saturday, October 11 and Sunday, October 12, New Lots Av-bound 3 trains run express from Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr to Franklin Av.


From 11:00 p.m. Saturday, October 11 to 6:00 a.m. Sunday, October 12, and from 11:00 p.m. Sunday, October 12 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 13, New Lots Av-bound 4 trains run local between 125 St and Grand Cantral-42 St.


From 11:45 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Friday, October 10 to Sunday, October 12, and from 11:45 p.m. Sunday, October 12 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 13, New Lots Av-bound 4 trains run express from Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr to Franklin Av.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, October 10 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 13, 5 trains are suspended in both directions between Eastchester-Dyre Av and E 180 St. Free shuttle buses operate all weekend between Eastchester-Dyre Av and E 180 St, stopping at Baychester Av, Gun Hill Rd, Pelham Pkwy, and Morris Park.


From 5:45 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, October 11, and from 7:45 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sunday, October 12, E 180 St-bound 5 trains run express from 3 Av-149 St to E 180 St.


From 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Saturday, October 11, and from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Sunday, October 12, 6 trains run every 16 minutes between 3 Av-138 St and Pelham Bay Park. The last stop for some 6 trains headed toward Pelham Bay Park is 3 Av-138 St. To continue your trip, transfer at 3 Av-138 St to a Pelham Bay Park-bound 6 train.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, October 10 to 4:00 a.m. Monday, October 13, Pelham Bay Park-bound 6 trains run express from Parkchester to Pelham Bay Park.


From 3:45 a.m. Saturday, October 11 to 10:00 p.m. Sunday, October 12, Flushing-Main St bound 7 trains run express from Queensboro Plaza to 74 St-Broadway.


Beginning 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 13 until January 2015, Inwood-207 St bound A trains skip 104 St and 88 St.

  • For Service To/From 104 St: To 104 St, take a Brooklyn-bound A train to Rockaway Blvd and transfer to an Ozone Park-Lefferts Blvd-bound A. From 104 St, take an Ozone Park-Lefferts Blvd-bound A train to 111 St or Ozone Park-Lefferts Blvd and transfer to a Brooklyn-bound A.
  • For Service To/From 88 St: To 88 St, take the Brooklyn-bound A to 80 St and transfer to a Far Rockaway-Mott Av or Ozone Park-Lefferts Blvd bound A. From 88 St, take a Far Rockaway-Mott Av or Ozone Park-Lefferts Blvd-bound A to Rockaway Blvd and transfer to a Brooklyn-bound A.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, October 10 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 13, A trains are suspended in both directions between Ozone Park-Lefferts Blvd and Rockaway Blvd. Free shuttle buses provide alternate service between 80 St and Lefferts Blvd, stopping at 88 St, Rockaway Blvd, 104 St, and 111 St. Transfer between free shuttle buses and A trains at 80 St.


From 11:45 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. Friday, October 10 to Sunday, October 12, and from 11:45 p.m. Sunday, October 12 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 13, Queens-bound A trains run express from 145 St to 59 St-Columbus Circle.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, October 11 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 13, Inwood-207 St bound A trains run express from Canal St to 168 St.


From 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Saturday, October 11 and Sunday, October 12, Euclid Av-bound C trains run express from 145 St to 59 St-Columbus Circle.


From 10:45 p.m. Friday, October 10 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 13, Norwood-205 St bound D trains run express from 145 St to Tremont Av.


From 11:30 p.m. Friday, October 10 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 13, E trains are rerouted via the F line in both directions between Roosevelt Av and W 4 St-Wash Sq. Free shuttle buses provide alternate service between Court Sq-23 St and 21 St-Queensbridge, stopping at Queens Plaza.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, October 11 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 13, E trains run local in Queens.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, October 11 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 13, F trains run local in Queens.


From 5:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Saturday, October 11 and Sunday, October 12, G trains run every 20 minutes between Long Island City-Court Sq and Bedford-Nostrand Avs. The last stop for some G trains headed toward Court Sq is Bedford-Nostrand Avs. To continue your trip, transfer at Bedford-Nostrand Avs to a Court Sq-bound G train.


From 5:45 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Saturday, October 11, and Sunday, October 12, J trains are suspended in both directions between Hewes St and Essex St. Free shuttle buses provide alternate service between Hewes St and Essex St, stopping at Marcy Av. Transfer between trains and free shuttle buses at Hewes St and/or Essex St. For direct service between Brooklyn and Manhattan, consider using the AC or L via a free transfer at Broadway Junction. J service operates in two sections:

  • Between Jamaica Center Parsons/Archer and Hewes St.
  • Between Essex St and Chambers St, every 15 minutes.


From 5:45 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Saturday, October 11, and Sunday, October 12, M trains are suspended in both directions between Myrtle Av and Essex St. Take the JL and/or free shuttle buses instead. For direct service to/from Brooklyn, consider using the L via free transfer at Myrtle-Wyckoff Avs. Free shuttle buses provide alternate service between Hewes St and Essex St, stopping at Marcy Av.

Franklin Av Shuttle
From 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Saturday, October 11, S Franklin Av Shuttle trains run every 24 minutes.

Categories : Service Advisories
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The Commercial Transformation of Columbus Circle

The MTA’s rehabilitation of the Columbus Circle subway stop was an odd project. Like many before and after it, it took far longer than the MTA budgeted and ended not with a ribbon-cutting or even an announcement but with a whimper. One day, it was under construction, and the next day it wasn’t. It’s still not quite finished either as the corridor underneath 8th Ave. remains simply that.

As part of the original plans, this corridor was to become a commercial space with high-end tenants. It was, then-MTA head Jay Walder told me, to be the first of a new breed of MTA real estate. Instead of dingy newsstands and off-beat shops, Columbus Circle was to pave the way for a re-envisioning of subway real estate. It could be popular and a destination in and of itself.

Now, years after the renovation wrapped, that dream is inching closer to reality, Matt Chaban wrote in The Times this week. Chaban profiled Susan Fine, the current head of Oases Real Estate and the former MTA exec who was in charge of the rebirth of Grand Central, as she works to draw in tenants at Columbus Circle. Beginning 2015, 30 storefronts will line in the corridor as a set of shops called TurnStyle. These stores will include grab-and-go options such as Magnolia bakery, some electronics and high-end shopping spots, and larger upscale fast food types.

If Fine is successful — and that’s not a given as she has to convince New Yorkers to dine in a subway station — the MTA could bring this public-private commercial partnership to other subway stations with high foot traffic and open spaces. Taking up residence in the 7th busiest subway certainly won’t hurt the cause. “The trick was really figuring out strategies to slow people down,” Jessica Walsh, one of Fine’s partners, said. “If we can make it an interesting space with its own identity, we’re pretty confident we’ll not only catch commuters, but tourists and even people on their lunch break. Deep down, we all love the subway.”

CM Rose lead Staten Island calls for transit investments

As the MTA’s next five-year capital plan has come into view, complaints from Staten Island have increased. I wrote about the isolated borough’s complaints last week and pinpointed politicians as the leading cause of their problems. To be fair to Staten Island, though, not all of their politicians are as opposed to transit improvements as others, and this week Council Member Debi Rose flashed her credentials.

In a piece for the Staten Island Advance, Rose made the case for more transit investments for Staten Island. Not satisfied with the new ferries or the promise of new rail cars for the Staten Island Railway, Rose argued for some use for the North Shore and West Shore rights of way. She isn’t wrong, but her piece highlights the political problems here as well. Rose admits that the city doesn’t invest enough in transit, and although she rails against fare hikes and toll increases, she doesn’t propose a solution or a funding scheme.

As I’ve said before, the answer here is simple: Put your money where your mouth is, and the MTA will listen. If Rose wants BRT for the North Shore ROW, all she has to do is find a way to pay for it. But would she risk alienating Staten Island drivers, a strong constituency who will not be the first to support a congestion pricing plan? I doubt it. Without leadership that leads to dollars, nothing will happen.

The Man-Spread Blight

Finally, a more whimsical piece from amNew York that delves into one of the most egregious breaches of subway etiquette: the man-spread. We’ve all been there when some guy next to us is sitting with his legs spread far wider than any normal human would ever need. Perhaps it’s overcompensation; perhaps its ego or obliviousness; perhaps it’s a combination of all three. Whatever the cause, it drives me nuts.

In an amNY piece, Sheila Anne Feeney tried to get to the bottom of this phenomenon, and her article will in turns amuse and infuriate you. The perps and defenders act so righteous — “Men need space,” one person said — while those trying to find seats get glares or worse.

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