I’ve tried not to write too much about the political infighting between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio over the MTA’s capital plan. As I’ve said in the past, it’s generally just embarrassing for both New York City and New York State. Instead of supporting the city’s most important transportation asset, our two top elected officials have spent most of 2015 yelling at each other through media statements or various proxies and allies and have done nothing to bridge a spending gap that threatens the tenuous reliability of our subway service. As October dawns, nothing has changed.
Here’s the latest: de Blasio hasn’t ponied up more city money because (a) he doesn’t have much control over the MTA and (b) he’s concerned about Cuomo’s ability to reallocate MTA money. I’m less sympathetic to the control argument as de Blasio could ensure that his board appointees act as a solitary voting block, but he has a point about Cuomo’s raiding of the MTA. The governor has reallocated around $270 million for the MTA, and city contributions are often moved around to bolster the commuter railroads rather than NYC Transit’s assets.
Still, according to the Daily News, de Blasio may be willing to contribute an additional $1 billion to the MTA’s capital plan. The News reports that the money would come with “strings attached,” but it’s not clear what those strings are. Perhaps the city would mandate the dollars go toward Phase 2 of the Second Ave. Subway or a Utica Ave. extension. It remains to be seen how the city will find the dollars as the News mentions nothing more than a “revenue-generating scheme.” Could that be a nod to the controversial Move New York plan?
Meanwhile, Cuomo, who hasn’t yet issued one word of explanation as to where the $8.3 billion the state plans to contribute will come from, claims no funding deal is near. This is, to put it mildly, a problem. De Blasio says he wants to see “a real vision for what the state’s commitment will be to the MTA going forward” before adding more dollars, and Cuomo says “If the city wants more control, let them pay $8 billion. Then we’ll talk about more control.” This isn’t politics or leadership; it’s petty bickering.
If the two sides can’t resolve their dispute before the end of the year, the MTA is going to have to start scaling back work because it won’t have access to funding sources to pay contractors. Without an approved capital plan, the agency can spend only on contracts from previous plans. Anything new will have to wait, and work on maintenance and repair efforts will begin to slow down. That leaves our state and city leaders with less than three months to hammer out a plan. They owe it their constituents to figure this one out. It shouldn’t be this hard.
Earlier this week, the National Hurricane Center scared us all with a warning that this massive storm named Joaquin could head our way. Yet, the European forecast model — the one that picked up Sandy’s eventual track early on — disagreed, and by week’s end, after hand-wringing and planning, Joaquin is now forecast to wander the sea. It has raised doubts regarding the U.S. forecast models, and in New York, it led the MTA to cancel most weekend work. An MTA spokesman told me they had to reassign personnel for storm prep and couldn’t move forward with work. That’s a “damned if you don’t” situation, and I can’t fault the MTA for careful planning.
Thus, there ain’t much happening this week. Enjoy it while you can.
From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, October 3 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 5, Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer bound E trains run local from Roosevelt Av to 71 Av.
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, October 2 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 5, Jamaica-179 St bound F trains run express from W4 St Wash Sq to 34 St-Herald Sq.
From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, October 3 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, October 5, Jamaica-179 St bound F trains run local from Roosevelt Av to Forest Hills-71 Av.
From 6:30 a.m. to 12 Midnight, Saturday, October 3, and Sunday, October 4, R service is extended to the Jamaica-179 St F station.
Momentum continues to build for some sort of action on a new trans-Hudson tunnel. It’s not yet clear what proposal will emerge from talks, how much this monstrosity will cost or who will pay for it (though Amtrak is considering a surcharge on their tickets to generate some revenue). Meanwhile, early planning is moving forward, and The Times checks in on the effort.
Emma Fitzsimmon’s article has a few key takeaways, some of which are discouraging and some of which lead to more questions that must be answered. First is the news that both New Jersey Transit and Amtrak will be involved in the development and engineering work for this project. With Port Authority on board as well, I worry that too many cooks are stirring the soup. As we’ve seen with East Side Access, lack of cross-agency cooperation has slowed the project down to a standstill, and we shouldn’t repeat the same mistakes on the other side of Manhattan.
Second, Fitzsimmons reports that, despite the fact that planning for ARC involved many similar studies, all involved expect the environmental review process to take 2-3 years. This is a major barrier to transit progress in the U.S. today. To build a new rail tunnel, the project’s supporters will have to study environmental impact, including air quality concerns. As a point of comparison, it took the MTA nearly five years to produce a final environmental impact statement for the current iteration of the Second Ave. Subway. Considering the need and similar scope of recent projects, this is just an inexcusably slow process badly in need of reform.
With this background on hand, Fitzsimmons raises a series of key questions:
How would the states pay for their share when leaders are already struggling to fund existing infrastructure plans? Could Congress, already wracked by leadership questions, be persuaded to provide significant federal funding? And would the Port Authority, shadowed by scandal and a continuing federal investigation, be the best agency to oversee one of the biggest construction projects in the country?
From where I sit, the Port Authority is never the best agency to oversee construction projects. Of late, their best and perhaps only successful projects have been massively overbuilt and insanely expensive buildings that have little transportation value. The Port Authority board recently admitted that it has no idea how to rebuild its Manhattan bus terminal, as one New Jersey-based commissioner said, “We are so out of our league, we don’t know what the hell we’re doing.” Their $4 billion mall/transportation hub at the World Trade Center shows no signs of wrapping construction even as the group promised a 2015 opening date, and that project is hardly a bellwether for future Port Authority transportation success. And the agency is essentially a pit of patronage, making the MTA look fully competent and efficient.
So that’s where things currently sit, and that seat is very tenuous. We need a trans-Hudson tunnel, but we need one that’s well-planned and efficiently built. The years will tick by, through new administrations in the White House and Trenton and Albany, and the money may or may not flow. Hopefully, forward progress continues, but these questions need answering now, not in three or five or ten years.
As it stands today, the MTA has some deep-rooted financial problems. To anyone paying attention, this isn’t a surprise. The agency, backed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the TWU, has been fighting with Mayor Bill de Blasio over proper city contributions to the underfunded $28 billion 2015-2019 capital plan. But the MTA has other deep-rooted financial problems involving an utter inability to control costs or deliver projects at a budget comparable to similar transit systems throughout the world. That’s a problem more important than a political fight over a five-year capital plan.
Meanwhile, there is a state comptroller — an elected official — who could take a deeper dive into the MTA’s finances. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has threatened a forensic audit of the MTA on and off for a few years, and he’s never delivered. Most recently, two reports from his audits leave me skeptical that he’ll ever deliver. One regurgitated publicly available MTA materials, and the other comes across as great big whine about the frequency of trash cans. If this is the best we can get on MTA finances, we’ll be stuck with insane costs for the foreseeable future.
Let’s start with DiNapoli’s trash can audit. He took at look at the MTA’s unnecessarily controversial pilot program to remove trash cans from certain subway stations in an effort to cut down on trash that sits in stations. Noting that trash collection and the rat population at stations without garbage cans is down, the MTA recently expanded the pilot. DiNapoli, however, is not impressed, but it’s not clear why.
He starts his announcement of his audit essentially validating some of the MTA’s claims. “There’s no doubt that removing garbage cans from subway stations saved work and possibly some money for the MTA,” he said. “It’s not clear that it met MTA’s goals of improving straphangers’ experience and making stations cleaner and there’s no evidence it reduced the number of rats in subway stations. After four years the best one can say about this experiment is that it’s inconclusive, except for the fact that riders have a harder time finding a trash can.”
So the MTA doesn’t spend as much on garbage collection, there may or may not be fewer rats in stations without garbage cans and riders have a harder time finding a trash can. To me, that sounds exactly like the point the MTA is trying to prove and a whine from DiNapoli because he might not be able to throw out his trash right away. The rest of the audit [pdf] covers similar territory. Ultimately, DiNapoli’s view must be reconciled with the question of whether the MTA should be in the trash business or the transportation business. PATH, for instance, has no garbage cans, and it works. Numerous other transit agency also eschew garbage collection, and people cart out their trash. Either way, this is low hanging fruit.
The other “audit” is hardly that. Taking information from the MTA’s recent sets of board meeting materials or perhaps just Tweets from transit reporters, DiNapoli has determined that the agency has a capital funding gap at a time of record high ridership. His platitude sums it up: “The MTA is looking to the state and the city to close the remaining $9.8 billion funding gap in its five-year capital program. While we don’t yet know how the gap will be closed, we do know that the public mass transportation system is critical to the state and city economies. If the MTA doesn’t get the funding it needs, the MTA will have to choose between cutting the size of the capital program or borrowing more, which could lead to less reliable service or higher fares and tolls.”
If you want to read his financial outlook, check out this pdf report. I say tell us something we don’t know. Tell us why it cost $2.4 billion to build the 7 line extension — a project that should have cost $1 billion. Tell us why the 2nd Ave. Subway is four years behind schedule. Tell us why it cost over $4 billion. What can the MTA do to save on capital construction spending so the money it can access is enough, as it would be in nearly every other nation in the world? That’s what DiNapoli should do. Until we have a comptroller willing to ask these questions though, the MTA can get away with its monopoly money budgets, and Cuomo and de Blasio will continue to fight.
Congrats, New York! We survived the Pope-inspired transit-maggedon! But in reality, it was fine. New York City showed what would happen with fewer cars as streets were empty and life went on. The Pope himself recently had some insightful words on prioritizing spending that our city’s and state’s leaders should heed.
So as the week ends, we’ve now had two weeks of the 7 line extension, and coverage of early ridership figures has missed the long game. Ridership has been only around 7000 per day, and as some papers have noted, that’s well below the forecasts of 32,000 per day. Of course, that 32,000 figure is a future projection when the Hudson Yards development is open. Today, no one lives there. For now, the 7 line extension is a train to a developing area, and it will encourage growth. By the end of the decade, ridership should be right where the MTA expects it to be.
Meanwhile, as the first fall weekend dawns, there’s work to be done and weekend service to change. As always, these come to me from the MTA. Plan accordingly.
From 11:30 p.m. Friday, September 25 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, September 28, 1 trains are suspended in both directions between 14 St and South Ferry. Take the 2345R trains and free shuttle buses. 23 trains run local in both directions between 34 St-Penn Station and Chambers St. Free shuttle buses provide alternate service between Chambers St and South Ferry.
From 11:30 p.m. Friday, September 25 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, September 28, 2 trains run local in both directions between Chambers St and 34 St-Penn Station.
From 6:30 a.m. to 12 Midnight Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27, 3 trains run local in both directions between Chambers St and 34 St-Penn Station.
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, September 25 to 7:30 a.m. Sunday, September 27, and from 11:45 p.m. Sunday, September 27 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, September 28, Crown Hts-Utica Av bound 4 trains run express from 125 St to Grand Central-42 St.
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, September 25, to 5:00 a.m. Monday, September 28, 5 trains are suspended in both directions between Eastchester-Dyre Av and E 180 St. 5 service operates every 20 minutes between E 180 St and Bowling Green. 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. Transfer between trains and shuttle buses at E 180 St.
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, September 25 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, September 28, Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall bound 6 trains run express from 125 St to Grand Central-42 St.
From 5:45 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Saturday, September 26 and Sunday September 27, Flushing-Main St bound 7 trains run express from Queensboro Plaza to 74 St-Broadway.
- To 33 St, 40 St, 46 St, 52 St, and 69 St, take the Flushing-Main St-bound 7 to 61 St-Woodside or 74 St- Broadway and transfer to a Hudson Yards-bound 7.
- From these stations, take a Hudson Yards-bound 7 to 61 St-Woodside or Queensboro Plaza and transfer to a Flushing-Main St bound 7.
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, September 25 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, September 28, A trains are rerouted via the F line in both directions between W 4 St-Wash Sq and Jay St-MetroTech.
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, September 25 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, September 28, A trains run local in both directions between W 4 St-Wash Sq and 59 St-Columbus Circle.
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, September 25 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, September 28, Brooklyn-bound A trains run express from 168 St to 125 St.
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, September 25 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, September 28, Lefferts Blvd-bound A trains skip 104 St.
From 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27, C trains are rerouted via the F line in both directions between Jay St-MetroTech and W 4 St-Wash Sq.
From 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27, Brooklyn-bound C trains run express from 168 St to 125 St.
From 9:45 p.m. Friday, September 25, to 5:00 a.m. Monday, September 28, Jamaica-179 St bound F trains are rerouted via the M line from 47-50 Sts to Roosevelt Av.
From 11:30 p.m. Friday, September 25 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, September 28, F trains are suspended in both directions between Coney Island-Stillwell Av and Church Av. Free shuttle buses operate between Coney Island-Stillwell Av and Church Av, making all station stops. Transfer between F trains and free shuttle buses at Church Av. Customers who use the Coney Island-Stillwell Av terminal should consider the DNQ to/from Manhattan.
From 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sunday, September 27, L service operates in two sections.
- Between 8 Av and Broadway Junction.
- Between Broadway Junction and Rockaway Pkwy, every 24 minutes.
From 7:45 a.m. 6:00 p.m. Saturday, September 26, Queens-bound Q trains skip Neck Rd and Avenue U.
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, September 25 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, September 28, the Rockaway Park Shuttle is suspended. Free shuttle buses provide alternate service between Rockaway Park and Beach 67 St A station, stopping at Beach 105 St, Beach 98 St, and Beach 90 St. Transfer between free shuttle buses and A trains at Beach 67 St.
Over the past few years, I’ve fallen back on a cliched line to discuss current record transit ridership: If it seems crowded in the subways, it is. The MTA has seen crowds not approached since the days of elevated trains running through the city, and for 2015, the agency expects at least 55 weekdays where daily ridership tops 6 million. That’s 11 weeks out of the year of very crowded subway trains, and it’s beginning to show around the margins.
For the MTA, these ridership figures blow away previous years’ totals. In 2014, the MTA saw 29 weekdays where ridership topped 6 million, and in 2013 and for decades before that, there were none. Meanwhile, the 12-month rolling average ridership through the first half of the year was up by nearly 125,000 passengers per day over the previous year, and we are on the cusp of the busiest three months of the year for subway ridership. It’s crowded, and it’s only getting worse.
Meanwhile, I’ve had the opportunity recently to ride during off-peak and midday hours, and the service has been subpar. Due to the MTA’s own load guidelines, which they can adjust on a whim, train waits are long — longer than they were for any service when I was in Berlin, Stockholm or Paris (or even Boston and Chicago) this past spring and summer. Weeknight service isn’t any better. Even with a problem on the 4 train, Brooklyn-bound Lexington Ave. IRT trains were running at uneven headways with 15-20 minutes between some trains and two minutes between others. Service is infrequent enough to be annoying and unreliably uneven. The MTA needs to do better as ridership growth shows no signs of slowing.
And that brings me to Thursday and Friday in New York City. Pope Francis-mania hits New York City later today, and with it have come predictions of congestion disaster 2K15. Numerous midtown streets will be closed at various points in the day, and city officials have asked — but, for some mystical reason, not required — people to leave their cars at home. The MTA is rerouting bus routes up the wazoo, and Staten Island residents are being asked to take the ferry rather than driving. The note on subway service is less than comforting:
The MTA New York City Subway system carries up to 6 million people on an average weekday, and will be able to accommodate additional customers attending papal events. Subway managers will be prepared to adjust train operations as necessary based on conditions in stations near those events. Additional customer service personnel will be on duty in subway stations near papal events to assist customers as they enter and leave the system.
With everyone being asked to be mindful of travel, the subways are bound to be even more crowded, but the MTA is committing to shorter headways or more frequent service. The attitude here seems to be “Oh, we can handle it.” That’s all well and good, but ask that to someone jammed against a door of a packed Q train trying to get home from work tomorrow afternoon.
I’m concerned we’ve reached a point where subway service isn’t adequate for the crowds, but due to funding constraints and artificially inflated load guidelines that don’t require more service until trains are packed, the MTA can’t or won’t do much about it. Hopefully, this week’s events with the Pope prove me wrong, and everything moves underground as it’s supposed to. But if it seems crowded, well, that’s because it is.
The MTA’s next five-year capital plan is something of a mess. It’s a $28.5 billion extravaganza that underscores how MTA construction costs are out of control and increasing rapidly. The next five-year plan ekes in just below ten years of spending from 2000-2009, and the icing on the cake is a request for a few billion dollars for Phase 2 of the Second Ave. Subway without putting a concrete cost estimate behind this next segment. It’s not hard to argue the plan is enabling rather than sustaining.
But on the other hand, it’s also vitally important for the MTA to continue ongoing upgrades, maintenance and State of Good Repair work. Without an approved capital plan, the MTA cannot continue work that ensures the subways run more or less on time 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It’s hard to overstate this point: If Albany doesn’t approve the MTA’s capital plan before the end of the year, the MTA will have to stop working on projects that maintain and modernize the subway system. No matter how overpriced they are, the work is necessary.
So, with that in mind, it’s time for New York City and New York State leaders to drop the act and come to terms on the MTA’s capital plan. For weeks, we’ve heard Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, either through himself or through proxies such as MTA head Tom Prendergast or TWU President John Samuelsen, battle it out over funding. Cuomo won’t say where the state’s $9 billion commitment will come from; de Blasio won’t promise to up the city’s paltry contribution; and now the MTA is threatening to cut New York City elements of the capital plan. Enough.
If you care to read through the recent history, you’ve got Prendergast threatening punitive cuts to the capital program that would unfairly target New York city, and you’ve got Prendergast slamming de Blasio in the Daily News. You’ve got de Blasio calling on Cuomo to explain the source of funding while expressing valid concerns that Cuomo may continue to raid MTA funding for other state purposes. Streetsblog too is skeptical of Cuomo’s take, and like me, The Observer is sick of it all.
“The governor is being small and counterproductive. He shouldn’t make the millions of New Yorkers who depend on the MTA the pawns in the next round of this gamesmanship,” the paper’s editorial board wrote. “The region’s health, prosperity and growth depend on a modern, well-functioning system. This is not the time for childish tantrums or bullying.”
The solution is a simple one: Cuomo can do a better job explaining where his contribution will come from; his proxy-statement via the Daily News that it wouldn’t involve more borrowing does little to clarify the picture. He can also ensure that the capital plan is approved before the MTA’s ability to fund current work dries up at the end of the year. De Blasio, meanwhile, should commit to additional city funding, and he can look to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the 7 line extension as inspiration. The city can earmark money for a particular project — say, Phase 2 of the Second Ave. Subway or the Mayor’s pet project to send the subway down Utica Ave. — and the MTA will build it. Problem solved so long as our two fighting politicians can find some common ground.
Ultimately, the MTA’s capital plan is suffering from bloat and lack of reform. When the next five-year plan includes higher costs and ever diminishing returns, someone should step in to figure out what can be done about New York’s construction costs that make them exponentially higher than those in similar cities around the world. But for now, this current plan needs to be approved. The alternative is not a pretty future at all.
I’m too tired of political bickering over the MTA’s capital plan to tackle the subject this late on a Monday night. So I’ll be back on Tuesday with more substance. In the meantime, ruminate on Pizza Rat, a symbol of New York City and its subway system. This rodent is all of us, trying to grab a bite to eat and utterly failing at it, but he tried. A real New Yorker would have folded that slice before taking it down to the L train at 1st Ave.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is continuing his push for the White House as trouble circles a few of his pet projects back at home. As an outgrowth of the investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal, United Airlines’ CEO and two of the airlines’ top executives resigned, and the feds haven’t closed the books on potential criminal charges. In the background — or perhaps the foreground of this mess — is the Port Authority and the planned PATH extension to the Newark Airport train stop.
We first heard of the latest iteration to send the PATH from Newark Penn Station to the airport two years ago when news broke of a $1 billion plan Christie had been considering. Eventually, the costs grew to $1.5 billion, and as I explained in my last post on the project ten months ago, it was overpriced, underutilized and inefficient. The costs, as you’ll see, may now be around $2 billion, and a multi-billion-dollar extension to a transfer point to an AirTrain already served by rail with a projected daily ridership of 6000 is simply a terrible use of the finite dollars available for transit expansion.
Meanwhile, underlying the initial proposal was a sense that something else rather than rational transit planning was driving this project forward. Ted Mann first wrote about the horse-trading with United back in September of 2013. Reportedly, Christie’s team had asked for United to serve Atlantic City in exchange for state support and funding for the PATH extension. It was politics at its finest.
Now, certain Garden State factions want to put a hold on the PATH extension, and it’s creating tension in Trenton. Earlier this month, state lawmakers urged the Port Authority to put the project on hold at least until the feds are through with their investigation. “The Port Authority should suspend any further spending on that project until United Airlines’ internal investigation, the findings, become public, until the criminal investigation of that becomes public,” NJ State Senator Paul Sarlo said.
Port Authority officials defended the project. “The extension of PATH to Newark airport was a proposed capital project long before David Samson was chairman of the Port Authority,” Christie appointee and current PA Chair John Degnan said. He cited a Regional Plan Association endorsement as proof that “the project stands on its own.”
Still, considering the issues with this proposal, it’s not a surprise state officials want the Port Authority to prioritize a new bus terminal and a trans-Hudson tunnel before the agency revisits this flawed PATH extension. Meanwhile, though, Newark politicians want to keep moving on the PATH extension. John Sharpe James, a Newark councilmen, spoke out forcefully in favor of the plan:
James, however, said the project had been extensively studied by regional planning groups and the Newark Housing Authority, and was not being pushed through haphazardly. “This expansion is not an overnight decision,” he said. “It’s sorely needed and its probably one of the most massive projects in this area.”
…James, who represents the city’s South Ward, said residents of the Frelinghuysen and Dayton Street area, where the extension and a new train station would be built, are counting on it to bring jobs and new fortunes to an area that has long been rife with crime and abject poverty…Following news of the Port Authority’s commitment to the extension, multiple hotels have begun plans for construction in the areas outside Weequahic Park, which officials have hoped might spur further development in one of the city’s most economically depressed neighborhoods.
James said he was concerned that those calling for a halt to work on the PATH line might have reservations beyond any potential malfeasance by United. During last week’s hearing, Weinberg said the nearly $2 billion the project might require might be better used on a new Port Authority Bus Terminal or the proposed Gateway trans-Hudson rail tunnel. “I believe the folks who have been talking have their other pet projects they want to fund,” James said.
There’s very little doubt that “pet projects” like a trans-Hudson rail tunnel would be far better for the region than a PATH extension that won’t stop between Newark and the airport. But that’s besides the point. The latest version of the PATH proposal may have come about through illegal backroom dealings, and even if it didn’t, at $2 billion, this is a laughably terrible idea. With this price tag, we’re through the looking glass on lack of bang for the buck, and the Port Authority should not proceed with this project. If it takes a major investigation into malfeasance between the state of New Jersey and United to get to that point since politicians won’t or can’t look at it rationally, so be it. I’m sure this isn’t the end of the line for this story though.
Earlier this week, the Straphangers Campaign handed out their annual subway rankings, and they mysteriously awarded the 7 line the top spot while knocking the B and 5 train to the bottom. It’s confounding to see this rankings because they don’t make much sense. The C and R trains all perform much worse than the B and 5, and the F and G suffer on seat availability and service consistency. The B I take every day, and it’s an average subway line for what it is (which is complementary service along routes with other express or local trains), and the 7 is a packed train suffering from unreliable service due to an array of issues. But that’s all anecdotal anyway.
I’ve had bones to pick with the Straphangers’ methodology in the past, and the awards are designed to garner headlines more than anything else. That a major riders’ advocacy group claims most subway rides aren’t worth the fare is problematic by itself. If you’d like to read their full report, have at it.
Anyway, as Friday night rolls into Saturday, the weekend service advisories are focused around the 1 train, or lack thereof. The MTA has shut down the 1 train for the entire weekend. Alternate service includes the 2, 3, A and C trains, some regular Manhattan buses and free shuttle buses. It’s not ideal for anyone, and the MTA put out a press release calling the work “absolutely critical in order to provide safe, reliable service into the future.” The work includes brick arch repairs at 168 St and 181 St, repairs in the vicinity of 125 St, track panel installation north of 215 St and ongoing Hurricane Sandy recovery work at the South Ferry station. The 2 and 3 will still run local.
Here’s everything, straight for the pens of the MTA:
From 11:30 p.m. Friday, September 18 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, September 21, 1 trains are suspended in both directions between Van Cortlandt Park-242 St and South Ferry. Take the 2/3/A/C trains, M3, M100 and free shuttle buses instead. 3 service operates between Chambers St and 148 St overnight.
From 11:30 p.m. Friday, September 18 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, September 21, 2 trains run local in both directions between Chambers St and 96 St.
From 11:30 p.m. Friday, September 18 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, September 21, 3 trains run local in both directions between Chambers St and 96 St.
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, September 18 to 7:30 a.m. Sunday, September 20, and from 11:45 p.m. Sunday, September 20 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, September 21, Crown Hts-Utica Av bound 4 trains run express from 125 St to Grand Central-42 St.
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, September 18, to 5:00 a.m. Monday, September 21, 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. Transfer between trains and shuttle buses at E 180 St.
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, September 18 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, September 21, Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall bound 6 trains run express from 125 St to Grand Central-42 St.
From 3:45 a.m. Saturday, September 19 to 10:00 p.m. Sunday, September 20, Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall bound 6 trains run express from Pelham Bay Park to Hunts Point Av.
From 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Saturday, September 19 and from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Sunday, September 20, 6 trains run every 16 minutes between 3 Av-138 St and Pelham Bay Park. The last stop for some 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.
From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, September 19 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, September 21, A trains are suspended in both directions between Euclid Av and Ozone Park-Lefferts Blvd. A service operates in two sections between Inwood-207 St and Euclid Av, and between Rockaway Blvd and Far Rockaway every 20 minutes. Free shuttle buses operate between Euclid Av and Lefferts Blvd, stopping at Grant Av, 80 St, 88 St, Rockaway Blvd, 104 St, and 111 St. Transfer between trains and free shuttle buses at Euclid Av and/or Rockaway Blvd.
From 3:45 a.m. Saturday, September 19 to 10:00 p.m. Sunday, September 20, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound D trains are rerouted via the N line from 36 St to Coney Island-Stillwell Av.
From 6:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, September 19 and Sunday, September 20, World Trade Center-bound E trains skip Briarwood and 75 Av.
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, September 18, to 5:00 a.m. Monday, September 21, Jamaica-179 St bound F trains run express from Neptune Av to Smith-9 Sts.
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, September 18, to 5:00 a.m. Monday, September 21, Jamaica-179 St bound F trains run express from W 4 St to 34 St-Herald Sq.
From 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday, September, 19 and Sunday, September 20, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound N trains are rerouted via the R line from Canal St to Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr. Trains stop at City Hall, Cortlandt St, Rector St, Whitehall St, Court St, Jay St-MetroTech, and DeKalb Av.
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, September 18 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, September 21, Astoria-bound N trains are rerouted via the D line from Coney Island-Stillwell Av to 36 St.
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, September 18 to 10:00 p.m. Sunday, September 20, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound Q trains run express from Prospect Park to Kings Hwy.
From 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday, September, 19 and Sunday, September 20, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound Q trains are rerouted via the R line from Canal St to Dekalb Av.
From 6:30 a.m. to 12 midnight Saturday, September 19 and Sunday, September 20, R service is extended to the Jamaica-179 St F station.
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, September 18 to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, September 20, and from 11:45 p.m. Sunday, September 19 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, 36 St-bound R trains stop at 53 St and 45 St.