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Gov. Nero is fiddling while Rome’s subway system is burning, but some New York City lawmakers aren’t taking it sitting down. Assembly representative James Brennan, architect of a plan to fund the MTA’s capital plan, has penned a letter to the Governor asking for resolution. Streetsblog posted the letter [pdf], and Brennan secured 24 other Assembly members and 10 State Senators as co-signers.

Brennan and Co. do not hold back. I’ll excerpt at length:

While this proposed statewide capital program represents a significant number, it still falls far short of what is generally acknowledged by the comptroller and other transportation experts as what is needed to keep New York’s most valuable economic asset—its unparalleled $1 trillion transit system—in a state of good repair and to continue modest expansion. It also must be considered in the context of its broader value to the economic health of its service regions with more than 14 million people, seven million workers and one that generates $1.4 trillion in GDP. Moreover, maintaining transit systems across the state contributes significantly to the upstate economy, given the number of suppliers and value-added services that exist in upstate New York to support the transit capital plans.

The MTA’s daily ridership of 8.6 million has reached a 65-year all time high and is putting significant strain on the system. The Lexington Avenue subway alone carries 1.3 million people a day, exceeding the ridership of San Francisco, Chicago and Boston combined. The pressure on the MTA’s physical assets to serve this increasing ridership is starting to show, with equipment and facility-related train delays on the rise. Between October 2013 and October 2014, nearly 25% of all subway trains were late. Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road have similarly struggled in managing their aging assets.

A fully-funded, five-year statewide capital plan will have far reaching impacts for the entire New York metropolitan and upstate regions, regardless of which borough or county one calls home. It will fund the purchase of modern buses, subway cars and commuter rail cars; the installation of computerized signals to increase capacity and reduce crowding; safety measures such as new subway track to prevent derailments and Positive Train Control to keep commuter rail passengers safe; and rider information like countdown clocks and “BusTime” technology that will help bring New York’s largely outdated system into the 21st Century and closer to on par with the world’s other leading cities.

Our transit agencies have experienced a decrease in federal, state, and local monies for far too long. If new sources of funding are not identified soon, agencies will be forced to raise fares and tolls or reduce service to pay for much-needed infrastructure needs—taking more money from the pockets of millions of daily riders, many of whom have no other transportation options. Viable funding options exist to support these initiatives, and the time is now to take action.

These lawmakers want action during the 2015 legislative session — which ends in less than a month. This is a direct challenge to Cuomo and the loudest one he’s received on the MTA’s capital plan so far. Will he act? I wouldn’t put money on it, but the pressure is mounting as days on the legislative calendar melt away.

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When I was in Berlin last month, I stayed close to Unter den Linden, a wide boulevard that connects the former East Berlin to Museum Island and runs through the Brandenburg Gate where it becomes Strasse des 17. Juni as it passes through the Tiergarten. It’s a wide boulevard, and it’s the site of the German capital’s own transit megaproject. For €433 million, Berlin is building a 2.2-kilometer, 3-station U-Bahn extension that will finally join the U-5 with its U-55 progeny. Much like New York City, Berlin has had some issues delivering on-time projects, and this one is set to wrap in 2019. Still, the price is very, very right.

In New York City, meanwhile, the MTA maybe might open the 7 line extension — all $2.4 billion worth of it — before the end of the third quarter of 2015, but a City Council hearing today, MTA officials noted that the project could be delayed until October. The MTA is beginning dispatch training and teaching train operators how to run 7 trains from Times Square to 34th St., but the opening date won’t be announced for “several weeks,” according to MTA Capital Construction head Michael Horodniceanu. “We are in the final 50-yard sprint of this project,” he said.

The timeline is almost besides the point. The MTA is getting a little bit more track than Berlin and two fewer stations for nearly six times the cost. It’s stunningly disproportionate, and the 7 line isn’t alone. It’s not the most expensive subway project in the world on a per-mile basis because the 2nd Ave. Subway is. (The costs decrease a bit on a per-passenger basis, but the MTA’s cost scales are inexplicably high.) The MTA doesn’t talk much about these high costs and, tangentially, their inability to deliver anything on time, but well-positioned politicians have taken note of these issues.

On Monday, in an attempt to convince the City Council to up its contributions to the MTA’s underfunded capital plan, agency CEO and Chairman Tom Prendergast faced a sometimes-provincial, sometimes-on point City Council. After clearly laying out the agency’s financial issues, Prendergast heard from some council members who demanded, without funding, as Ydanis Rodriguez did, a subway from 207th Street in Manhattan to Fordham or from those who don’t understand that capacity increases require investment in the form of hundreds of millions of dollars to implement CBTC. (Ryan Hutchins at Capital New York summed up the hearings.)

But Prendergast, hat in hand, also faced some witheringly accurate criticism regarding the MTA’s project management skills. A certain line of argument came from Corey Johnson, the council member who represents the Hudson Yards area. Noting the 7 line extension delays, Johnson said, “It doesn’t inspire confidence” in the MTA’s ability to pull off large-scale projects. He didn’t even discuss costs (as expected since costs can be esoteric and don’t make for great sound costs).

All in all though, this gets us to the MTA’s credibility gap. We know they can’t manage costs, and we’ve seen how they manage timelines. Every few weeks, the opening date for the 7 line extension has been pushed back so that, if revenue service begins in October, it will have been 22 months since Mayor Bloomberg’s ceremonial first ride. Meanwhile, the agency continues to insist the Second Ave. Subway will open in December of 2016, and the P.R. blowback if they miss that date will be tremendous.

Overall, the MTA’s problem is one that affects its allies too. I want to argue vociferously for the MTA Capital Plan, but the agency needs to get out in front of these cost and time management issues. They have to assuage critics and proponents alike that they (a) recognize the problem and (b) are working to resolve it. Why does the Second Ave. Subway cost orders of magnitude more than similar projects throughout the developed world? We don’t know, but the MTA should be working its collective tail off trying to lower costs for future phases. Instead, their funding request includes $1.5 billion for a Phase 2 build-out with an indeterminate budget. That does not, as Johnson said, inspire confidence.

There’s no doubt the MTA needs funding for the capital program. The alternative is bad service and high fares without technological advancements. But until the MTA can be efficient with its spending and deliver projects on time, politicians will have arrows in their quivers they can use at will. And can you really blame them?

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So, did you miss me? There’s nothing like coming back with some bad news.

Since I’ve last had an opportunity to write up more than just the weekend service changes and a kitschy YouTube video on subway delays, I’ve been to Berlin, Stockholm, Chicago and Boston. I’ve ridden on a variety of transit systems, some better and more integrated than others, and I’ve had a whirlwind month of May as I prepare for my wedding in less than two weeks. I’ve missed a good amount of transit news too, and I’ll try to recap everything that’s happened in my absence, as well as provide some thoughts on those other systems I rode, over the next few days. Still, despite the three-week gap, the big story — the MTA’s 2015-2019 capital plan — may in fact be worse for the wear than it was before I left.

The sad reality is that, as June dawns and New York’s lawmakers gear up to end their 2015 legislative session, Albany is unlikely to address the gaping $14 billion hole in the MTA’s capital plan. This utter failure in leadership comes amidst a period of record subway ridership and clear signs that the MTA needs support to both keep pace with demand and continue to grow to meet future needs. So far, the details on this development are slim, but Kenneth Lovett, the Daily News’ Albany bureau chief had a brief report on this latest development.

He writes:

New York state leaders are set to slam the brakes on the cash-strapped MTA’s push to fill a $14 billion hole in its $32 billion capital plan, the Daily News has learned. Several lawmakers say the political will is not there to address the issue before the legislative session ends later this month.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has been looking for help from state, federal and city governments as well as the private sector. The agency says failure to fully fund the 2015-2019 capital plan could imperil such projects as the next phase of the Second Ave. subway line construction, improvements to rails, switches and stations, and the purchase of new subway and commuter trains.

MTA officials vowed to continue to press for the needed funding. “This is the highest priority for the MTA and we’re going to continue pushing it with everyone we can,” agency spokesman Adam Lisberg said. MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast and other agency officials have been meeting regularly with Gov. Cuomo’s office and members of the Legislature to try to come up with a plan to fill the $14 billion gap. But they’ve been unable to get the issue placed on the front burner of the end-of-session agenda.

If the political will isn’t there now, it’s hard to see just when the will may arise. There’s been growing support for the Move New York fair tolling plan — support that hasn’t materialized since the now-disgraced Sheldon Silver torpedoed then-Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan in a closed-door session in 2008. Plus, in April, James Brennan had seemingly prepared to put forward his own plan to fund the capital program through gas and income tax increases and more contributions to the city. (City contributions remain a very controversial issue as the MTA, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Comptroller Scott Stringer have been duking it out in recent weeks, but more on that in a day or two.) None of these efforts have led anywhere, and the city’s 8 million daily bus and subway riders will be left with an uncertain future.

For now, the MTA’s ongoing projects aren’t in jeopardy. Nearly all were funded under previous capital plans, and the agency can still tap PAYGO resources, albeit at higher interest rates than otherwise would be available if Albany were to act. But down the road, if Albany continues to fail to find the political will to address the imperative needs of a majority of New York City residents and workers, the MTA will have to turn to fare hikes, service cuts and scaled-back plans. That means no future phases of the Second Ave. Subway, no MetroCard replacement and no signal system upgrades while the Mayor can forget about his unfunded plan for a Utica Ave. subway.

It’s not surprising to hear Albany suffer from a lack of political will. Over the past few months, the state’s Assembly Speaker and Senate Majority Leader were arrested in corruption probes; the governor doesn’t show much outward support for transit; and the mayor has his security team drive him from the Upper East Side to Park Slope so he can go to the gym. While voting constituents need the subways, politicians who drive at a rate disproportionate to the electorate don’t understand the role the transit system plays in the city’s current and future success. So here we are in June, no closer to answer to a giant gap than we were in March, January or last November. The more things change indeed.

I’ll fancy these up in the morning and will be back next week. 

1
From 11:30 p.m. Friday, May 29 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, June 1, 1 trains are suspended between 96 St and Van Cortlandt Park-242 St in both directions. Use the AC, M3, M100, and free shuttle buses instead.

1
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 29 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, June 1, South Ferry-bound 1 trains run express from 14 St to Chambers St. 

2
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 29 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, June 1, Wakefield-241 St bound 2 trains run express from Franklin Av to Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr.

2
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 29 to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, May 31, and from 11:45 p.m. Sunday, May 31 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, June 1, Flatbush Av-Brooklyn College bound 2 trains run express from 14 St to Chambers St.

3
From 6:30 a.m. to 12 Midnight, Saturday, May 30, and Sunday, May 31, Harlem-148 St bound 3 trains run express from Franklin Av to Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr.

4
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 29 to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, May 31, from 11:45 p.m. Sunday, May 31 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, June 1, Woodlawn-bound 4 trains run express from Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall to 14St-Union Sq.

4
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 29 to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, May 31, from 11:45 p.m. Sunday, May 31 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, June 1, Woodlawn-bound 4 trains run express from Franklin Av to Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr.

5
From 7:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, May 30, and Sunday, May 31, 5 trains run every 20 minutes.

6
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 29 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, June 1, Pelham Bay Park-bound 6 trains run express from Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall to 14 St-Union Sq. For service to Canal St, transfer to the J at Chambers St-Brooklyn Bridge. For service to Spring St, Bleecker St, and Astor Pl, take the uptown 4 or 6 to 14 St-Union Sq and transfer to a downtown 4 local or 6. From these stations, take a downtown 4 or 6 to Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall and transfer to an uptown 4 or 6.

6
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 29 to 4:00 a.m. Monday, June 1, Brooklyn Bridge-bound 6 trains run express from Pelham Bay Park to Parkchester.

A
Beginning 5:00 a.m. Monday, June 1, until Fall 2015, Brooklyn-bound A trains skip Rockaway Blvd. 

· For Service To this station, take the Brooklyn-bound A to 88 St and transfer to a Far Rockaway or Lefferts Blvd-bound A.

· For Service From this station, take a Far Rockaway-bound A to Aqueduct-North Conduit Av or a Lefferts Blvd-bound A to 104 St and transfer to a Brooklyn-bound A.

A
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 29 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, June 1, A trains are suspended in both directions between Ozone-Park Lefferts Blvd and Rockaway Blvd. Brooklyn-bound A trains skip Rockaway Blvd and 88 St. Free shuttle buses provide alternate between 80 St and Lefferts Blvd. Transfer between shuttle buses and A trains at 80 St.

A
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 29 to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, May 31, and from 11:45 p.m. Sunday, May 31 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, June 1, Brooklyn-bound A trains run express from 59 St-Columbus Circle to Canal St.

C
From 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31, Brooklyn-bound C trains run express from 59 St-Columbus Circle to Canal St. 

D
From 3:45 a.m. Saturday, May 30 to 10:00 p.m. Sunday, May 31, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound D trains are rerouted on the N line from 36 St to Coney Island-Stillwell Av.

E
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 29 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, June 1, E trains are suspended in both directions between W 4 St-Wash Sq and World Trade Center. E trains are also rerouted via the F between W 4 St-Wash Sq and 2 Av.

E
From 12:15 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31, and from 12:15 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Monday, June 1, Jamaica Center-bound E trains run express from Queens Plaza to Roosevelt Av.

E
From 12:30 a.m. Saturday, May 30 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, June 1, World Trade Center-bound E trains run local from Forest Hills-71 Av to Queens Plaza. Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer bound E trains run local from Roosevelt Av to Forest Hills-71 Av.

F
From 9:45 p.m. Friday, May 29, to 5:00 a.m. Monday, June 1, Jamaica-179 St bound F trains are rerouted via the M line from 47-50 Sts to Roosevelt Av. 

F
From 12:30 a.m. Saturday, May 30 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, June 1, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound F trains run local from Forest Hills-71 Av to 21 St-Queensbridge.

J
From 5:45 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Saturday, May 30 J trains are suspended in both directions between Hewes St and Essex St. Take free shuttle buses instead. J service operates in two sections:

· Between Jamaica Center and Hewes St.

· Between Essex St and Chambers St, every 15 minutes.

· 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 service between Brooklyn and Manhattan, consider the AC or L via transfer at Broadway Junction.

M
From 5:45 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31, M trains are suspended in both directions between Myrtle Av and Essex St. Take the JL and/or free shuttle buses instead. M service operates between Metropolitan Av and Myrtle Av. For direct service to/from Manhattan, use the L via transfer at Myrtle-Wyckoff Avs.

N
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 29 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, June 1, Astoria-Ditmars Blvd bound N trains are rerouted on the D line from Coney Island-Stillwell Av to 36 St.  

N
From 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound N trains are rerouted via the R line from Canal St to Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr. 

Q
From 11:15 p.m. Friday, May 29 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, June 1, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound Q trains run express from Prospect Park to Kings Hwy.

Q
From 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound Q trains are rerouted via the R line from Canal St to DeKalb Av.

R
From 6:30 a.m. to 12 Midnight, Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31, R trains run express from Queens Plaza to Roosevelt Av. 

Categories : Service Advisories
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Due to the Memorial Day holiday, many of this weekend’s service changes extend through Tuesday morning. Give yourself some extra time. You know the drill.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 22 to 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 26, South Ferry-bound 1 trains run express from 14 St to Chambers St.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 22 to 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 26, Van Cortlandt Park-242 St bound 1 trains run express from Times Sq-42 St to 72 St.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 22 to 6:30 a.m. Monday, May 25, and from 11:45 p.m. Monday, May 25 to 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 26, Flatbush Av-Brooklyn College bound 2 trains run express from 14 St to Chambers St.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 22 to 6:30 a.m. Monday, May 25, and from 11:45 p.m. Monday, May 25 to 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 26, Wakefield-241 St bound 2 trains run express from Times Sq-42 St to 72 St.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 22 to 6:00 a.m. Saturday, May 23, from 11:45 p.m. Saturday, May 23 to 8:00 a.m. Sunday, May 24, and from 11:45 p.m. Sunday May 24 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 25, Crown Hts-Utica Av bound 4 trains skip 138 St-Grand Concourse.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 23 to 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 26, Woodlawn-bound 4 trains run local from Grand Central-42 St to 125 St.


From 6:00 a.m. Saturday, May 23 to 11:30 p.m. Monday, May 25, 5 trains are suspended in both directions between E 180 St and Bowling Green. Take the 2 and/or 4 instead. 5 shuttle trains operate all weekend between Eastchester-Dyre Av and E 180 St. 6 service is extended to Bowling Green.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 22 to 11:59 p.m. Saturday, May 23, 7 trains are suspended in both directions between Flushing-Main St and Mets-Willets Point. Shuttle buses operate between Flushing-Main St and Mets-Willets Point. Transfer between trains and shuttle buses at Mets-Willets Point.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 22 to 6:30 a.m. Monday, May 25, and from 11:45 p.m. Monday, May 25 to 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 26, Inwood-207 St bound A trains run express from 59 St-Columbus Circle to 125 St.


From 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Saturday, May 23 to Monday, May 25, 168 St-bound C trains run express from 59 St-Columbus Circle to 125 St.


From 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Saturday, May 23 to Monday, May 25, Brooklyn-bound C trains run express from 59 St-Columbus Circle to Canal St.


From 3:45 a.m. Saturday, May 15 to 10:00 p.m. Monday, May 25, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound D trains are rerouted on the N line from 36 St to Coney Island-Stillwell Av.


From 12:30 a.m. Saturday, May 23 to 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 26, E trains run local in both directions between Roosevelt Av and Forest Hills-71 Av.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 22, to 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 26, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound F trains are rerouted via the E line from Roosevelt Av to W 4 St-Wash Sq, and then via the A to Jay St-MetroTech. F trains run express from Roosevelt Av to Queens Plaza.


From 12:30 a.m. Saturday, May 23 to 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 26, F trains run local in both directions from Roosevelt Av to Forest Hills-71 Av.


From 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday, May 23 and Sunday, May 24, Astoria-Ditmars Blvd bound N trains are rerouted via the R line from Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr to Canal St.


From 12:30 a.m. Saturday, May 23 to 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 26, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound N trains stop at 45 St and 53 St.


From 11:15 p.m. Friday, May 22 to 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 26, 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, May 23 and Sunday, May 24, 57 St/7 Av-bound Q trains are rerouted via the R line from Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr to Canal St. 57 St/7 Av-bound Q trains stop at Jay St-MetroTech, Court St, Whitehall St, Rector St, Cortlandt St, and City Hall.


From 6:30 a.m. to 12 Midnight, Saturday, May 23 to Monday, May 25, R service is extended to the Jamaica-179 St F station.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 22 to 6:30 a.m. Monday, May 25, and from 11:45 p.m. Monday, May 25 to 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 26, 36 St-bound R trains stop at 53 St and 45 St.

Categories : Service Advisories
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May
21

Video: A Subway Delay Story

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At Monday’s MTA Board committee meetings, the folks who oversee New York City Transit enjoyed a screening of this 8-bit take on the MTA’s service woes. It’s a 110-second summary of how a single delay can echo throughout the system. I’m not sure it really tells us anything new, but it served as an entry into the MTA’s new attempts at improving service on congested lines. Essentially, the MTA is going to use shorter pre-recorded announcements to cut dwell times and employees situated in stations to answer questions. It’s an incremental improvement but without a massive investment in the signal system, that’s among the best the beleaguered agency can do. After my Q train stopped at four red signals between 7th Ave. and De Kalb this morning, I’ll take whatever improvements we can get.

On another note, I know many of you have been asking after me. After my vacation, I came down with a bad cold and have been catching up at work after my trip. I should be able to return to a semi-normal posting schedule over the next week. I’d love to offer up some views on my experiences riding the trains in Berlin and Stockholm. For better or worse, they stand in stark contrast to New York City’s subways. Thanks as always for sticking around.

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I picked a busy week to take vacation. This week’s Amtrak incident is horrific, and it’s led to many more unanswered questions and issues with national rail service. The fallout will reverberate for some time. We’ve learned as well that the city’s subway system is dirtier than the MTA claims — though that’s hardly a surprise to anyone who rides regularly. I’ll have full pieces on this and more starting Monday when I return from vacation.

If you’ve wondered where I’ve been, I’ve spent the past week in Berlin and Stockholm. I’ve posted a series of photos on both my Instagram account and Facebook page. The Stockholm Tunnelbana is breathtaking, but Berlin’s Ghost Stations are just an incredible piece of fascinating history.

Those running the Brooklyn Half tomorrow don’t have subway advisories to combat early in the morning, but the weather doesn’t sound too cooperative. Stay dry; run hard. I’ll see you all on Monday.

(As an administrative note, many of you noted mistakes in last week’s service advisory post. These are sent to me via NYC Transit, and I just copy and paste them for this post. If there are errors, take it up with Transit, and check signs in your local subway station before planning weekend journeys.)


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 15 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 18, Manhattan-bound 2 trains run express from Franklin Av to Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr.


From 6:30 a.m. to 12 Midnight Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17, Manhattan-bound 3 trains run express from Franklin Av to Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 15 to 7:30 a.m. Sunday, May 17, and from 11:45 p.m. Sunday, May 17 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 18, Manhattan-bound 4 trains run express from Franklin Av to Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 15 to 6:00 a.m. Saturday, May 16, from 11:45 p.m. Saturday, May 16 to 8:00 a.m. Sunday, May 17, and from 11:45 p.m. Sunday May 17 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 18, Woodlawn-bound 4 trains skip 138 St-Grand Concourse.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 15 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 18, 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, May 15, to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 18, Pelham Bay Park-bound 6 trains run express from 3 Av-138 St to Hunts Point Av.

  • To Brook Av, Cypress Av, E 143 St, E 149 St, and Longwood Av, take the 6 to Hunts Point Av and transfer to a Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall bound 6.
  • From these stations, take a 6 to 3 Av-138 St and transfer to a Pelham Bay Park-bound 6.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 15 to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, May 17, and from 11:45 p.m. Sunday, May 17 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 18, Brooklyn-bound A trains run express from 125 St to Canal St.


From 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17, Brooklyn-bound C trains run express from 125 St to Canal St.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 15 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 18, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound D trains are rerouted on the N line from 36 St to Coney Island-Stillwell Av.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 15 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 18, World Trade Center-bound E trains run express from 34 St-Penn Station to Canal St.


From 12:15 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 16 and May 17, and from 12:15 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 18, Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer bound E trains run express from Queens Plaza to Roosevelt Av.


From 12:30 a.m. Saturday, May 16 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 18, Jamaica Center- Parsons/Archer bound E trains run local from Roosevelt Av to Forest Hills-71 Av, and World Trade Center-bound E trains run local from Forest Hills-71 Av to Queens Plaza.


From 12:30 a.m. Saturday, May 16 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 18, Jamaica-179 St bound F trains run local from Roosevelt Av to Forest Hills-71 Av. Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound F trains run local from Forest Hills-71 Av to 21 St-Queensbridge.


From 5:45 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17, Chambers St-bound J trains run express from Broadway Junction to Myrtle Av.


From 11:30 p.m. Friday, May 15 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 18, L trains are suspended in both directions between 8 Av and Lorimer St. Use AJM, M14, and free shuttle buses.

  • L service operates between Lorimer St and Rockaway Pkwy.
  • M service is extended to the 57 St F station, days and evenings.
  • Free shuttle buses operate between Lorimer St and the Broadway G station, stopping at Bedford Av, Marcy Av JM, and Hewes St J/M.
  • Transfer between free shuttle buses and JM trains at Marcy Av or Hewes St.
  • A free MetroCard transfer is available from the Broadway G to the Lorimer St JM station.
  • Consider using the A or J to/from Manhattan via transfer at Broadway Junction or the M via transfer at Myrtle-Wyckoff Avs.
  • M14A buses provide alternate service along 14 St between 8 Av and 1 Av, and connect with the JM at Delancey-Essex Sts station.


From 6:30 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Saturday, May 16, and 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Sunday, May 17, M service is extended to the 57 St F line station.


From 5:45 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Sunday, May 17, Manhattan-bound Q trains run express from Kings Hwy to Prospect Park.


From 6:30 a.m. to 12 Midnight, Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17, Forest Hills-71 Av bound R trains run express from Queens Plaza to Roosevelt Av.

Rockaway Park Shuttle
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 15 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 18, the Rockaway Park Shuttle is suspended. Shuttle buses provide alternate service between Rockaway Park and the Beach 67 St A station, stopping at Beach 105 St, Beach 98 St, and Beach 90 St. Transfer between shuttle buses and A trains at Beach 67 St.

Categories : Service Advisories
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I apparently picked a good weekend to head out of the country as nearly every subway line has an alert due to some weekend work, and I can’t remember a weekend quite as busy as this one. Anyway, as you may have figured, I’m on vacation for the next week. I’ll try to check in here as I have time, but I’ll likely not be posting much. You can follow me on Instagram for scenes from my travels. I’ve already taken multiple U-Bahn trips in Berlin and will be riding Stockholm’s Tunnelbana next week. Meanwhile, here are those numerous service advisories.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 8 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 11, South Ferry-bound 1 trains run express from 96 St to Times Sq-42 St.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 8 to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, May 10, and from 11:45 p.m. Sunday, May 10 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 11, Brooklyn-bound 2 trains run express from 96 St to Times Sq-42 St.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 8 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 11, 3 trains operate to/from New Lots Av all weekend, replacing the 4 in Brooklyn. 3 trains run express in Manhattan.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 8 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 11, 4 trains are suspended in both directions between Bowling Green and New Lots Av. 23 trains provide alternate service. Transfer between 4 and 23 trains at Fulton St. Downtown 4 trains run local from 125 St to Grand Central-42 St.


From 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. Saturday, May 9 and from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Sunday, May 10, Flatbush Av-Brooklyn College bound 5 trains run local from 125 St to Grand Central-42 St.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 8, to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 11, Pelham Bay Park-bound 6 trains run express from 3 Av-138 St to Hunts Point Av.

  • To Brook Av, Cypress Av, E 143 St, E 149 St, and Longwood Av, take the 6 to Hunts Point Av and transfer to a Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall bound 6.
  • From these stations, take a 6 to 3 Av-138 St and transfer to a Pelham Bay Park-bound 6.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 8 to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, May 10, and from 11:45 p.m. Sunday, May 10 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 11, Inwood-207 St bound A trains skip Spring St, 23 St, and 50 St. Trains run every 15 minutes.


From 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Saturday, May 9 and Sunday, May 10, 168 St-bound C trains skip Spring St, 23 St, and 50 St. Trains run every 15 minutes.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 8 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 11, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound D trains are rerouted on the N line from 36 St to Coney Island-Stillwell Av.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 8 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 11, 168 St Queens-bound E trains skip Spring St, 23 St. Trains run every 15 minutes.


From 12:15 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 9 and May 10, and from 12:15 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 11, Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer bound E trains run express from Queens Plaza to Roosevelt Av.


From 12:30 a.m. Saturday, May 9 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 11, Jamaica Center- Parsons/Archer bound E trains run local from Roosevelt Av to Forest Hills-71 Av, and World Trade Center-bound E trains run local from Forest Hills-71 Av to Queens Plaza.


From 9:45 p.m. Friday, May 8, to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 11, Jamaica-179 St bound F trains are rerouted via the M line from 47-50 Sts/Rock Ctr to Roosevelt Av.


From 12:30 a.m. Saturday, May 9 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 11, Jamaica-179 St bound F trains run local from Roosevelt Av to Forest Hills-71 Av. Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound F trains run local from Forest Hills-71 Av to 21 St-Queensbridge.


From 5:45 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday, May 9 and Sunday, May 10, Chambers St-bound J trains run express from Broadway Junction to Myrtle Av.


From 11:30 p.m. Friday, May 8 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 11, L trains are suspended in both directions between 8 Av and Lorimer St. Use AJM, M14, and free shuttle buses.

  • L service operates between Lorimer St and Rockaway Pkwy.
  • M service is extended to the 57 St F station, days and evenings.
  • Free shuttle buses operate between Lorimer St and the Broadway G station, stopping at Bedford Av, Marcy Av JM, and Hewes St J/M.
  • A free MetroCard transfer is available from the Broadway G to the Lorimer St J/M station.
  • Transfer between free shuttle buses and JM trains at Marcy Av or Hewes St.
  • Consider using the A or J to/from Manhattan via transfer at Broadway Junction or the M via transfer at Myrtle-Wyckoff Avs.
  • M14A buses provide alternate service along 14 St between 8 Av and 1 Av, and connect with the J/M at Delancey-Essex Sts station.


From 6:30 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Saturday, May 9, and 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Sunday, May 10, M service is extended to the 57 St F line station.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 8 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 11, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound N trains skip 49 St.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 9 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 11, Astoria-Ditmars Blvd bound N trains run local from 59 St to 36 St in Brooklyn.


From 10:45 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 11, Manhattan-bound Q trains run express from Kings Hwy to Prospect Park.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 8 to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, May 10, and from 11:45 p.m. Sunday, May 10 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 11, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound Q trains skip 49 St.


From 6:30 a.m. to 12 Midnight, Saturday, May 9 and Sunday, May 10, Forest Hills-71 Av bound R trains run express from Queens Plaza to Roosevelt Av.


From 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Saturday, May 9 and Sunday, May 10, Brooklyn-bound R trains skip 49 St.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 8 to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, May 10, and from 11:45 p.m. Sunday, May 10 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 11, 36 St-bound R shuttle trains stop at 53 St and 45 St.

Rockaway Park Shuttle
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, May 8 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 11, the Rockaway Park Shuttle is suspended. Shuttle buses provide alternate service between Rockaway Park and the Beach 67 St A station, stopping at Beach 105 St, Beach 98 St, and Beach 90 St. Transfer between shuttle buses and A trains at Beach 67 St.

Categories : Service Advisories
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The Daily News was not impressed with the Mayor's complaints over subway delays.

The Daily News was not impressed with the Mayor’s complaints over subway delays.

When Bill de Blasio ran for mayor on a populist platform, he didn’t spend much time talking about transit. On one hand, that was by design. As the city has long ago ceded real control over MTA funding to the state, local politicians don’t feel the need to campaign on or do much to support the subway system. On the other hand, de Blasio wasn’t a subway guy. As a long-serving elected official, he drove everywhere. He didn’t — and still doesn’t — understand what the subways mean to the everyday lives of New Yorkers.

This political problem reared its head in early April when, with good intentions, de Blasio drove from the Upper East Side to Brooklyn in order to take a 20-minute subway ride designed to drum up support for federal transit funding. Yet, the Mayor took a lot of flak for his stunt because it was so blatantly just that. Instead of offering up more city money first and putting his money where his mouth was, de Blasio used a subway ride to earn some political points.

This week, the Mayor’s transit problem reared its head again in two distinct, but perhaps related, stories. First, on the day de Blasio’s team unveiled a budget that included a whopping $25 million increase in MTA capital funding — all the way up to $125 million — MTA CEO and Chairman Tom Prendergast made the case for even more funding. Relying on a recent Independent Budget Office study that garnered a lot of attention, Prendergast asked for at least $300 million annually and urged the city to contribute at least $1 billion to the next phase of the Second Ave. Subway.

Noting that “the role of the city’s mass transit system is historical and obvious,” Prendergast said today is “the right time for the City to acknowledge the need for significantly increased investment” in transit. “We believe the City must share in the cost of projects needed to ease current ridership growth and the system enhancements and expansion needed to address further growth,” the MTA chief wrote. “An example of such an investment — similar to the role played by the city in the extension of the 7 line to the west side — is the construction of the Second Avenue Subway line. We suggest the appropriate level of City investment in Second Avenue is a minimum of $1.0 billion over the five-year capital plan.”

In a subsequent exchange on Twitter between Adam Lisberg, the top MTA spokesman, and Amy Spitalnick, a top mayoral aide, Spitalnick accused the MTA of moving the goalposts. “We decided to fully meet MTA’s request. Our budget went to print. Then MTA moves the goal posts,” she said, defending the low amount. Of course, advocacy groups have called upon the city to fund at the $300 million level for months, but that again speaks to transit as a priority.

With this ongoing battle over funding as the backdrop, the Mayor on Monday “accidentally” sent an email to a Times reporter bemoaning a long subway wait. He supposedly left just 15 minutes to wait for an A or C train, travel from Canal St. to 34th St. and get somewhere on time. The Mayor, known for his tardiness, supposedly found himself waiting for over 20 minutes before dashing off the email in a huff. For what it’s worth, the mayor is always late, and there’s no record of a delay in the MTA’s text alert longs. That’s not a definitive listing of all subway problems, but New Yorkers have a long history of fudging MTA delays as excuses for tardiness. Just ask anyone who’s arrived at work 20 minutes late for an important meeting.

The Mayor’s optics problem is that in his email he noted that “we need a better system” regarding subway delay notifications and that it is “a fixable problem.” Of course it is, and all it requires is some political and economic support, but the mayor’s tardiness again pushed a real issue — transit funding — off the front pages. Meanwhile, local pols are trying to look everywhere but here for support, and the MTA may be a pawn in the ongoing de Blasio-Cuomo feud. But the truth is that populism and capitalism and economic growth in New York — from affordable housing to a vibrant and competitive job market — relies on the subway. The sooner our politicians digest this reality, the sooner we can move beyond petty tiffs and discuss real funding solutions.

Categories : Uncategorized
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I’m a bit swamped this week as I’m heading out for vacation on Thursday afternoon. I’ll do my best to expand on some of these topics as the week goes on, but for now, I’d like to offer up a short post on a topic I’ve covered in the past: MTA advertising.

As part of a back and forth with Pamela Geller’s group, the MTA has struggled to craft a constitutionally-acceptable ad policy that doesn’t infringe on First Amendment protections. The agency tried to amend its policy in late 2012 but has been engaged in protracted legal wrangling over the revised versions. Recently, a federal judge found that the MTA had to run anti-Muslim ads under its policy, and in response, the MTA has barred all political advertising from appearing in ads. (Check out the revised policy in this pdf).

On its surface, this strikes me as an impermissible content-based restriction on free speech, but recent Sixth Circuit jurisprudence may say otherwise. A case out of Southern Michigan found that SMART could bar all political speech as it did not consider buses to be public forums. The Second Circuit hasn’t been as forgiving, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this matter head to the Supreme Court. (WNYC delves into the legal theorizing over the constitutionality of the MTA’s moves.)

Geller has already said she plans to sue the agency over its latest revisions, and so far, the MTA has yet to win a case against her group. As a lawyer, I’ve always been intrigued by this give-and-take, and I’ll keep an eye out on this story as it unfolds in the coming months.

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