When we first heard word of a looming New Jersey Transit fare hike — the first since 2010 but fifth since 2002 — initial reports indicated the raise could be as much as 25 percent. Now that the budget numbers are coming into view, that steep hike seems to be off the table, and fares may go up by only nine percent in the coming months. But the reprieve may be only temporary as a variety of factors are at work that could push NJ Transit fares even higher in coming years.

The Wall Street Journal broke news of the hike last night. The nine percent figure is designed to help close a budget gap of $80 million. Andrew Tangel reports:

NJ Transit is expected to propose a 9% fare increase as the operator of commuter trains, buses and light rail faces a budget shortfall, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. The agency is expected to announce the proposed fare increase—its first in five years—along with potential service adjustments as soon as this week, this person said. Any fare increase would be subject to public hearings and an eventual vote by the agency’s board.

It wasn’t immediately clear how much individual fares for NJ Transit’s various systems might rise under the proposal. But the proposed increase is well below the last one, in 2010, when the agency raised fares by 22% on average. NJ Transit faced a $300 million budget gap then. This time there is an $80 million deficit to close…

NJ Transit officials have said they realize the previous increase was difficult for riders to stomach. This time, they have said, the aim is to keep any increase in the single digits as they try to close the gap in the agency’s fiscal 2016 budget, which takes effect July 1. In recent weeks, NJ Transit officials have been looking to trim expenses across the agency, and said they had found about $40 million in savings. But the agency has faced rising expenses, such as labor and benefits costs, and it remains in negotiations with unions representing its employees.

But that’s all short term. There are a pair of long-term issues that could affect New Jersey transit fares in the coming years. First, an annual subsidy of nearly $300 million from the New Jersey Turnpike Authority may end after next June, and second, due to a federal mandate that Amtrak run the Northeast Corridor like it a business, rent owed by New Jersey Transit to Amtrak may increase by around $20 million annually. If this worst-case scenario comes due, NJ Transit may have to hike fares by 30 percent to continue to maintain current service levels.

As I noted last month, this constant talk of NJ Transit fare hikes is in stark contrast to the fact that New Jersey’s gas tax hasn’t increased in a generation. For a state that, whether it admits it or not, relies so heavily on its rail network and can’t take more traffic on its clogged roads, this situation will quickly grow untenable. Where, I wonder, is the breaking point?

Categories : New Jersey Transit
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Assembly Rep. James Brennan has put forth legislation aimed at addressing the MTA's capital funding gap.

Assembly Rep. James Brennan has put forth legislation aimed at addressing the MTA’s capital funding gap.

As the MTA enters a fourth month of uncertainty regarding the agency’s proposed five-year plan, we’ve heard a big fat nothing from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, and within the city, Mayor de Blasio is content to let Albany fiddle while asking the feds for more national support for transit. But while the Move New York fair tolling plan garners a groundswell of support, Assembly representative James Brennan is set to introduce a new piece of legislation aimed at shoring up capital funding for transit.

Brennan’s plan, announced via a Dana Rubinstein piece and subsequent Facebook post, could generate additional revenue against which the MTA could bond out its capital plan through a combination of gas and income taxes and would force New York City to pony up more money. That latter piece is important, and I’ll return to it soon. Brennan’s proposal is far from the platonic ideal, but it’s the first sign of real life we’ve seen from Albany on the MTA’s capital funding woes.

“To say that the MTA’s $14 billion shortfall is extremely alarming would be an understatement,” the Brooklyn representative said. “Now more than ever we need to think creatively about how to address our transportation funding needs as well as how to generate reliable consistent funding for our state’s infrastructure. For too long the state’s infrastructure and mass transit systems have operated with unreliable funding.”

His plan revolves around a new New York State Transportation Infrastructure Finance Authority that would issue the bonds to finance $20 billion in various MTA and other state infrastructure projects. My issuing the money under a new authority, Brennan’s proposal would not necessarily add more debt to the MTA’s already-sagging books, and it would instead rely on a new state agency to carry the fiscal load. To generate the revenue needed to issue these bonds, Brennan has called for a ten-cent increase in the state gas tax and an increase in the income tax rate for those earning between $500,000-$2 million a year of ½ of 1 per cent.

Brennan estimates these tax increases would generate around $1.25 billion per year. Yes, it’s true there are tax increases,” he said to Capital New York. “The idea of this is we are not running away from our problems.”

The third piece of this puzzle is more intriguing. Brennan’s legislation would demand that New York City pony up a mandatory contribution, starting with $60 million in year one and increasing each year of the five-year plan by $60 million annually. The contribution under this bill would thus be capped at $300 million. How the city generates this money is up to Mayor de Blasio and the City Council.

And therein lies the rub. Brennan’s plan isn’t Move New York. As Stephen Miller at Streetsblog wrote, “It lacks most of the traffic-busting, safety-enhancing benefits of toll reform.” But by essentially forcing the city’s hand, Brennan’s plan could spur City Council to pass a a home rule resolution requesting Albany approve a Move New York plan to help generate the revenue required by Brennan. It’s a roundabout solution to a tricky problem, but, as I said, someone is thinking about it.

So far, de Blasio’s and Gov. Cuomo’s offices have issued platitudes. Cuomo’s office said that efforts to solve the funding gap “will continue with all stakeholders” while de Blasio said he is “committed to investing in our infrastructure, which will only come with strong partnership between all levels of government.” The MTA, which won’t go to bat for any particular solution, expressed a desire to “engage in a robust dialogue” on closing the $14 billion gap.

For now, Brennan’s plan is the dialogue, but as the state has passed its budget, watchers expect Cuomo to begrudgingly turn some attention to the MTA’s funding gap. The ideas today start with gas and income taxes. Where it goes after is up for debate.

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No word if the Mayor plans to attempt a subway ride this weekend. If so, he’ll have to contend with the following service changes.

From 6:45 a.m. Saturday, April 11 to 7:00 p.m. Sunday, April 12, Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall bound 6 trains run express from Parkchester to Hunts Point Av.

From 11:45 p.m. Friday, April 10 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, April 13, Flushing-Main St bound 7 trains run express from Queensboro Plaza to Mets-Willets Point. For service to 33 St, 40 St, 46 St, and 52 St, take the Flushing-Main St bound 7 to 61 St-Woodside and transfer to a 42 St-Times Sq bound 7. From these stations, take a 42 St-Times Sq bound 7 train to Junction Blvd, 61 St-Woodside, or Queensboro Plaza and transfer to a Flushing-Main St bound 7.

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

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

From 11:45 p.m. Friday, April 10 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, April 13, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound D trains are rerouted on the N line from 36 St to Coney Island-Stillwell Av.

From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, April 11 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, April 13, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound D trains run local from DeKalb Av to 59 St.

From 11:45 p.m. Friday, April 10 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, April 13, World Trade Center-bound E trains run express from 34 St-Penn St to Canal St.

From 11:45 p.m. Friday, April 10 to 10:00 p.m. Sunday, April 12, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound F trains skip Avenue U.

From 10:45 p.m. Friday, April 10 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, April 13, Jamaica-179 St bound F trains skip 75 Av, Briarwood-Van Wyck Blvd, and Sutphin Blvd.

From 5:45 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday, April 11 and Sunday, April 12, Jamaica Center-Parsons Archer J trains run express from Myrtle Av to Broadway Junction.

From 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday April 11, and 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Sunday, April 12, M service is extended to the Chambers St J station. After Essex St, M service is rerouted via the J line to Chambers St, making stops at Bowery and Canal St.

From 11:45 p.m. Friday, April 10 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, April 13, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound N trains skip 49 St.

From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, April 11 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, April 13, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound N trains run local from DeKalb Av to 59 St.

From 11:45 p.m. Friday, April 10 to 6:00 a.m. Sunday, April 12, and from 11:45 p.m. Sunday, April 12 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, April 13, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound Q trains skip 49 St.

From 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, April 11 and Sunday, April 12, Bay Ridge-95 St bound R trains skip 49 St.

Categories : Service Advisories
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‘So you’re saying you ride this thing every day twice a day and it’s all underground?’ (Photo by Rob Bennett/Mayoral Photography Office.)

Thursday morning was a big one for Mayor Bill de Blasio. He had his security detail drive him from Gracie Mansion all the way back to the Y on 9th St. near 6th Ave. in Park Slope because, apparently, the Mayor of New York City can’t find a gym on the Upper East Side. Then, he took the subway for 20 minutes from 4th Ave. and 9th St. all the way to City Hall as a way to put public pressure on Congress to pass a comprehensive federal transportation bill. It reeked of inauthenticity while drawing apathy and derision from New Yorkers and exposes a big divide between the Mayor’s words and his actions.

On its own, APTA’s #StandUp4Transportation day was a worthwhile initiative. Federal funds for transit initiatives serve a wide range of public good in the United States (and help sustain job growth as well), and it’s not a sure thing that the current Congress is going to pass a bill that will encourage and support local transit investment. To hear from local politicians and constituents will only help move Congress in the right direction.

But for de Blasio, the mayor of the city with the largest transit network and greatest use of transit in the nation, the approach was all wrong. Setting aside the fact that the mayor drives 10 miles to his gym, he came across as far too excited about a subway ride that’s routine for millions. He tweeted about it last night, Vined it this morning, and posed with Chuck Schumer a little later. It was a Big Day, drawing Times headlines, as the two rode the R train. (Meanwhile, millions of us take the train twice a day to and from work, and we all have to Stand Up 4 Transportation because the MTA can’t run enough trains to meet demand and allow for some available seats during rush hour. But I digress.)

In addition to his super exciting ride on the Sub-way, de Blasio penned a piece in amNew York yesterday. Again, it’s on the right track, but there’s a big “but” and I’ll get to that shortly. In urging Congress to act, he said, “We are making it clear that failure to invest in our subways, buses, roads and bridges is nothing less than failure to invest in our country’s future…As every commuter knows, if you are standing still, you are falling behind — and in terms of maintaining and building our transportation infrastructure, we are standing still… Without a strong federal partner, maintaining existing infrastructure and preparing for the future will be virtually impossible.”

The mayor isn’t wrong with his words, but he’s wrong with his actions. His current budget so far commits a $40 million a year to the MTA’s $6 billion per year capital plan — down from $100 million under Bloomberg. The Mayor claims he will up that amount when the budget is finalized and that $40 million is just a placeholder. Still, the city’s contributions are laughably low, and even at $100 million, the contributions wouldn’t nearly sufficient. As a recent IBO study found, had city contributions kept pace with inflation over the past 33 years, NYC would be contributing $363 million to the MTA’s capital budget — a still low amount but moving in the right direction.

Meanwhile, on the operations side, the picture is equally dismaying. The Student MetroCards, for example, run the MTA over $240 million a year. They are a way for the city to foist its obligations to provide transportation for its public school students onto the backs of the MTA and its riders, and even after a massive fight five years ago, the city’s contributions are still only $45 million — the same they’ve been since the late 1990s. Simply put, de Blasio’s New York isn’t doing its job funding transit operations or transit’s capital plans.

Ultimately, the problem with Thursday’s stunt is how it fooled no one. It came across as inauthentic because it was. De Blasio didn’t take the 4 train back uptown to Gracie Mansion, and come next week, he’ll drive back to the Park Slope Y for his daily workouts. In a city that relies so heavily on its subways to remain viable and prosperous, standing up for transit starts at home and shouldn’t just be a one-time event when the cameras are rolling. That, though, is what it’s become for de Blasio, Schumer and countless other New York politicians. At least they took the train yesterday — which is more than anyone can say for our governor.

Categories : MTA Politics
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One of the problems with aging infrastructure is facing the unexpected. For the MTA, these problems arise internally when signals malfunctions, switches fail and rails break, but the agency also has to contend with everything in between the subway tunnels and the street above. On Wednesday night, a water main broke at 14th St. and 7th Ave., and it of course shut down the West Side subways for some time.

As of this writing, the 1, 2 and 3 trains are not running between Chambers St. and Times Square. Some 2 trains are running via the 5, and otherwise, shuttle buses have replaced 7th Ave. IRT service in Manhattan. The MTA hopes to have everything running normal again by the morning rush, but keep an eye on the MTA’s website for the latest.

Since the water main break happened at a station with wireless signals and wifi service, the Internet played home to some dramatic images as water started filling up the local tracks. Early on, we saw the YouTube video I posted above — which isn’t of some pilot program for an in-station subway carwash system, and there were plenty of other images.

While the immediate problem was at 14th St. and 7th Ave., the MTA again had some issues with communicating amidst an unexpected service problem. I took the 4 train home from Grand Central at around 8:30, and by the time my train rolled into Nevins St., 2 and 3 trains were operating with 15-minute headways. There were no announcements about connecting service, and Transit opted against running the 4 and 5 trains local to pick up the slack. Riders waiting for trains at Chambers St. had no idea of the problem as the MTA made no announcements. Of course, the agency had bigger fish to fry — or really puddles to drain — but keeping riders who are already in the system aware of their options in real time has always been a challenge for the MTA.

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The open gangway of an articulated train in Paris.

While visiting Montreal last year — a city on the same landmass as ours — I had the opportunity to enjoy a few subway rides on the city’s rubber-tired Metro. The trains had a special sound to it, generally quieter than the screech of New York’s subways, and the trainsets were a revelation as well. The concept of open gangways — articulated subway cars with no doors or gaps between cars — has filtered through the United States, but it is alive and well in Montreal, lending more capacity to a modest Metro.

In New York City, where capacity problems are obvious every morning, every evening and every weekend, the MTA’s response has been halting and insufficient. As I wrote recently, the agency is ill prepared to deal with the crowds today and hasn’t adequate prepared for tomorrow. Even a fully funded 2015-2019 capital plan won’t do much to solve the subway’s capacity crunch, and although the first phase of the Second Ave. Subway is a start, by itself, it won’t be the answer.

There are incremental solutions though, and open gangways are an easy one. London, in fact, has found that open gangways could increase train capacity by ten percent alone. The MTA hasn’t really dabbled with open gangways but has acknowledged their existence. The 2013 Twenty-Year Needs Assessment identified open gangways as a potential innovation on the horizon, and transit advocates noted that the MTA is one of the largest system in the world without such cars. Could this be yet another case of New York exceptionalism? It certainly seems so.

Over at The Transport Politic, Yonah Freemark wonders why American transit agencies have ignored open gangways. Looking at available data, Freemark finds that nearly every transit agency except those in the United States have embraced this type of rolling stock, and he doesn’t understand why. He writes of global trends and New York, in particular:

Open gangways provide a number of advantages: One, they expand capacity by allowing riders to use the space that typically sits empty between cars. This added capacity means that a metro line can carry more people with trains of the same length. Two, it allows passengers to redistribute themselves throughout the train while the vehicle is moving, reducing problems associated with many people boarding in the same doorway, such as slow exiting times and poorly distributed standees. Three, it increases safety at times of low ridership by increasing the number of “eyes” in the train. There are no obvious downsides…

[The MTA], like others around the country, has the opportunity to address some of its problems through the purchase of these trains. On the congested Lexington Avenue Line…about 45.6 feet of each train’s 513.3-foot length is used up by the empty four feet between each car and the 10 feet reserved for the cabs at the center of the trains. That means that, if the Lexington Avenue Line were transitioned to trains with open gangways, the line could gain almost an entire car-length of capacity on every train. That’s practically as much relief as the Second Avenue Subway will provide—at the cost of trains that would be purchased anyway…

Open gangways are hardly the end-all be-all of transit operations. They won’t guarantee better service or necessarily attract more riders. And they may not be able to resolve some issues, such as the fact that Washington’s Metro runs trains of different car lengths on each line. But the fact that every U.S. transit agency—with the exception of Honolulu’s—has failed to adopt to this trend and has no plans to change, raises important questions. Just how much are the management of these transit agencies isolating themselves from world best practice? This is hardly an isolated case. The fact that transit agencies around the world are transitioning infrequent suburban rail operations into frequent regional rail services seems to be lost on most U.S. commuter rail agencies.

Freemark notes as well his own skepticism that “this technology is just ‘not possible’ on historic U.S. systems,” and his is a skepticism I share. That it has worked everywhere else is a clear sign that whatever barriers to implementation exist in the United States are those set up by our own agencies’ failures rather than by something unique to this country.

For its part, the MTA has claimed developing a new subway car would cost too much in design spending, but as we reach a capacity crisis, what’s the alternative? If it takes 10 years and billions of dollars just to build a new subway stop, the next rolling stock purchases should all have open gangways. At this point, though, we won’t see such designs in New York City for at least ten years, if at all, and that’s just a failure of problem solving at a time when we need executives to be thinking outside the (American) box.

Categories : Rolling Stock
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The 1979 subway map on a vintage Neiman Marcus tumbler.

A photo posted by Second Ave. Sagas (@secondavesagas) on

With the vagaries of other responsibilities, I don’t always have time to write lengthy posts every day, but that doesn’t mean you get get your fill of Second Ave. Sagas-style commentary elsewhere. For those days, such as today, when I don’t new content here, you can always find me on Twitter and fans of the site should give me a like on Facebook. Additionally, I post some scenes from the subway on Instagram. As always, thanks for checking in, and I’ll be back tonight with some thoughts on why New York City has been so resistant to adopt articulated train sets. For all of the talk about the subway’s capacity problems, open gangways would be an easy solution to a complex problem.

Categories : Self Promotion
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Gov. Cuomo has found $250 million in his budget for Penn Station Access. (Image via @NYGovCuomo)

Last week, I bemoaned the near-total lack of capital funding for the MTA in the New York State budget, but one element of the budget that did include the bare minimum of a fiscal contribution to transit merits a closer look. The grant doesn’t help the MTA close its $15 billion funding gap, but it is earmarked for a specific project — and that is how these projects get built. Gov. Cuomo, you see, has guaranteed $250 million for Penn Station Access, the Metro-North project that will bring trains into Penn Station and four new stations to the Bronx.

In a sense, it’s strange to see Cuomo pushing this project and funding for it now. Metro-North trains won’t operate into Penn Station until some Long Island Rail Road trains are arriving at Grand Central, and as we know, East Side Access isn’t schedule to wrap until 2020 at the earliest and perhaps later. It’s hardly a pressing priority.

According to Cuomo’s budget release, the $250 million will cover a quarter of the project’s estimated $1 billion price tag, and New York expects the feds to pick up the remaining $750 million. Maybe Cuomo’s team feels this money won’t be available down the road; maybe the Governor just wants to cement the status of this plan or encourage the MTA start some work on the Bronx stations now even if the Penn Station Access piece won’t start until next decade.

As we know, the plan includes stations along the New Haven Line at Co-op City, Morris Park, Parkchester, and Hunts Point and will involve some negotiation over the right-of-way with Amtrak south of New Rochelle. For its part, the MTA has called Penn Station Access “a lot of bang for not a lot of bucks.” But I’m still worried about the fare structure.

The MTA has struggled to attract riders to its commuter rail stations within New York City because the fare structure is not aligned with the subway. The City Ticket provides some measure of relief on the weekends, but New Yorkers in solidly working class neighborhoods aren’t going to shell out $6 or $7 per ride. There is though an easy way to solve that problem, and for inspiration, the MTA could look to Paris.

The City of Lights is attempting an experiment in pricing by instituting a flat monthly, universal fare for travel within a region that would encompass much of the MTA’s network were it grafted onto New York. At $76 a card, the price is nice too. Yonah Freemark at The Transport Politic penned a long post on this experiment, and he inexorably brings New York into the picture. “Imagine,” he writes, a single monthly fare card for all transit service” within the New York Metropolitan Area.

Freemark opines on the positives and negatives, and I excerpt at length to highlight some thought-provoking ideas:

It is an aggressively pro-transit policy that further reduces the cost of riding the train or bus compared to commuting by car; this effort corresponds directly to the [French] national and regional government’s massive investment in suburban tramway and BRT lines, plus a vast new network of automated metro lines. Perhaps its greatest benefit is that it encourages people to take the fastest services available on any trip, while current fare policies give people discounts for taking slower local services…

Most importantly, the decision to spend hundreds of millions of euros on reduced fares could mean hundreds of millions of euros not being spent on better transit service every year—and some would argue that the best way to improve transportation is to expand service, not to lower fares…The cost tradeoff is certainly not one to scoff at. Last week, New York’s independent Citizens Budget Commission recommended capping the number of rides that can be taken with the (far more geographically constrained) unlimited fare card on New York City’s MTA Subway and bus system, in effect putting a limit on unlimited. Though the cap would affect relatively few people, it would be designed to raise revenues in a fiscally tight environment for an agency that is struggling with quickly growing ridership.

On the other hand, were New York to change its fare policies to allow current monthly pass holders to ride the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad to far-off destinations deep in Upstate New York, Connecticut, or Long Island—in other words, do what Paris is going to allow this fall—the MTA would be left with fewer revenues. But customers would benefit. They’d get faster service on commuter rail lines that many now avoid because of the higher price of travel (a trip from Jamaica in Queens to Penn Station in Manhattan, for example, costs $10 on the Long Island Rail Road for a 19-minute trip versus just $2.75 on the Subway for a 35-minute trip). People in neighborhoods currently only served by commuter rail, both in the city and in the suburbs, would suddenly have a reasonable-cost travel option equivalent to their peers with Subway access. People living in the city would suddenly have a much cheaper way to visit Long Island beaches on weekends, and people living on those beaches would suddenly have a much easier way of working downtown. These are not imaginary benefits.

Moreover, the cost tradeoff is not so simple as a conflict between lower universal fares and better service. Rather, the funding used to pay for the universal fare comes from a revenue source that may not have been politically feasible to raise unless it addressed the issue of equalizing transport access among different areas of the city. In other words, the hundreds of millions of euros being spent on this change may have only generated political support for the improvement of the transit system in the context of standardizing fares.

New York, of course, faces its own challenges as the money to subsidize fares would have to come from somewhere, and that somewhere — Albany — has been reluctant to touch any progressive ideas on transit funding or transit growth. Still, as the governor has clearly made Penn Station Access a priority, for the project to be a success, the governor and his appointees should consider the fare structure too. Even if New York isn’t prepared for a regional one-fare system, better aligning intra-NYC fares would be a step in the right direction. If anything, in Queens, it may be a way to spare the Queens Boulevard lines a capacity crunch, and in the Bronx, it could usher in a successful Penn Station Access project in eight or nine years.

Categories : Penn Station Access
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Opening Day means a run of the Lo-V trains up the Lexington Ave. IRT. (Photo courtesy of NYC Transit)

Whether it be Passover, Good Friday and Easter, or Opening Day, Transit's weekend work stops for no holiday. Speaking of Opening Day, on Monday at 11:30, you can ride the Nostalgia Train from Grand Central to Yankee Stadium for Masahiro Tanaka and the Bombers' return to the Bronx. I won't be on that train as I'm likely taking a later one, but I know more than a few of you may try to hop on that for the photo op. Meanwhile, the following, as always, come to me from the MTA. Travel accordingly.

From 11:45 p.m. Friday, April 3 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, April 6, Van Cortlandt Park-242 St bound 1 trains run express from Chambers St to 14 St.

From 11:45 p.m. Friday, April 3 to 6:00 a.m. Sunday, April 5, and from 11:45 p.m. Sunday, April 5 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, April 6, Wakefield-241 St bound 2 trains run express from Chambers St to 14 St.

From 11:45 p.m. Friday, April 3 to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, April 5, and from 11:45 p.m. Sunday, April 5to 5:00 a.m. Monday, April 6, New Lots Av-bound 4 trains run express from 125 St to Grand Central-42 St.

From 11:45 p.m. Friday, April 3 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, April 6, Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall bound 6 trains run express from 125 St to Grand Central-42 St.

From 11:45 p.m. Friday, April 3 to 4:00 a.m. Monday, April 6, Pelham Bay Park bound 6 trains run express from Parkchester to Pelham Bay Park.

From 11:45 p.m. Friday, April 3 to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, April 5, and from 11:45 p.m. Sunday, April 5 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, April 6, Brooklyn-bound bound A trains run express from 59 St-Columbus Circle to Canal St.

From 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Saturday, April 4 and Sunday, April 5, Euclid Av-bound C trains run express from 59 St-Columbus Circle to Canal St.

From 3:45 a.m. Saturday, April 4 to 10:00 p.m. Sunday, April 5, Norwood-205 St bound D trains are rerouted on the N line from Coney Island-Stillwell Av to 36 St.

From 11:45 p.m. Friday, April 3 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, April 6, World Trade Center-bound E trains run express from 34 St-Penn St to Canal St.

From 11:00 p.m. Friday, April 3 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, April 6, World Trade Center-bound E trains run local Forest Hills-71 Av to Queens Plaza. Jamaica Center-Parsons Archer bound E trains run local from Queens Plaza to Roosevelt Av.

From 10:45 p.m. Friday, April 3 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, April 6, Jamaica-179 St bound F trains skip 75 Av, Briarwood-Van Wyck Blvd, and Sutphin Blvd.

From 11:30 p.m. Friday, April 3 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, April 6, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound F trains run local from Forest Hills-71 Av to 21 St-Queensbridge and Forest Hills-71 Av bound F trains run local from 21 St-Queensbridge to Roosevelt Av.

From 6:45 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday April 4, and 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Sunday, April 5, M service is extended to the Chambers St J station. After Essex St, M service is rerouted via the J line to Chambers St, making stops at Bowery and Canal St.

From 11:45 p.m. Friday, April 3 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, April 6, N trains are rerouted via the R line in both directions between Canal St and 59 St in Brooklyn.

From 11:45 p.m. Friday, April 3 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, April 6, N trains are suspended in both directions between Times Sq-42 St and Queensboro Plaza. Take the 7 or Q instead. N trains operate in two sections:

  • Between Coney Island-Stillwell Av and Times Sq-42 St. Trains run local in both directions via the R line between 59 St, Brooklyn and Canal St.
  • Between Queensboro Plaza and Astoria-Ditmars Blvd.
  • For service between Queens and Manhattan, take the 7 and transfer between trains at Times Sq-42 St and/or Queensboro Plaza.
  • For service to/from 49 St and 57 St-7 Av, take the Q.
  • For service to/from 5 Av/59 St and Lexington Av/59 St, use the nearby 59 St 456 station. Transfer with the 7 at Grand Central-42 St or the N at 14 St-Union Sq.

From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, April 4 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, April 6, Q trains run local in both directions between 57 St-7Av and Canal St.

From 6:30 a.m. to 12 midnight, Saturday, April 4 and Sunday, April 5, R trains are rerouted via the D line between DeKalb Av and B’Way-Lafyette St, and via the M between B’Way-Lafyette St and Queens Plaza.

  • N trains will make all R station stops between DeKalb Av and Times Sq-42 St. Q trains make all R station stops between Canal St and 57 St-7 Av. Transfer between NQ and R trains at Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr or 34 St-Herald Sq.
  • Transfer between R and F trains at 34 St-Herald Sq or Roosevelt Av. For R stations along Broadway, use nearby stations along 6 Av instead.
Categories : Service Advisories
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At one point earlier this winter, it seemed as though the perfect storm of MTA funding had appeared on the horizon. The MTA had issued a request for a funding plan for a $15 billion capital budget gap while New York State had a $6 billion windfall in fines from financial institutions. When the dust finally settled on the budget discussions this week, yacht owners earned themselves a tax break while the MTA received a big, fat nothing. Instead, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his staff plan to work toward a resolution on the capital plan while budget watchers and transit advocates are left shaking their heads in dismay as Albany again lets down New York City.

The idea that New York City commuters have long drawn the short straw in budget talks isn’t a new one. Cap’n Transit explored the issue in an April 2012 post that’s still sadly relevant today. This year, though, the disparity grew worse as Cuomo used the $6 billion windfall for upstate projects and potential toll relief for drivers who will eventually use the New New York Bridge. Unless the governor is going to make a big push for the Move New York fair tolling plan — and even if he does — this is a disappointing turn of events.

The coverage of the budget shenanigans has now turned its focus to the MTA. In a headline that is as much an understatement as anything the Daily News will ever run, a Glenn Blain story trumpets: “MTA not allocated enough money from state’s new budget, advocates charge.” In fact, “not enough” would be a welcome amount; rather, the MTA received $250 million earmarked for one of Cuomo’s own pet projects.

At City Journal, E.J. McMahon of the Manhattan Institute wrote a scathing piece on the Governor’s failures. He writes:

Incredibly, however, the only piece of the windfall Cuomo and the legislature aimed anywhere near the MTA is a $250 million appropriation to begin construction of a new Metro North commuter rail line from southeastern Westchester to Penn Station. The Penn Station access project is an odd one to be singled out for preferential funding. As the Citizens Budget Commission noted, “its total cost has not been reported, its benefits have not been quantified, and it is not clear why it is preferred” over other priorities in the MTA plan. The new line can’t become operational until the MTA completes its massive East Side Access project linking Long Island to Grand Central Terminal, which will free platform space at crowded Penn Station. The latest completion date for that chronically behind-schedule, over-budget project is 2023. For now, the MTA will have to settle for a token $750 million that Cuomo agreed to provide in bonded support for the transit capital program.

Ignoring the MTA’s needs made it possible for Cuomo to spend upward of $1 billion in remaining windfall cash on other purposes…Late in the recent budget negotiations, Senate Republicans tried to persuade Cuomo to set aside more of the windfall cash for transportation infrastructure, as well for municipal water and sewer projects. When the governor wouldn’t budge, they countered by authorizing more borrowing to supplement a separate bonded appropriation Cuomo had already proposed for highways and bridges. (In true Albany fashion, the legislative additions also included a pork-like $400 million “transformative investment” fund just for Long Island.)

…It’s all too common for crumbling infrastructure to be ignored until it poses an imminent threat to health or the smooth running of the local economy…The manner in which Cuomo and the Legislature have chosen to divvy up the windfall pie is sure to win them plenty of thank-yous over the next few years from politically wired developers, corporate executives, and unions around the state. But future generations of New Yorkers probably won’t feel as grateful.

Disappointing and expected. Now we head into a spring of uncertainty. The MTA can’t keep megaproject costs under control, and now they’ll continue to rely on a pay-as-you-go funding approach to a capital plan that needs support. I sound like a broken record, but trains are more crowded that ever. The MTA can ill afford to wait, but the last best chance just passed by. What comes next is a political blank slate with no easy solution in sight.

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