Earlier this week, many readers may have noticed some visual upgrades to Second Ave. Sagas. While the content hasn’t changed, I decided to refresh the look of the site.

The upgrades are designed to allow me to present more information and allow for better discussion. The two biggest changes, outside of the overall theme, are a wider content column and a new look for the threaded comments. With the wider column, I can include bigger and better photography from the subway system, and the comments system allows for a more thorough discussion. I’ll try to bring more features online over the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, on to the service advisories:


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, February 7 to 5 a.m. Monday, February 9, 1 and 2 trains skip 50th, 59th, and 66th Streets due to station rehabilitation work at 59th Street-Columbus Circle. – I don’t know why this doesn’t cover the 3 as well. No other service advisories suggest that the 3 isn’t running this weekend.


From 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, February 8, Bronx-bound 4 trains skip Mosholu Parkway due to trimming of tree branches hanging over the elevated structure.


From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, February 7, Bronx-bound 4 trains skip Bedford Park Boulevard due to signal testing.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, February 7 to 5 a.m. Monday, February 9, there is no 5 train service between 149th Street-Grand Concourse and East 180th Street due to track panel and cable installation. Customers should take the 2 instead.


From 11:30 p.m. Friday, February 6 to 5 a.m. Monday, February 9 (and weekends through Feb 27-Mar 2), there are no 7 trains between Times Square-42nd Street and Queensboro Plaza due to track panel installation on the Davis Street curve and security conduit and cable installation in the under river tube. The NQ and free shuttle buses provide alternate service.


From 11:30 p.m. Friday, February 6 to 5 a.m. Monday, February 9, free shuttle buses replace A trains between 168th Street and 207th Street due to tunnel and lighting work. Customers may transfer between the Broadway or Ft. Washington Avenue shuttle buses and the A train at 168th Street.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, February 7 to 5 a.m. Monday, February 9, Queens-bound A trains run local from 168th Street to 125th, then express from 125th to 59th Streets, then local to Euclid Avenue but skip 50th, 23rd and Spring Streets. These changes are due to roadbed replacement work at 116th Street and signal work at Chambers Street.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, February 7 to 5 a.m. Monday, February 9, Manhattan-bound A trains run local from Euclid Avenue to 168th Street due to roadbed replacement at 116th Street and the Chambers Street signal work. In addition, between 12:01 and 5 a.m. on Saturday, February 7, trains skip Shepherd, Van Siclen and Liberty Avenues due to track cleaning.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, February 7 to 5 a.m. Monday, February 9, Manhattan-bound A trains run local from Euclid Avenue to 168th Street due to roadbed replacement at 116th Street and the Chambers Street signal work. In addition, between 12:01 and 5 a.m. on Sunday, February 8, trains skip Rockaway and Ralph Avenues due to track cleaning.


From 10:30 p.m. Friday, February 6 to 5 a.m. Monday, February 9, free shuttle buses replace A trains between Beach 90th Street and Far Rockaway due to track panel work.


From 11:30 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, February 9, there are no C trains running due to roadbed replacement work at 116th Street and signal work at Chambers Street. Customers should take the A instead.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, February 7 to 5 a.m. Monday, February 9 (and weekends through February 21-23), there is no E train service between West 4th Street and World Trade Center due to signal work at Chambers Street.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, February 7 to 5 a.m. Monday, February 9, Manhattan-bound E and R trains run express from Roosevelt Avenue to Queens Plaza due to third rail work.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, February 7 to 5 a.m. Monday, February 9, uptown F trains skip 14th and 23rd Streets due to conduit and cable work.


From 12:01 a.m. to midnight Saturday, February 7, Manhattan-bound F trains skip Sutphin and Van Wyck Boulevards due to drain installation.


From 8:30 p.m. Friday, February 6 to 5 a.m. Monday, February 9 (until further notice), there are no G trains between Forest Hills-71st Avenue and Court Square due to third rail work. Customers should take the E or R instead.


From 3:30 a.m. Saturday, February 7 to 10 p.m. Sunday, February 8, there are no J trains between Broadway Junction and Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer due to fiber optic cable installation. Free shuttle buses replace trains between Broadway Junction and the Jamaica Van Wyck E station.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, February 7 to 5 a.m. Monday, February 9 (and weekends through Feb 28-Mar 2), N and Q trains run local between Canal Street and 57th Street due to track panel installation on the Davis Street curve and security conduit and cable installation in the under river tube.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, February 7 to 5 a.m. Monday, February 9, Brooklyn-bound N and Q trains run on the R line from Canal Street to DeKalb Avenue due to track installation at Canal Street.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, February 7 to 5 a.m. Monday, February 9, Manhattan-bound N and R trains are rerouted over the Manhattan Bridge from DeKalb Avenue to Canal Street due to subway tunnel rehabilitation.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, February 7 to 5 a.m. Monday, February 9, Q trains are extended to Ditmars Boulevard N station due to track panel installation on the Davis Street curve and security conduit and cable installation in the under river tube.


From 11:30 p.m. Friday, February 6 to 5 a.m. Monday, February 9, the 42nd Street Shuttle S operates overnight to replace 7 service between Times Square-42nd Street and Grand Central-42nd Street due to track panel installation on the Davis Street curve and security conduit and cable installation in the under river tube.

Categories : Service Advisories
Comments (5)

dsc_0003

Four months ago, New York City Transit announced its plans to bring real-time train location information to the L line. As part of the Line Manager program, this innovation would be implemented on a trial basis as one stop along the Canarsie Line with a potential future system-wide roll-out if it proves successful.

Yesterday, the agency unveiled the pilot program at the Myrtle-Wyckoff Aves. station in Bushwick. The NYC Transit press release credits line manager Greg Lombardi’s willingness to listen to customers as well as the technological innovations made possible by the computer-based train control technology along the L. “The idea for this new system came directly from the customers who use the L line every day coupled with Greg Lombardi’s willingness to listen to the issues and then look into finding a way to respond to their concerns,” NYC Transit President Howard H. Roberts said.

Despite this immediate credit, NYC Transit had been eying a possible implementation of this trial program well before the line manager program came into being. This new program simply sped up the process. “This was an extremely worthwhile project. I had strong support and cooperation from everyone involved and it was great to be able to respond to my customers’ ideas on how to improve service,” said Lombardi.

Per the press release:

The Train Locator Console screens are split into two views: the bottom half of the TLC displays the locations of all trains moving along the entire L line; the top half is a magnified view of the station where it is installed, and the next station in both directions. Once the interface design was approved, 42-inch flat-panel monitors were purchased off the shelf and Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues station was selected for TLC’s pilot location. Two platform screens have been installed along with a third screen in the fare control area for the pilot.

While I’d rather see a system-wide roll-out of a train wait time system, this is a great first step in that process. Now, we just have to see if the pace and scope of this technological innovation can continue in a time of economic crisis.

Photo courtesy of New York City Transit.

Categories : MTA Technology
Comments (14)
  • Paterson pushes Ravitch recommendations · Fresh off of his Carolin Kennedy Senate debacle, Gov. David Paterson is shifting his attention to another no-win situation. As The Times reported yesterday, New York’s chief executive will begin pushing for the Ravtich recommendations when the legislature gathers this month. The State Senate has scheduled two-day hearings on the plan for Feb. 18 and 19, but with the MTA’s March 25 drop-dead date fast approaching, time is of the essence.

    As is New York State politics’ wont, the Senate leaders may need some prodding on this issue. “We obviously want to get clarification of what the project is about, how it works, how the resources are going to be used, how services are going to be impacted one way or the other,” State Senator Bill Perkins said to The Times. “This is a big, big idea, a big, big project that is going to be sort of a signature decision for us in the Senate and the Legislature.” · (0)

sasmap Businesses along Second Ave. may be suffering through the pains of construction, but according to one politician, the city is enjoying some substantial benefits from the ongoing effort to build the Second Ave. subway.

Caroline Maloney, House representative from New York’s 14th District, issued a report this week touting the job-creation benefits of the MTA’s capital project. At a time when New York is hemorrhaging jobs, Maloney has certainly found a silver lining.

“The Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access are moving forward and creating thousands of jobs literally beneath our feet,” Maloney said at a news conference this week. “The stock market may be slumping, but these two transit megaprojects are delivering a very healthy return on the federal and state investments in them. The Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access have already created tens of thousands of jobs and generated billions in revenue. While these projects won’t cure everything that ails our economy, they are a huge help in getting us back on track.”

Per her report, supposedly available here but inaccessible last night, the Second Ave. subway has created 16,000 jobs, generated $842 million in wages and produced $2.87 billion in economic activity for the city. She estimates that the final total economic activity generated of what I have to believe is Phase I of construction will be around $4.347 billion.

Despite these lofty numbers, it is hard to ignore the downturn in business along the construction site. Maloney’s report, however, reinforces something I have been saying for a while: People may suffer in the short term, but the long-term gains from having any part of the Second Ave. subway up and running far outweigh the present losses. That doesn’t — and shouldn’t — make Second Ave. business owners feel good about the downturn in business, but the rest of us should know better.

Meanwhile, as Maloney touted this new subway line and the East Side Access project as New York’s local version of a stimulus, her fellow pols reiterated their support for the oft-delayed project. “This is the ultimate stimulus package,” Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said. “We don’t want to be talking about a third groundbreaking 20 years from now.”

Now if only the MTA could secure enough in funding to build a line the length of Manhattan, everything would be all set for the seemingly cursed subway line. But right now, I’m not betting past Phase I.

Comments (4)
Feb
05

Improvising a garbage can

By · Comments (7) ·

img_2817

Where: The south end of the Manhattan-bound platform at the Q/B stop at 7th Ave. in Brooklyn.
When: Now and then, but specifically, January 30 at around 12:30 p.m.

The garbage cans at the 7th Ave. station are near the staircases at the extreme other end of the platform. Yet, people congregate near the back of the train in droves during the morning. With the nearest garbage cans the equivalent of a city block and a half away, straphangers improvise. Here, the garbage can is a nook created by a pipe connecting the newer part of the station with the original area. Perhaps a real garbage can or two at other ends of the city’s subway stations would make for a cleaner system overall.

Comments (7)

Brooklyn Fare Hike Hearing

Brooklynites protest the MTA’s planned fare hikes and service cuts. (Photo by Benjamin Kabak)

Now that the MTA’s public comment period for its planned service hikes and fare cuts has wrapped up, we can conduct something of a post mortem on the hearings. I sat through parts of two of them, and based on what I saw and based on what I’ve heard about the other hearings, a trend emerged: Riders and politicians were very unhappy with the MTA, but few were willing to embrace the sacrifices saving the MTA will entail.

In wrapping up the details about the hearings, the stories are old. Hundreds more people than usual showed up to voice their complaints, but attendance by many MTA Board members was less than impressive. Those two Pete Donohue stories border on the “dog bites man” level of news. Obviously, people are upset, and obviously, those MTA Board members who don’t care won’t show up.

The problem, though, extends well beyond apathetic board members. Speaker after speaker at the hearings I attended lambasted the MTA for its poor planning. They remain skeptical of the authority’s book-keeping after 2005′s dual books debacle that revealed a surplus when the MTA was crying deficit. They slammed the agency for looking to double paratransit fares and bemoaned bus line elimination and the closing of stations that, frankly, could be shuttered overnight.

What no one really supported were tolls on the East River bridges that would impact far fewer people than a poorly funded subway system. What no one supported was a payroll tax. What no one supported were the alternate plans to jack of car registration fees, on-street parking rates, a congestion fee or mandatory residential parking permits. Money for the MTA, it seems, should just rain down from the sky without anyone’s having to give up anything in return.

Life doesn’t work like that, and at least the one man in charge of the MTA knows it. In a column in The Queens Courier yesterday, MTA CEO and Executive Director Elliot Sander called upon the hundreds who protested to take real action. He writes:

At public hearings held across the city this month, I have heard strong objections from hundreds of MTA customers about the fare and toll increase and service cuts the MTA has been forced to propose. You may be surprised by my reaction: I agree with you. A 25 percent fare increase is too much, especially in this economic environment. Moreover, with transit ridership growing, I agree that now is the time to be adding service, not cutting it. These painful measures can be avoided, but only with your help…

After 25 years of dramatic improvement, New York’s transit network is clearly at a crossroads. A lack of funding threatens to derail unprecedented progress and send us in the wrong direction. If Albany does not act soon, our customers will be faced with drastic fare and toll increases and service cuts, and the system will risk falling into disrepair.

Please call or write your local state senator and assembly member and urge them to support the Ravitch recommendations to provide a steady, long-term funding stream for the MTA. Make sure our legislators understand the importance of the MTA’s transit network to all New Yorkers. Providing the region with efficient and reliable transportation options will keep our hardworking men and women and our economy moving forward.

The MTA has to balance its operations books. It’s a legal requirement. They don’t want to cut service. They don’t want to raise fares. But they will, and now it’s up to the rest of us to act. Heed Sander’s words and call your representatives. Otherwise, we’re in for a long decline as New York City, with its fate tethered to the subways, stares into the abyss of bad and inadequate public transit service.

Categories : Fare Hikes, Service Cuts
Comments (5)
  • The paradox of public transit investment · A few months ago, with gas prices at all-time highs, commuters started flocking to public transit in record numbers. When the economy — and oil futures — tanked, a funny thing happened on the way to work: People continued to rely on public transit, and ridership has continued to increase. It is, then, alarming to read in The Times today about how mass transit systems around the nation are suffering from major budget crises. Meanwhile, the Senate is debating amendments to strip transit from the stimulus bill while propping up highways.

    It’s tough to understand the rationale behind that move. The nation needs public transit. It needs it environmentally; it needs it economically. Right now, the public have shown that they will use public transit, and to read that cities are cutting thousands of bus stops and service options in the face of record high ridership numbers is to fear for the future of the nation. While I try to stay focused on New York City issues here, nationwide transit impacts us all. The new Streetsblog Network covers this issue in depth, and now is the time for action on public transit in the New York area and around the U.S. · (9)

Over the last few days, we’ve talked a lot about the MTA’s stimulus plans. Backed by statements by MTA CEO and Executive Director Elliot Sander, we explored the revival of the Fulton St. dome. Spurred on by idle speculation, on Monday, we contemplated the fate of the 7 line extension.

Now, according to one report, the agency may have something of an official wishlist. The MTA, however, maintains that this list is simply a recycled summary of projects and that the authority’s planners will not publish a planned list of stimulus projects until and unless the package is approved by Congress.

Matthew Sollars, a reporter with Crain’s New York, reported on the MTA’s alleged wishlist on Tuesday afternoon:

Sander said last week that the authority would spend $497 million from the federal stimulus package to complete the Fulton Street Transit Center in Manhattan. But the agency expected to receive more than $1.5 billion if the package is passed as it stands now, and while it says other mega-projects like the Second Avenue Subway will get funds from the stimulus a large amount of money remains for upgrading dilapidated stations and other lower-profile projects.

Many of these projects were cut from the authority’s capital budget last summer when the Wall Street collapse first started. Some of the projects on the list include $34 million to replace the “gap fillers” on the 4, 5, and 6 lines at the Union Square station and roughly $120 million to rehabilitate 10 subway stations in Brooklyn…

The stimulus money would also be used to prevent the chaos caused by flooding during a massive rainstorm in 2007. The MTA plans to spend $47 million to install public announcement systems in 43 stations throughout the subway network that do not have them. During the 2007 floods, riders piled up on platforms and agents at the stations could not make announcements saying the trains weren’t coming.

According to a list of projects being passed around by transit advocates last week, the authority will also spend $200 million to install raised ventilation grates and bike racks in Queens and Manhattan, aimed at preventing future floods. An MTA spokesman says that figure is too high.

It’s easy to see why many think the MTA’s stimulus list stems from these pre-existing plans, but this is simply isn’t the case, according to Jeremy Soffin, the authority’s press secretary. In an e-mail to me on Tuesday in response to my post about the 10th Ave. station stop on the 7 line extension, Soffin said that “a final list will only be determined when there is a final bill.” Mostly, he noted, the MTA has a list of potential projects, and the breadth of the work will depend upon the amount the city receives in the final package. Soffin said:

We are grateful for the work of Senator Schumer and Congressman Nadler to increase funding for public transportation. We continue to maintain and update a list of projects that could be funded by the stimulus. We have proposed a long list of projects, which will be pared based on the final amount of the stimulus and the limitations set on the money by the legislation. Potential projects include some deferred from the current capital program, including some subway and commuter rail station work and maintenance of key infrastructure (shops, interlockings, substations, yards), purchase of subway cars and flood mitigation grates, and funding for mega-projects (Fulton Street, East Side Access, Second Avenue Subway).

It would of course be a boon for the MTA if they can receive funding to knock many of these projects off of the “to-do” list, but the overall impact of the Ravitch Report should not be forgotten. Stimulus spending is great for all, but the MTA needs a financial plan too. While transit watchers seem to be counting their stimulus chickens before the plans hatch, we can’t lose sight of the long-term problems facing the MTA.

Categories : MTA Economics
Comments (4)
Feb
03

Checking out the new floor

By · Comments (8) ·

Yesterday, a few hours after writing about the experimental floors NYC Transit has installed an in effort to keep their stations cleaner, I found myself in the Chambers St. area with my camera in tow. I ventured to the mezzanine — missing my 2 train in the process — and snapped a few pictures. I couldn’t get a wider panoramic view of the platform, but I took some close ups of the new material and got a shot of a gummy old square of concrete. Click the images to enlarge.

Comments (8)
  • Related, MTA agree to Hudson Yards delay · The MTA and real estate developer Related Companies were supposed to close their $1 billion deal for the Hudson Yards land this weekend, but with the economy in the tank, the two sides agreed to delay the closing by a year. While the MTA really needs the money, the authority, according to Charles V. Bagli of The Times, understands that in today’s economy, replacing Related would be nigh impossible. According to Bagli’s sources, Related will pay $10 million for the delay, and the closing is now expected by Jan. 31, 2010. · (10)
Page 373 of 484« First...371372373374375...Last »