Sep
05

Stay home

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This may be the worst weekend all year for service delays. Nearly every line has multiple route changes that go into effect tonight at 12:01 a.m. You’ll see stops skipped, lines rerouted, the whole shebang.

SubwayWeekender has the changes in a convenient map form. Me? Well, after last night’s ride home, I might just walk everywhere this weekend, Saturday’s rain be damned.

I wonder why New York City Transit has stopped releasing these service changes in press release form. Anyway, they’re all available in the Know Before You Go e-mails.


Downtown 1 and 2 trains skip 86 and 79 Sts
Sep 6 – 8, 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon

Uptown 1 and 2 trains run express from Chambers to 34 Sts
Sep 6 – 7, 12:01 AM to 5 AM Sat and Sun


Brooklyn-bound 2, 3 and 4 trains skip Bergen St, Grand Army Plaza, and Eastern Pkwy
Sep 6 – 8, 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon


Manhattan-bound A trains run local from Euclid Av to Broadway Junction, then express to Utica Av, trains resume local service to 125 St, then run express to 168 St
Sep 6 – 8, 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon

Brooklyn-bound A trains run local from 168 to West 4 Sts, then on the F to Jay St, trains resume local service to Euclid Av
Sep 6 – 8, 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon


No C trains running
Take the A instead
Sep 6 – 8, 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon


Bronx-bound D trains skip 170, 174-175, and 182-183 Sts
Sep 6 – 8, 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon


Queens-bound E trains run local from Queens Plaza to Roosevelt Av
Sep 6 – 8, 12:30 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon

Manhattan-bound E trains run express from 71-Continental to Roosevelt Avs
Sep 6, 12:01 AM to 12 noon Saturday

Manhattan-bound E trains run local from Roosevelt Av to Queens Plaza
Sep 5 – Oct 6, 11:30 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon – I’m not sure why this e-mail said October, but that’s what it said.


Queens-bound F trains run local from 21 St-Queensbridge to Roosevelt Av
Sep 6 – 8, 12:30 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon

Queens-bound F trains run on the V from 47-50 Sts to Roosevelt Av
Sep 6 – 8, 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon

Downtown F trains skip 23 and 14 Sts
Sep 6 – 8, 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon

Manhattan-bound F trains run local from Roosevelt Av to 21 St-Queensbridge
Sep 5 – Oct 6, 11:30 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon – Again with the October


No G trains between 71-Continental Avs and Court Sq
Take the E or R instead
Sep 5 – 8, 8:30 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon

G trains run every 20 minutes between Court Sq and Smith-9 Sts
Sep 5 – 8, 11 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon


J trains run in two sections:

  1. Between Jamaica Center and Essex St
  2. Between Essex and Chambers Sts

Transfer at Essex St to continue your trip
Sep 6 – 8, 1 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon


N and Q trains run on the R between DeKalb Av and Canal St
Sep 6 – 8, 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon


Manhattan-bound R trains run express from 71-Continental to Roosevelt Avs
Sep 6, 12:01 AM to 12 noon Saturday

Categories : Service Advisories
Comments (4)

This may have been a tad bit extreme. (Photo courtesy of Reuters.)

New Yorkers often like to gripe about traveling around the city with a common refrain. “I coulda walked faster,” we’ll say about slow subway trips and sluggish cab rides through the congestion Big Apple. Tonight, I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said that.

In an effort to get myself home from law school tonight, I had to travel from W. 4th St. back to Park Slope in Brooklyn. It was after midnight, and that spells trouble in the subways. My first mistake was getting on an F train. Those are running on the A. I tried to switch to a 4 at Fulton St., and while the train came pretty quickly, we pulled into Wall St. and sat and sat and sat and sat. Eventually, the conductor told us about some single-tracking through the Joralemon St. tunnel due to track work.

When we finally made it to Atlantic Ave., the train ran express instead of local and, thus, would have bypassed my stop. I switched to a 2, and ninety minutes after swiping through, I made it home. According to Google Maps’ handy new walking directions, I almost could have walked faster.

I was pretty irate when I got home. A lack of communication on the part of the MTA — surprise! — had me and the other disgruntled passengers guessing about which train was heading where. The conductor on the F didn’t know if the train would go to Coney Island or travel along the A. The conductor on the 4 couldn’t tell us much of anything for nearly 15 minutes. But, hey, at least we’re not in Argentina.

Yesterday, a group of Argentinian commuters set fire to a delayed train. Reuters reports:

Furious rail commuters in Argentina set fire to a train on Thursday in anger over delays during the morning rush hour. Television images showed black smoke and flames engulfing the train at the station of Merlo, in the western suburbs of the capital, Buenos Aires. At nearby Castelar, passengers hurled stones at the ticket office and blocked the rails.

“We understand that people get angry when the service is delayed or canceled, but they absolutely can’t attack a public service in this way,” Gustavo Gago, a spokesman for rail company TBA, told local television.

Many passengers said the delays, caused by a broken down train, had cost them a day’s work.

I’m sure New Yorkers on many occasions felt the urge to burn their delayed trains. But that doesn’t solve the problem; it just causes more delays.

Comments (8)
  • NYCT, NYPD in talks over bus-fare crackdowns · With their new $100 fare-beating fines in place, the MTA is set to make some waves. As soon as it can iron out a deal with the NYPD over the costs of a potential program, New York City Transit is set to begin a crackdown on bus fare-beaters. Numerous routes feature riders who feel entitled to enter through the back of the bus without paying a fare. These riders, when called out by bus drivers, often get belligerent and attack the drivers. A crackdown on this behavior would be most welcome. · (0)

Long has the MTA — and, in particularly, New York City Transit — borne the label of technophobe. While subway systems across the nation and globe have long enjoyed video information boards and digital communications systems, NYC Transit has yet to bring this technology to New York City’s straphanging masses.

Well, the wait is sorta, kinda, almost over. According to NY1, the MTA has unveiled digital notice boards along the L and 7 lines, those line-managed icons of experimentation. The story:

Transit officials are testing a new program to alert subway riders with digital announcement boards in the event of delays.

Straphangers at six stations on the 7 and L lines will see video screens inside token booths as part of a pilot program. For now, they are only broadcasting public service announcements, but officials say they will provide up-to-the-minute information on service disruptions.

The Station Agent Information Display program, or SAID, cost the MTA $30,000 so far.

Officials at the rail control center will be able to send messages to individual stations, or groups of stations using wireless technology.

As with everything new in the subways, this is part of a pilot program, and the line managers say that station agents will continue to use those useless and uninformative white boards that I always thought were hanging up in the station booths for decoration. Why else would they still feature messages from July 22, 2005 when the NYPD started randomly searching bags in the subway?

Of course, the typical caveats apply: These boards are only as useful as the information on them. Right now, as the video story on NY1′s recently redesigned Website shows, the boards are being utilized only for the same old MTA PSA’s we’ve all had drilled into our subconscious: If you see something, say something. Throw away your trash. Sign up for the e-mail alerts.

The first real test of these boards will come during an unexpected service delay. If these boards help passengers find out before entering the system that trains are delayed, if they help re-route lost, confused or stranded passengers, then we can label them a success and call for systemwide implementation. But until that day, they’re just fancy TV monitors that happen to hang in the booth in your nearest subway stop.

Categories : MTA Technology
Comments (9)
  • Replicating a subway stop as a bathroom · Way too many people tend to view subway stations as their personal bathrooms. Now, one Glaswegian artist has decided to make his own bathroom a subway stop. Inspired by a visit to New York City ten years, Travis the Trannyboi has converted his bathroom to resemble the DeKalb Ave. stop in Brooklyn. The artist says he likes the tiles as a bathroom aesthetic, and in a rationale to which New Yorkers can relate, he says that the unique look distracts from the tiny loo. You can read more about this odd bathroom and see pictures on the Wired Autopia blog. What this says about the subways I leave up to your imagination. · (2)

7th Ave. Tiles 2

The F’s Seventh Ave. stop in Brooklyn is just one of many stations in need of rehabilitation. (Photo by Benjamin Kabak)

Back in June, when the MTA announced $2.7 billion in capital construction costs, subway advocates around the city groaned. Among those cuts were plans to rehabilitate 19 stations in dire need of renovations, and it seemed like business as usual for the cash-starved MTA.

Well, look what happens in an election year. Patrick Arden of Metro New York reports today that the MTA has withdrawn the plans to cut $2.7 billion for its construction budget and may be amending and resubmitting the planned cuts. He reports:

The MTA withdrew a controversial plan to slash 15 percent from its current five-year capital program last week, just days before the proposal faced a state panel’s deadline.

“We were prepared to support the amendment,” said Long Island Republican John Flanagan, the state Senate’s rep on the MTA Capital Program Review Board. “But the Assembly had some major concerns.”

These concerns centered on $2.4 billion in cuts to city subway and bus programs, including the loss of rehabs to 19 stations. Overall, the $2.7 billion in MTA cuts were technically “deferred” into the next five-year capital program, yet funding for that plan remains uncertain. In shifting resources, the MTA had proposed several new projects to address subway flooding and overcrowding, altering subway vents and buying new cars. For now, those items are in limbo.

While Arden couldn’t get a hold of any Assembly members willing to dish, MTA spokesman Jeremy Soffin told the reporter, “We expect to resubmit the amendment.”

To me, this seems like a classic case of legislative cold feet. Faced with an upcoming election and recent attention to the state legislature’s unwillingness to fund the MTA as it should, Assembly representatives are asking the beleaguered transit agency to cut back on the cuts. If I were a betting man, I’d say that some of the 19 stations scheduled for rehabilitation will get that overhaul, but the Smith/9th Sts. stop probably won’t get the extensive face lift it needs.

I’m sure in a few days or weeks — once we have a better sense of the Ravitch proposals — the MTA will resubmit their plans for budget cuts, and I’m sure the Assembly won’t like it one bit. But until state leaders are willing to fund the MTA, this cat-and-mouse budget game will continue ad nauseum. And some people say history doesn’t repeat itself.

Categories : MTA Economics
Comments (4)
  • MetroCards as art · My current 30-Day Unlimited MetroCard is hardly a work of act. On the back, it says “Si ves algo, di algo” and gives me the MTA’s standard anti-terrorism message in Spanish. But over the years, the MTA has released many special- and limited-edition MetroCards. As Vincent M. Mallozzi of The Times told us over the weekend, memorabilia buffs have been collecting and trading MetroCards for years. I love stories such as this one. It’s a reminder of the joys — and quirks — that can arise from something as simple as a MetroCard. · (1)

With Labor Day behind us and vacation season coming to an end, the MTA should get right back to business. Tops on the list this fall will be two related items: the Richard Ravitch commission report and the potential 2009 fare hike.

Within the next few weeks, we’ll probably hear from some preliminary results from the Ravitch comission. While we know that Ravitch is bound to recommend congestion pricing with all revenue funneled to the MTA, the transit agency will still push its fare hike. Straphangers will fight back, but the reality is that, in our current economy and with the present state of the MTA and fiscal contributions from the government, the fare hike is more inevitable than anything else.

To that end, The Providence Journal, of all papers, wrote one of the more compelling arguments in support of a fare hike that I’ve read in a long time. The Rhode Island-based editorial board opined:

New York’s subways and buses are experiencing ridership levels not seen for 40 or 50 years. That’s a success story. And while we don’t expect New Yorkers to happily accept a higher fare, we do think they should know that their public-transportation system remains a very good deal. For that matter, the economy and society of any area benefit hugely from a good mass-transit system, as a look at Boston, Chicago and some other cities quickly demonstrates.

A good mass-transit system can mean the difference between a thriving metropolitan economy and a mediocre one. With energy and environmental concerns around the world likely to get even more pressing in the years ahead, good mass transit will become even more of a city’s comparative advantage.

This is a point I’ve tried to make before. New York City needs a healthy transit system to survive and thrive in a demanding global economy. Therefore, the residents of New York City may be asked to foot the bill for a fare hike as the MTA attempts to find the money to run that transit network.

We might not like it; we might argue that the government should be offering up more financial support for our transit system; and we’d probably be right. But we have to remember that our fares are very low — less than $1.40 per ride when all the discounts are accounted for. As much as we don’t want to admit it, the economics of urban life demand sacrifices. A fare hike might be one of those.

Comments (8)

Get out while you still can! Run for the hills! Jet to the beach! It’s the Unofficial End of Summer. We all have to go back inside and wear jackets and long-sleeve shirts on Tuesday. Panic!

Ok, ok. Maybe Labor day isn’t that bad, but with the way New Yorkers behave, you’d think the world were about to change for the worse when we all return to our jobs and schools on Tuesday after this final three-day weekend of the summer. While that’s not really true, that the subways are a bit of a mess this weekend is an indisputable fact.

Here’s the rundown: Travel on the IRT is a nightmare this weekend, and getting to and from Brooklyn may be a bit of a headache. Also, trains on Monday are operating on a Sunday schedule but without the below delays. So you’ll see full weekend service on all lines, and none of the changes listed here (and on display at SubwayWeekender) are in effect then.

Much like regular subway service, I’ll be back on Monday night/Tuesday morning with new posts. Enjoy the long weekend.


No 1 trains between 14 St and South Ferry

  1. Take the 2 or 3 between 34 and Chambers Sts
  2. Free shuttle buses run between Chambers St and South Ferry

Aug 30 – Sep 1, 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon

1 trains skip 28, 23, and 18 Sts in both directions
Aug 30 – Sep 1, 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon


2 and 3 trains run local between 96 and Chambers Sts
Aug 30 – Sep 1, 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon


No 4 trains between Atlantic Av and Brooklyn Bridge
A special J train provides alternate service to nearby stations
Aug 30 – Sep 1, 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon


No 4 trains between Utica and Atlantic Avs
Take the 3 instead
Aug 30 – Sep 1, 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon


No 5 trains between Grand Central-42 St and Bowling Green
The 4 and special J trains provide alternate service
Aug 30 – Sep 1, 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon


Manhattan-bound A trains run local from Euclid Av to Broadway Junction, then express to Hoyt-Schermerhorn Sts, then local to 168 St
Aug 30 – Sep 1, 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon

Brooklyn-bound A trains run local from 168 to West 4 Sts, then on the F to Jay St, then local to Euclid Av
Aug 30 – Sep 1, 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon


No C trains running
Take the A instead
Aug 30 – Sep 1, 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon


E trains run local between 71-Continental and Roosevelt Avs
Aug 30 – 31, 12:30 AM Sat to midnight Sun


Manhattan-bound F trains run on the V from Roosevelt Av to 47-50 Sts
Aug 30 – Sep 1, 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon

F trains run local between 71-Continental and Roosevelt Avs
Aug 30 – 31, 12:30 AM Sat to midnight Sun


No G trains between 71-Continental Avs and Court Sq
Take the E or R instead
Aug 29 – Sep 2, 8:30 PM Fri to 5 AM Tue


No J trains between Jamaica Center and 111 St
Free shuttle buses replace trains between 111 St and the Jamaica-Van Wyck E station
Aug 30 – 31, 6 AM Sat to 8 PM Sun


Manhattan-bound N trains run on the D from Stillwell Av to 36 St
Aug 30 – Sep 1, 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon

Manhattan-bound N trains skip 30 Av, Broadway, 36, and 39 Avs
Aug 30 – 31, 8 AM to 4 PM Sat and Sun


R trains are extended to the 179 St F station
Aug 30 – 31, 12:30 AM Sat to midnight Sun

Categories : Service Advisories
Comments (2)
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