And just think: This isn’t even the most confusing service alert this weekend.
It has long been a Friday tradition around these parts to post the MTA’s various weekend service alerts. I post them as a service to my readers; it’s hard getting around the city on weekends when one does not know if the A is running on the F or if trains are stopping where they shouldn’t be stopping and not stopping where they should be stopping.
Apparently, I’m not the only one who has noticed this confusing trend — brought about, of course, by the MTA’s efforts to modernize and maintain our extensive subway system when the work would cause the least amount of disruption possible. Today, Clyde Haberman of The New York Times checks in with a column about the myriad service changes. Weekend travel, he writes, is confusing:
“You need a scorecard to keep up with it,” said Andrew Albert, chairman of the New York City Transit Riders Council. He hears an “unbelievable” number of complaints from flummoxed passengers. And if regular riders are often confused, Mr. Albert said, imagine the strain for tourists or for New Yorkers who are on a weekend excursion and using an unfamiliar subway line.
Haberman dissects the way the MTA presents the service change information:
But weekends are not the slack periods they once were. Ridership on Saturdays and Sundays averaged a combined 4.8 million in January, the highest figure in more than 35 years, said Paul J. Fleuranges, a spokesman for New York City Transit.
So when the No. 6 train skips five stations or the D train runs along N train tracks, thousands upon thousands of people may be thrown for a loop. They swipe their MetroCards, poor devils, totally unaware of the adventure that awaits them.
Mr. Fleuranges said his agency has “made strides in getting information out to people.” It posts advisories both in stations and on the transportation authority’s Web site. It sends word to 70,000 people who have signed up for e-mail notices of service changes.
Still, Mr. Albert says more could be done, like changing the notices’ typography so that riders can focus more readily on trains they care about. “When someone walks into a station and sees a wall of diversion notices, he turns off,” Mr. Albert said. “It’s worthless.”
Now, considering that people enter one station and often must transfer, it makes sense to put up as many advisories as the MTA deems reasonable. Making them more readable is a noble goal, but in the end, it’s really up to the riders, who shouldn’t be surprised anymore by weekend service changes, to figure out where they are going and how they will get there. The MTA can only do so much to baby its 4.8 million subway riders.
This weekend, meanwhile, is brutal for Brooklyn. The F and G are screwed up, and no trains are running along the 2 and 3 lines from Chambers St. to Atlantic Ave. Here’s everything for you:
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, April 5 and Sunday, April 6, Manhattan-bound 1 trains skip 238th, 231st, and 225th Streets due to switch work near 238th Street.
From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, April 5 to 5 a.m. Monday, April 7, there are no 2 trains between Atlantic Avenue and Chambers Street. Uptown 2 trains replace the 5 from Bowling Green to 149th Street and uptown 5 trains replace the 2 from Chambers Street to 149th Street. These changes are due to several projects, including station rehab at Chambers Street and tunnel lighting in the Clark Street tunnel and Wall Street.
From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, April 5 to 5 a.m. Monday, April 7, there are no 3 trains running. The M7, M102 and free shuttle buses replace the 3 between 148th Street and 135th Street. The 4 trains will make all 3 stops between Atlantic Avenue and New Lots Avenue. These changes are due to third rail work at 145th Street.
From 4 a.m. Saturday, April 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday, April 6, Bronx-bound 6 trains run express from Parkchester to Pelham Bay Park due to track panel work at Middletown Road. The last stop for some Bronx-bound 6 trains is 3rd Avenue.
From 4 a.m. Saturday, April 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday, April 6, Flushing-bound 7 trains run express from Queensboro Plaza to Flushing-Main Street due to track and switch work at 74th Street.
From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, April 5 to 5 a.m. Monday, April 7, there is no C train service. Customers should take the A in Manhattan and the F in Brooklyn. A trains run local between 168th Street and Canal Street. Downtown A trains skip 50th, 23rd and Spring Streets. Free shuttle buses replace A trains between 168th Street and 207th Street. Transfer is available between the Broadway or Ft. Washington Avenue shuttle buses and A trains at 168th Street. These service changes are necessary due to Bergen Line signal work, Chambers Street signal modernization and tunnel lighting between 168th and 207th Street.
From 11 p.m. Friday, April 4 to 5 a.m. Monday, April 7, free shuttle buses replace A trains between Far Rockaway and Beach 90th Street due to track tie replacement work from Beach 67th Street to Far Rockaway.
From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, April 5 to 5 a.m. Monday, April 7, there are no E trains between West 4th Street and World Trade Center due to Chambers Street signal modernization. Customers should take the A instead.
From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, April 5 to 5 a.m. Monday, April 7, Manhattan-bound F trains run on the V line from Roosevelt Avenue to 47th-50th Streets due to work in the 63rd Street tunnel.
From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, April 5 to 5 a.m. Monday, April 7, free shuttle buses replace F and G trains between Hoyt-Schermerhorn Sts. and 7th Avenue due to Bergen line signal work.
From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, April 5 to 5 a.m. Monday, April 7, G trains run in two sections due to Bergen line signal work:
- Between Forest Hills-71st Avenue and Bedford-Nostrand Avs. and
- Between Bedford-Nostrand Avs. and Hoyt-Schermerhorn Sts.
From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, April 5 to 5 a.m. Monday, April 7, there are no G trains between Hoyt-Schermerhorn Sts. and Smith-9th Sts. due to Bergen line signal work. Customers should take the shuttle bus instead.
From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 5 and Sunday, April 6, Queens-bound J trains skip Hewes Street, Lorimer Street and Flushing Avenue due to tie and rail replacement.