Home Asides How were your weekend travels?

How were your weekend travels?

by Benjamin Kabak

For the past five days, we’ve heard a lot about the substantial service changes that were in effect this past weekend. On Wednesday, news outlets started proclaming the end of days, and nearly every line suffered a diversion. Still, when I took the trains this weekend, it just wasn’t that bad. My Q went local in Manhattan; my N local in Brooklyn. My travels took a few extra minutes and were probably more circuitous than they otherwise would have been. I was however expecting a lot worse.

Apparently, I was the exception to the rule. I didn’t need to rely on the L and its shuttle buses, the F and its shuttle buses or any of the Upper Manhattan stops. Glenn Collins of The Times tracked down a bunch of unprepared straphangers, and they related their horror stories to the Grey Lady. People bemoan the construction without understanding its purpose, but more telling are their approaches — or non-approaches — to informing themselves about the service change ahead of time.

Every weekend, the MTA changes service, and it’s hard to believe that people haven’t yet learned to look for advisories ahead of time or come prepared for longer commutes. I am sympathetic to a point because getting around on the weekends is no longer easy, but straphangers need to take the initiative to solve their commutes. The information is out there. Go forth and plan.

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Alon Levy October 12, 2009 - 12:14 pm

I had to take a taxi home from work, twice, because the 1 would run express, and the M72 would stop running at midnight. Usually I take the M66, which maintains 10-minute service until 1, but this weekend the train skipped it.

Kid Twist October 12, 2009 - 12:25 pm

Thanks to you and other sources, I was prepared. I had to be in Park Slope early yesterday so I just took a D train from the city and walked the extra couple of blocks from Ninth Street-Fourth Avenue. No big deal.

Later in the day, I had to get to Midtown from the Upper West Side and I was pleased to find that my C train skipped 50th Street. (Actually, I was pleasantly surprised that my C train showed up at all, but that’s another story.)

Jonathan October 12, 2009 - 12:34 pm

I planned ahead of time for the A train’s terminating at 168th St. I was traveling with two kids on bikes, so on Saturday coming from Brooklyn, we got off at 125th St, hit the grocery store, and rode all the way to my house (near GWB). Then Sunday we took the Harlem River promenade down to 155th St on the D train and sped to Brooklyn. No problem at all.

rhywun October 12, 2009 - 6:16 pm

I stayed in Bay Ridge so the R was smooth sailing.

abba October 12, 2009 - 8:08 pm

I took a look at this weekends detours. Almost the same like last weekend. Basically the same shuttle buses.

Building 11 October 13, 2009 - 1:51 pm

The information is out there, but will people pay attention?

John October 13, 2009 - 4:15 pm

I actually was in NYC last Thursday and took the 5 all the way up to Dyre Ave. I saw a flurry of activity up there as they were putting up signs all over the place, including in the cars, about the service changes that weekend. So they definitely were trying to get the word out.

Even on Thursday the 5 wasn’t running at full service. Northbound it seemed to be running on an express rush hour route, even though it was around noon. They didn’t stop between I think Grand Concourse and E 180th due to track work. Coming back southbound I don’t think it stopped between Dyre and E 180th, but that was getting close to rush hour so they may have just been “rushing” to get the train back south for rush hour traffic.

Josh K October 13, 2009 - 10:56 pm

Wasn’t too bad for those of us far uptown. My home station is 175th on the A so the extra few blocks walk to 168th wasn’t bad, and the 1 was also running fairly normally for most things I’d need. Realistically with the 1 running express downtown, the only folks up here that were too badly affected were those at the 190th stop on the A… all of the other A stops are within three blocks of a 1 train.

I definitely prefer the A termination at 168th and local service from 145th to the A making all local stops, which we used to have to put up with on a regular basis.

Cen-Sin October 13, 2009 - 11:06 pm

I’m quite the exception to this weekend hell: I got to and from work very fast on the Q. In fact, since the Q skipped stops on its way to Coney Island from Canal Street, my travel time was even shorter.


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