Home Service Advisories Weekend service a-OK on J, L, M

Weekend service a-OK on J, L, M

by Benjamin Kabak

We end a week marked by service cuts with numerous weekend service changes. In fact, only three lines this weekend are operating without changes. Unless you’re relying on only the J, L or M trains — and one of those doesn’t go too far on the weekends — plan extra travel time.

In more long-term weekend service change news, starting next weekend until nearly the Mets’ Opening Day, 7 trains will not operate between Grand Central and Queensboro Plaza. Shuttle bus service and increased N train service will supplant the 7 for the next few months worth of weekends.

For Queens-bound riders, winter service changes on the 7 are nothing new. Transit has a small window in which to work on the 7 because the spring and summer months are dominated by baseball, tennis and other Flushing Meadows events. And so as Transit upgrades the signaling system along the IRT Flushing Line, weekend travel becomes painful.

As always, these changes come to me from New York City Transit and are subject to change without notice. Remember to pay attention to signs in your local station and listen to on-board announcements for the latest. The weekend map is available at Subway Weekender. As for the specific changes, click through.


From 12:01 a.m. to 8 a.m. Saturday, January 23 and Sunday, January 24, 2 trains run local between 34th Street-Penn Station and Chambers Street due to cable pull at 14th Street.


From 12:01 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Saturday, January 23 and Sunday, January 24 and from 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m. Monday, January 25, 3 train service is extended to/from 34th Street-Penn Station due to switch renewal north of 72nd Street.


From 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m., Saturday, January 23 and Sunday, January 24, 3 trains run local between 34th Street-Penn Station and Chambers Street due to a cable pull at 14th Street.


From 1 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, January 24, downtown 4 trains run local from 125th Street to Grand Central-42nd Street due to a cable pull.


From 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, January 24, downtown 5 trains run local from 125th Street to Grand Central-42nd Street due to a cable pull.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, January 23 to 5 a.m. Monday, January 25, Bronx-bound 6 trains run express from Hunts Point Avenue to Parkchester due to asbestos abatement for station rehabilitation at Whitlock Avenue, Elder Avenue, Morrison-Sound View Avenues, St Lawrence Avenue, and Parkchester.


From 11:30 p.m. Friday, January 22 to 4 a.m. Monday, January 25, free shuttle buses replace 7 trains between Flushing-Main Street and Mets-Willets Point due to a track chip out at Main Street.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, January 23 to 5 a.m. Monday, January 25, Queens-bound A trains run local from Hoyt-Schermerhorn Sts. to Euclid Avenue due to Chambers Street Signal Modernization.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, January 23 to 5 a.m. Monday, January 25, Manhattan-bound A trains run local from Euclid Avenue to Jay Street, then on the F to West 4th Street, then trains resume local A service to 59th Street due to Chambers Street Signal Modernization.


The Far Rockaway-bound A platform at Beach 25th Street is scheduled to reopen following rehabilitation on Monday, January 25.


From 11 p.m. to midnight Friday, January 22, and from 6:30 a.m. to midnight Saturday, January 23 and Sunday, January 24, there are no C trains running between Canal Street and Euclid Avenue due to Chambers Street Signal Modernization. C trains are rerouted to the E between Canal Street and World Trade Center.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, January 23 to 5 a.m. Monday, January 25, D trains run local between 34th Street-Herald Square and West 4th Street due to 5th Avenue Interlocking and Jackson Avenue fan plant modernization.


From 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday, January 24, downtown D trains run local from 145th Street to 125th Street due to track cleaning.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, January 23 to 5 a.m. Monday, January 25, E trains are rerouted on the F between Manhattan and Queens due to 5th Avenue Interlocking and Jackson Avenue fan plant modernization:

  1. There is no E service between 34th Street and World Trade Center. Customers should take the AC instead.
  2. E trains run on the F between Roosevelt Avenue and 34th Street-6th Avenue.

Note: Late night E trains run local between Forest Hills-71st Avenue and 36th Street.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, January 23 to 5 a.m. Monday, January 25, the E platforms at Queens Plaza, 23rd Street-Ely Avenue, Lexington Avenue-53rd Street and 5th Avenue stations are closed due to 5th Avenue Interlocking and Jackson Avenue fan plant modernization. Customers should take the R or 6 instead. Note: Free shuttle bus connects the Court Square/23rd Street-Ely Avenue, Queens Plaza and 21st Street-Queensbridge stations.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, January 23 to 5 a.m. Monday, January 25, Brooklyn-bound F trains run on the A line from West 4th Street to Jay Street due to tunnel lighting rehabilitation.


From 10:30 p.m. Friday, January 22 to 5 a.m. Monday, January 25 (and the next two weekends), there are no G trains running. For service between Forest Hills-71st Avenue and Queens Plaza, customers should take the R during the day and the E during the late night hours. This is due to a switch replacement at Bedford-Nostrand Avenues, asbestos removal at Greenpoint Avenue, fan plant work at Jackson Avenue and track maintenance work at various locations. Free shuttle buses run between 21st Street-Queensbridge and Jay Street. For service to Church Avenue, customers should transfer between the shuttle bus and F trains at Jay Street. Note: Late night E trains run local between Forest Hills-71st Avenue and 36th Street.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, January 23 to 5 a.m. Monday, January 25, N trains are rerouted over the Manhattan Bridge between DeKalb Avenue and Canal Street due to Lawrence Street Station Rehabilitation and Construction of Underground Connector to Jay Street.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, January 23 to 5 a.m. Monday, January 25, uptown Q trains run local from Canal Street to 34th Street-Herald Square due to a track chip-out at 14th Street-Union Square.


From 6:30 a.m. to midnight, Saturday, January 23 and Sunday, January 24, R trains are rerouted over the Manhattan Bridge between DeKalb Avenue and Canal Street due to Lawrence Street Station Rehabilitation and construction of underground connector to Jay Street.


From 10:30 p.m. Friday, January 22 to 5 a.m. Monday, January 25, free shuttle buses replace S trains between Rockaway Park and Beach 60th Street due to Station Rehabilitation at Beach 105th Street and Beach 90th Street.

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25 comments

rhywun January 22, 2010 - 10:25 pm

Wait… what? They’re building a transfer between the R and A/C/F at Jay St.?? I had no idea. That could actually be very useful. The connections in downtown Brooklyn are so awful now.

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Working Class January 23, 2010 - 10:07 pm

They have been working on the connector between lawrence and jay for a while now. If you walk it on the street it is only a half a block walk.

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rhywun January 23, 2010 - 10:29 pm

Yeah, I was looking at the track map and the stations seem to be on top of each other. This is so cool–it will reduce a 3-train trip I commonly take to 2 trains.

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Ed January 23, 2010 - 1:48 pm

One Gothamist commentator made a good point. Alot of these cuts are to levels of service that they don’t even run now. The G train has never gone to Courthouse Square in living memory, trains on the weekends on many lines are longer than eight minutes apart, and so on.

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rhywun January 23, 2010 - 10:37 pm

Reminds me of a big stink that occurred the year I lived in SF (1996)–the bus schedules went from showing exact times to vague times like “every 6 to 10 minutes”–without any change in service–and everyone immediately picked up on the fact that this would make it easier for Muni to claim the buses were “on time” as in fact the buses never ran at the frequency implied by the exact timings. At least the MTA is being a little more up front about this change. Though frankly, I think even “every 10 minutes” is a little on the optimistic side for these weekend trains.

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Andrew January 25, 2010 - 10:41 pm

I’m surprised that Muni defines “on time” in reference to the language that happens to appear on the public timetable. That’s certainly not how it works here – each bus and each train has a very specific timetable, and if it arrives at the destination more than a few minutes (the exact number is predefined) late, it’s considered late.

Which, incidentally, I don’t think is very useful measure. Say trains on your line are supposed to reach the terminal every 10 minutes on the 0’s (1:00, 1:10, 1:20, etc.). Let’s say the 1:00 train reaches the terminal at 12:56 (4 minutes early) – early isn’t late, so that train counts as OK. Maybe the next train doesn’t reach the terminal until 1:14 (4 minutes late) – but 4 minutes late doesn’t count as late, so that train also counts as OK. Repeat that pattern over and over, and you end up with wildly erratic service – 18 minutes between trains, then 2 minutes between trains, then 18 minutes between trains, then 2 minutes between trains – but the so-called on-time performance is perfect! A better measure would look at headways, not at absolute times.

Right now, many of the lines are scheduled to run every 8 minutes on weekends, but service is reduced to 10 or 12 minutes due to construction (i.e., to allow more routes than usual to share a segment of track somewhere in the system). By officially scheduling them to run every 10 minutes, I think the idea is that service won’t have to be cut back further quite so often. I seem to recall that you ride the R. The R is officially scheduled to run every 8 minutes on weekends, but it’s a long route with lots of opportunities to mix and mingle with other routes. If there’s track work going on on 4th Avenue or on the Manhattan Bridge or on the Broadway line or in Queens, and the R has to share tracks with the D and N or the N and Q or the E and F, chances are it’ll be cut down to 12 minutes.

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Alon Levy January 26, 2010 - 4:49 am

Early is worse than late. New York bus drivers and train operators are reprimanded if they arrive early, as they’re supposed to wait at stations if they’re ahead of schedule rather than run hot.

If the schedules consistently followed a clockface pattern, such as “every 10 minutes on the 0’s,” then bus and train service would be much easier to follow. In that case, people would plan trips around the schedule, and schedule adherence would matter much more than headway adherence.

This is in line with practice in the German-speaking world, where schedules are clockface and even extra rush hour trains are built around the schedule. For example: off-peak, trains on some line might leave a station at :25 and :55 after the hour; at peak hour, additional trains would leave at :10 and :40 after the hour.

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Andrew January 26, 2010 - 7:20 am

I don’t think that’s the case – it certainly isn’t the case for train operators, who are instructed to keep going as fast as they (safely) can. On-time performance is defined as “the percent of trains making all the scheduled station stops arriving at the destination terminal on-time, early or no more than 5 minutes late.” Early is OK!

http://www.mta.info/persdashbo.....rative.htm

Alon Levy January 26, 2010 - 10:22 pm

The reports I’ve read from bus drivers on the transit boards say they’re reprimanded if they’re early. I’ve also read an anecdote about this from a Staten Island commuter, who complains about how many buses are timed to just miss the ferry. As he explains, sometimes the bus runs fast and is capable of making the ferry, but in order to avoid being early the driver slows down dramatically just before the terminal, so the passengers do not make the ferry.

Andrew January 27, 2010 - 7:08 am

Maybe bus drivers. Definitely not train operators. And I’m not focusing on the individual operators – I’m talking about the management of the line, which is evaluated on on-time performance (“the percent of trains making all the scheduled station stops arriving at the destination terminal on-time, early or no more than 5 minutes late”). There’s no penalty for being early, nor is there a penalty for being up to 5 minutes late.

I don’t think what you say about Staten Island bus schedules is correct – can you show any examples? Buses to St. George are generally scheduled to arrive several minutes before the ferry departs. There are probably some examples of buses that run twice as frequently as the ferry, so only alternate buses are timed to meet the ferry, but if the driver drives really fast, a bus that isn’t supposed to meet the ferry can catch a boat it wasn’t supposed to. And once that happens often enough, riders get used to it and get annoyed when the bus misses the boat!

Anon January 23, 2010 - 2:31 pm

Off Topic: Re: New MTA Website – Why aren’t they posting this show on the internet/website???
http://www.mta.info/nyct/trantran/showsch.htm

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pete January 24, 2010 - 2:10 pm

Here is the best way to fix the MTA’s budget gap. Terminate the 7 train at Queensboro Plaza permanently. No need to maintain that tunnel. The S train already copies the 7 in Manhattan, why run 2 lines on 42nd street? Tell passengers to switch to LIRR at Main Street and Woodside if they want to goto Manhattan, or if poor, switch to the N at Queensboro Plaza. The G train already duplicates most of the 7 train south of Queensboro Plaza. LIRR tickets are more expensive than subway fare, so MTA will get more fare $.

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Benjamin Kabak January 24, 2010 - 2:13 pm

From a ridership perspective, that’s just an awful idea. Telling passengers to switch from Transit to LIRR? Terminating the near-capacity 7 train six stops before everyone’s in-bound destinations? How exactly is that going to save any more without inconvenience hundreds of thousands of people a day?

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Scott E January 24, 2010 - 8:56 pm

If you wanted to cut the 42nd St. Shuttle, I could understand it (it only exists because of an early IRT alignment anyway). But terminating the 7 in Queens would be a really bad idea.

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Building 11 January 24, 2010 - 10:32 pm

I take it that you don’t ride the 7 on a daily basis. If you did, you wouldn’t suggest this.

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Alon Levy January 25, 2010 - 1:36 am

The 7 doesn’t duplicate the S – it offers Queens-Manhattan service. It runs alongside the S west of GCT, yes, but that was by design – it was intended to give a more direct route to the West Side and avoid clogging the S.

Right now, the 42nd Street Tunnel is near capacity. The 60th Street Tunnel is close. Combine the passenger loads on both and it’s way beyond what a two-track line can handle. But if the goal is to reduce ridership as much as possible, then I understand – cutting direct service to the parts of Midtown people work in will do the trick.

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pete January 25, 2010 - 3:59 pm

Inconvenience, well having any fare on the public transit is an inconvenience to some. LIRR tickets bring more $. Straphangers are at the mercy of the MTA’s monopoly. Put 1 and 1 together. Its time to push subway users onto the LIRR. Its time the MTA behave like a business than a Soviet busywork factory. Cut the 7 train back to Queensboro Plaza. Tell riders to switch to LIRR for their trip into Manhattan. You generate an additional fare since they will pay another subway fare at Penn’s subway stations. So now instead of 1 $2.25 subway ticket to work, we will have 2 $2.25 plus a $6.50 peak LIRR, turning a $2.25 commute into a $11 commute. It will be less with unlimited metrocard plus LIRR monthly ticket, but still, its more revenue. I suggest extending the W train to 95th Bay Ridge, and discontinuing the R and V trains, so Queens Blvd users will have more incentive to use LIRR during rush hour. To manage the new congestion on platforms for the F and E, turnstyles can be programing to have delays between accepting swipes. When time=money, people will choose LIRR.

The same can be done in the Bronx on subway lines near Metro North, such as discontinuing 2 and 5 train north of Gun Hill Road station (metro north is only 5 blocks away and parallel), and discontinuing express service on the White Plains Road line. The elevated will have to remain because of 239 yard, but with no platforms to maintain or staff, there will be cost savings, plus increased Metro North ridership. Cut the 1 train to 215th street, abandon north of 215th street including Van Cordlandt Yard (the yard is in Riverdale, excellent real estate for the MTA to sell). Make a Bx9 limited bus to Marble Hill Metro North Station.

The subway shouldn’t be stealing ridership that could otherwise be on LIRR or MNRR.

Sadly the Hell Gates line doesn’t have MNRR service, so we can’t do anything about the ridiculously redundant Pelham line. If it did, the Pelham line should be cut back to 3rd Ave station. When funds exist to build switches at Cypress Ave, we can restore the 6 to that station.

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Benjamin Kabak January 25, 2010 - 5:25 pm

I understand now where you’re coming from, but the MTA isn’t supposed to be a business. It’s a public benefit corporation established to run the city’s transit network. Despite Albany’s reluctance to fund it, the MTA’s main purpose is to make transit as efficient, as cheap and as accessible for everyone as possible. Shunting passengers from the 7 line to the LIRR is anathema to that in its entirety.

From a practical standpoint, you’d be penalizing lower-income workers who live in Queens along the 7 line, and you’d be putting high stress on an LIRR infrastructure not designed to function as a de facto subway route. It’s not really about Transit’s stealing ridership from commuter rail as much as it is about one system working together with different parts functioning in different roles.

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Alon Levy January 25, 2010 - 6:33 pm

Okay, you’re definitely trying to cut transit ridership.

Private profitable operators have subway and commuter lines side by side all the time – they serve different markets. Or, else, they run the commuter line on the subway line using express tracks (that’s how it works in Seoul). What they definitely don’t do is close down subway lines. If anything they get rid of old commuter lines with one train per hour – those cost way more to operate per passenger, especially with multi-conductor fare collection.

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pete January 26, 2010 - 3:42 am

You’ve forgotten that in the history of NYC, before the subway came, the LIRR WAS the subway in Queens and Brooklyn. Montauk, Atlantic, Port Washington, Main Line, Rockaway, Bay Ridge branches had alot more passenger stations than today.

No ridership will be lost because of hire fares or revenue increasing strategies. The MTA has a monopoly on public transit. The private bus companies were the last stand of competition to the MTA. Nobody will quit their jobs and sit home all day collecting welfare because their commute got more expensive.

Metro North and LIRR are underutilized, and practically deserted outside of rush hour. Cityticket only makes the MTA loose revenue. If we can get subway riders to use MNRR and LIRR, the MTA will get much more revenue that it can use to cross subsidize NYCT, or shift unused govt subsidy $ from commuter rail to NYCT.

Raising fares is politically challenging, but pushing riders subtly to commuter rail when its possible isn’t, its just “service cuts”, which the press never looks into beyond the generic word “service cuts”. Perhaps mileage based subway fares that make no difference between MTA commuter rail and the equivalent subway ride should be done, but thats an evil “fare increase” for NYCT and would never happen.

Alon Levy January 26, 2010 - 4:40 am

How can you say a fare increase “would never happen” and in the same comment propose gutting the subway?

The LIRR didn’t have “a lot” more passengers than today. It had a little more. LIRR traffic peaked at 91 million in 1929, and is now just short of 90 million.

Metro-North and the LIRR have a lower farebox operating ratio than the subway, as well as a lower capacity. In the LIRR’s case, the lower ratio is much lower – it’s about 40% versus 66% for the subway. Having 5 conductors on a train is really inefficient. So is having 25-meter cars with just two doors, built to maximize seating capacity rather than standing capacity, limited to just two 4-track bottlenecks.

Andrew January 25, 2010 - 10:46 pm

There isn’t enough capacity on the N and W (or N and Q) to handle all the refugees off the 7. Astoria service would have to be increased substantially to compensate – and I doubt there’s track capacity at the terminal or in Manhattan for much more Astoria service. (Nobody’s going to transfer to the LIRR, and the LIRR has capacity issues of its own.)

If your goal is to increase fare revenues, it seems to me that a far simpler (and more equitable) way to do that would be – get ready for this – to raise the fare!

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pete January 26, 2010 - 3:45 am

Of course there won’t be. Thats part of the plan. Terminate some 7s at Woodside (hint use LIRR). When your standing at Queensboro Plaza and can’t get on the N/W, time is money, you’ll use LIRR.

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Alon Levy January 26, 2010 - 1:54 pm

Or you’ll just drive.

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Russell Warshay January 26, 2010 - 10:55 am

“Here is the best way to fix the MTA’s budget gap. Terminate the 7 train at Queensboro Plaza permanently.”
Doing this would not fix the budget gap.

“No need to maintain that tunnel.”
Yes there is. The MTA needs the capacity, even if appears to duplicate existing services.

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