Since the R142s debuted on the 2 and 5 lines in 2000, one of the quirks of the strip map system has been its inflexibility. The maps in the cars were assigned a certain line, and if a set of cars with a 2 line map runs as a 5 train instead, the map simply says “not in service.” Unlike the FIND displays in the newer cars that can be changed based on train route, these maps were a relic of an inflexible system.
A few months ago, a new map showed up in one 10-car set which had both the 2 and 5 lines on the same map and could be personalized for whichever line the train is running on. In other words, if the train in question is running on the 2, the map will show the 2, and if the train is running on the 5, the map will show 5 line stops. No more “not in service” signs.
Now, as Transit announced on Friday, the agency will outfit all R142s that run on the 2 and 5 with these new maps. The agency says “the map redesign is consistent with Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s initiative to improve the customer experience with modern amenities.” Transit President Ronnie Hakim explained further, ““We are taking this opportunity to replace strip maps that are more than a decade old and going a step further to improve customer communication by creating this new strip map that shows both the 2 and 5 routes from end to end. The combined strip map lets us reassign trains more fluidly and shows our customers where they’re going, regardless of the train they’ve boarded. The redesign will alleviate customer confusion when trains are reassigned or rerouted from one line to another.”
Unfortunately, this new map, while more useful, is a bit of a mess from an ease-of-use perspective and isn’t as flexible as the FIND system. But it’s a step up from the old system. I’m rather skeptical though that passengers are itching at the bit for a strip map slightly easier to use rather than more frequent service or an expanded system. Cuomo may be able to take credit for this upgrade, but it’s a hollow victory for him.
After the jump, this weekend’s service advisories. Due to the Presidents’ Day holiday on Monday, some of these changes run into Tuesday morning. Enjoy the long weekend. I’ll be back on Monday night.
From 3:45 a.m. Saturday, February 13 to 10:00 p.m. Monday, February 15, 2 trains operate in two sections:
- Between Flatbush Av-Brooklyn College and E 180 St, and via the 5 to/from Eastchester-Dyre Av.
- Between E 180 St and Wakefield-241 St. To continue your trip, transfer at E 180 St.
From 3:45 a.m. Saturday, February 13 to 10:00 p.m. Monday, February 15, E 180 St-bound 2 trains run express from Wakefield-241 St to E 180 St.
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, February 12 to 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 16, 3 trains are suspended in both directions between Harlem-148 St and 96 St. Take the 2 and free shuttle buses instead. Free shuttle buses operate between 135 St and 148 St stopping at 145 St.
From 11:45 a.m. Friday, February 12 to 7:30 a.m. Monday, February 15, and from 11:45 p.m. Monday, February 15 to 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 16, Woodlawn-bound 4 trains run express from Grand Central-42 St to 125 St.
From 6:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, February 13, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Sunday, February 14, and from 6:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Monday, February 15, 5 trains run every 20 minutes between Eastchester-Dyre Av and Bowling Green.
From 3:45 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Saturday, February 13, and from 11:30 p.m. Saturday, February 13 to 9:30 a.m. Monday, February 15, 5 shuttle service is replaced by 2 trains between Eastchester-Dyre Av and E 180 St.
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, February 12 to 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 16, Pelham Bay Park-bound 6 trains run express from Grand Central-42 St to 125 St.
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, February 12 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, February 15, Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall bound 6 trains run express from Parkchester to 3 Av-138 St.
From 6:45 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Saturday, February 13, Hudson Yards-bound 7 trains run express from Mets-Willets Point to Queensboro Plaza.
From 3:45 a.m. Sunday, February 14, to 10:00 p.m. Monday, February 15, Hudson Yards-bound 7 trains run express from Mets-Willets Point to 74 St-Broadway.
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, February 12 to 6:30 a.m. Monday, February 15, and from 11:45 p.m. Monday, February 15 to 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 16, Brooklyn-bound A trains run express 145 St to Canal St.
From 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Saturday to Monday, February 13 to 15, Brooklyn-bound C trains run express from 145 St to Canal St.
From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, February, 13 to 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 16, D trains run local between 36 St and DeKalb Av.
From 12:15 a.m. Saturday, February 13 to 7:00 a.m. Monday, February 15, and from 12:15 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 16, Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer bound E trains run express from Roosevelt Av to Forest Hills-71 Av.
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, February 12 to 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 16, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound F trains skip 169 St.
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, February 12 to 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 16, Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound F trains are rerouted via the E line from Roosevelt Av to W 4 St-Wash Sq.
From 11:30 p.m. Friday, February 12 to 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 16, J trains are suspended in both directions between Hewes St and Broad St. J service operates between Jamaica Center and Hewes St. Take free shuttle buses and 46F trains instead. Free shuttle buses operate between Hewes St and Essex St, stopping at Marcy Av. For direct service between Brooklyn and Manhattan, consider using the AC or L via free transfer at Broadway Junction.
From 6:00 a.m. to 12 Midnight Saturday, February 13 to Monday, February 15, M trains are suspended in both directions between Myrtle Av and Essex St. M service operates between Metropolitan Av and Myrtle Av all weekend. Take the JL and/or free shuttle buses instead. Free shuttle buses provide alternate service between Hewes St and Essex St, stopping at Marcy Av. For direct service to/from Manhattan, use the L via transfer at Myrtle-Wyckoff Avs.
From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, February 13 to 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 16, N trains run local in both directions between 59 St in Brooklyn and DeKalb Av.
From 6:30 a.m. to 12 Midnight Saturday, February 13 to Monday, February 15 R service is extended to Jamaica-179 St.
From 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m., Saturday, February 13 to Monday, February 15, Jamaica-179 St bound R trains run express from Roosevelt Av to 71 Av.
From 11:45 p.m. Friday, February 12 to 6:30 a.m. Monday, February 15, and from 11:45 p.m. Monday, February 15 to 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 16, R Shuttle service is extended to Whitehall St.
Hopefully in future procurement of A division rolling stock, they’ll stick to the FIND system from the start. While they are on a roll with minor fixes, I do hope future rolling stock will allow the exterior LEDs to be coloured according to the route. Orange F, blue E, green G, etc. They are damn hard enough to read already, it would be nice to see which oncoming train it is like we used to do with the large bullet signs.
The 179s will be having essentially the same tech as the 160s, namely small red route lights on the front/back and FINDs on the inside. For future car orders though, it’s likely that FINDs will be omnipresent. I suppose they could make a strip map with two horizontal rows of lights (for the 2 and 5) but that would still limit flexibility.
The need for FINDS on the A division is less pressing; with the exception of the 2/5, every A Division Line has its own yard and its own fleet of trains, and the possibilities for reroutes are quite limited compared to the B Division.
These new Strip maps are nice, but the procurement of them means the trains on the 2 and 5 will stay on the 2 and 5. I wonder how much harder would it have been to install FIND displays on the NTT fleet for not only the A division (R142/a’s, R188), but also the R143’s on the L. Granted FIND displays are not necessary for L or the 7, but when they decide to move trains to other lines, the strip maps will have no use.
They don’t move trains between lines that often. The 2/5 fleet is mostly captive to those two lines because of their shared Flatbush terminal, while the other IRT lines each have their own terminals and yards so they don’t really share rolling stock.
Retrofitting the 142/As with FINDs would cost a lot of money, assuming it’s even possible. The computers on those trains are 15 years old.
Occasionally there are a few 5’s that run as 4’s and a few 4’s that run as 5’s (Since 5’s terminate at Utica during rush hours and they only use ONE out of the TWO tail tracks to turn around trains.). I understand that the computers are old, but eventually as the train fleet gets older, the R62’s become artifical reefs, and they shuffle around the trains to other lines, they will either wait till retirement for replacement or move them to other lines. It just makes sense to figure out if they install FIND displays now if possible.
Curious – do you know how many R-62/ 62a’s & 68”s exist? Also how close to retirement they are. Of course that’s assuming the R32”s get replaced in the next few years.
The R62/a’s and R68/a’s are about 30 to 35 years old, give or take. That means that they are in their mid-life stage (a little bit past it) which would be a perfect time to gut the interior and make those cars CBTC-compatible. Not only will that extend the life of the cars, but they won’t need to replaced as quickly to make the entire fleet CBTC-compatible. Rebuilding these cars and making them compatible would save the MTA money in the long run (Money it currently doesn’t have). Look at SF trolley line as an example.
As usual the issue comes down to money. There are more than enough CBTC-ready cars (read: 1000+ 160s) to satisfy CBTC requirements. At the glacial pace of those installations, the 68s will be on the way out when Queens Boulevard is activated, let alone any of the other lines planned.
I’m not sure just how much effort it would take to bring 62s and 68s to CBTC compatibility. That said, the BRT installed cab signalling on their AB type cars in 1915, so it’s clearly not impossible…
Will these new maps show 2 to new lots and 5 to Utica?
No. The maps also doesn’t show the 7th Avenue line local stops. In fact, just showing the normal daytime stops on the 2 and 5 takes up almost all the space available. Here’s a link to full pictures of the new map (from New York City Transit Forums):
So, trains “normally” on the 5 show their Manhattan local stops, and a 2nd map will have only 2 manhattan local stops? I see 4 different versions in the picture, and a graphic of an even smarter version where you see Manhattan stops for both lines regardless of what line the train is on.
Stupid. Just put an LCD display out there, and it can display *any* line, or common variation (2 running on the Lex)
Could they do that to A division trains during mid-life crisis over halls?
Given enough money anything is possible. However, these cars will most be spending the next decade at least on the 2/5, so it’s just not financially justified to massively redo the entire passenger info system.
I’d just as soon they’d put in automated station announcements on the older trains. (Bigger bang for the buck and probably cheaper.) But if they’re going to spend money on that interactive map foo, they might as well have done it right.
Putting the tech onto the older trains would mean modifying couplers to transmit the information from car to car. The diamond/circle LEDs on the 62s were installed using a spare pin on the couplers, which was left over from field shunting I believe.
These new maps are incredibly cheap. They’re essentially printed long pieces of paper. Making new tech would cost significantly more.
I believe that the automated train announcements need to be cut DOWN sharply! Every few seconds it seems that there is another announcement – but the announcements are not “new” as in new information that could be very useful.
The majority of the time the same basic repeated statements are made – such that most folks tune them out! The announcements have become NOISE, and have lost their helpfulness and effectiveness.
It would really be better if the conductors and computerized systems would just shut up, and only say something when it is really important.
Keep the “next station” and “watch the closing doors” – but other wise cut down on the train announcements.
The subways are noisy enough, and the numerous added announcements are just more noise.
The NYPD announcements always give me the feeling that I am living in some totalitarian system where I am always being watched. They have to go. Whatever legitimate function they may have can be better served by posters, which was done in World War 2 when espionage and sabotage were concerns.
Strongly agree. I enjoy riding the older cars because there is so much less noise and the lighting is softer.
It shows how low our standards are that we get excited when the MTA makes an (obvious) fix to twenty year old technology rather than use something more useful, flexible and easier to read (see, well, lots of other subways systems). Sigh.