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Get Ready for the Pope's Visit to New York City

Sep 23 2015


Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Pope Francis arrives in New York City tomorrow, September 24th with a full schedule around the city on Friday, September 25th, bringing not only divine wisdom but also what is sure to be one of the biggest transportation headaches that the MTA and the City of New York have ever experienced. Though most of the changes to mass transit will be to the bus system, expect many of these displaced bus riders to show up on subways, and combined with the increased number of visitors to the city, delays across all subway lines should be expected. It doesn't matter if you do not frequent the areas where the pope is expected to be, the subway system will be touched by his presence no matter where you are traveling to.

The MTA advises riders to purchase round trip tickets, allow extra time for travel, and expect crowded conditions. In other words, don't bother leaving your apartment, and if you must, give yourself plenty of time to get to where you're going without shoving any tourists out of the subway car or banging your head against the wall too many times.

Read the press release from the MTA here.

View the pope's NYC schedule here.


MTA Celebrates 100 Years of the Brooklyn Subway

Jun 24 2015

Vintage NYC Subway Car

Photo courtesy of Katie Killary/Flickr

On June 22, 1915, Brooklyn got it's own subway system on the Fourth Avenue line. The line was originally called the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company (BRT), and would eventually become the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation (BMT). The BMT connected Brooklyn to lower Manhattan and was an important part of the city's transit history and instrumental in the development of New York City. Today, the BMT line includes parts of the B, JMZ, L, and NRQ and Franklin Shuttle. Read more about the history of the BMT line on the MTA's website.

To celebrate, the MTA is rolling out some of the historical trains from the period. You can ride vintage trains from the Brighton Beach B and Q station this Saturday June 27th and Sunday June 28th from noon to 4:00pm.


The Second Avenue Subway Line is Not a Unicorn

Jun 09 2015

There is a literal light at the end of the tunnel for the elusive Second Avenue Subway line. In an announcement yesterday f, the much delayed and over-budget project could be completed in early 2017, 10 years after the project began and two months later than the MTA's December 2016 goal.

The new section of the Second Avenue subway line will start at the F train stop at 63rd and Lexington Avenue. It will serve the Q train line, which is being re-routed to no longer go through Queens.

NYC Second Avenue Subway Project2nd Avenue Subway Project c/o MTA

The first phase of the Second Avenue line is 82% complete and includes four new stations for the Q train between 63rd and 96th streets. This first phase is slated to be completed at the end of 2016.

Phase two involves extending the Q line between 96th street and 125th street.

The third and fourth phases of the project will be adding a home for the new T train line which will start at 72nd Street and split off and head south down to Houston. Whether these phases will come to fruition, is still a matter of money.

The project requires a 32 billion dollar capital budget but there is still a 15 billion dollar shortfall, which the MTA is hoping that the city will contribute to. But riders be aware, don't be surprised if the MTA hits fares again to close the gap.


Finally Understand Why Trains Are Delayed

May 28 2015

image courtesy of Chris Ford/flickr

image courtesy of Chris Ford flickr

It's Monday morning. You're waiting at the Graham Ave stop for the L train staring angrily into the black hole that is the tunnel, waiting for a train that doesn't seem like it will ever come. As more and more people pass through the turnstiles, you jostle for prime real estate behind the yellow line in anticipation of the train to arrive, in order to squeeze yourself Tetris-style into the small fraction of space between the subway doors and someone's elbow. And then, once you're in, you get hit with the old, "This train will be held momentarily in the station, thank you for your patience." You curse the MTA for teasing you with a train and then denying you from service, forcing you to spend an uncomfortable amount of time staring indirectly at the person 6 inches in front of your face.

But now, a logical explanation and public service announcement for why trains are held in the station.

Normal service is when there is even spacing between trains and an expected amount of wait time at the station. Gaps in service for whatever reason inevitably cause crowding on the platform and longer dwell times in the station. In order to reduce the impact of the service gap and avoid delays in service for the entire line, trains are held in the station to 'close the gap', allowing service to catch up, and thereby reducing platform crowding and dwell times and eventually the gap in service disappears.

So even though those words are among the most dreaded words a train conductor can utter over a PA, know now that there is a method to the madness.

Watch the video here:


Hello Beautiful! Is that you?

May 22 2015

Hey, hey, hey it's the weekend, and who is that I see? Could it be? Is that the L train that we know and love/hate?

L train pulling into 1st ave

Image courtesy of The All-Nite Images/flickr

Finally after a 5 week weekend hiatus, the L train is back in action this weekend and looking shiny and new. For the past five weekends, the L train was out of service in order to address some much needed maintenance. Some of the work completed included:

  • Repairing and replacing track lines, including new switch equipment and third rail connections,
  • Cleaning and repairs to the tracks,
  • Fixing leaks and adding grouting,
  • Replacing 205 square feet of wall tile at Bedford Ave,
  • Scraping and painting 5,000 square feet of station ceiling at 8th Ave, and
  • Installing cables and wires

So what does all this mean? Hopefully we'll see trains operating more regularly without the dreaded ambiguity of delays due to "rail conditions", and no more strange liquids dripping on us in the station.


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