Friday, March 7, 2008

No F Train Service To Roosevelt Island from Manhattan This Weekend and No Help Coming From the MTA

Image from nycsubway.org via reader Craig

No F train to Roosevelt Island from Manhattan this weekend and help will not be coming from the MTA in the future to alleviate Roosevelt Island F train problems either. Several weeks ago Roosevelt Island elected officials Kellner, Serrano, Lappin and Maloney wrote a letter to MTA President Howard Roberts urging Roberts and the MTA to:
consider means of improving subway service to Roosevelt Island, including the possibility of extending the Q line from the 57th Street/7th Avenue station in Manhattan to the 21st Street/Queensbridge station in Queens, thus increasing the number of trains able to serve Roosevelt Island. Councilmember Lappin wrote to you again on June 25, 2007, reiterating her concerns about rush hour service levels on the F line. In your response to Councilmember Lappin, dated July 27, you made no mention of the proposal to extend the Q line, instead focusing on the impossibility of adding additional F trains, due to the fact that “AM and PM F service is operating at full track and signal capacity along the Queens Blvd line.”
In response, MTA President Roberts says of extending the Q line through Roosevelt Island:
Unfortunantely, this proposal is not operationally feasible due to heavy train traffic in both directions at this location.
And that in regard to the F Train:
We closely monitor ridership on the F line, and recent data indicates that while some trains are overcrowded, on average, the F line operates within MTA passenger loading guidelines and has sufficient capacity during peak hours. We will continue to monitor ridership and conditions on the F at the Roosevelt Island Station, and make schedule adjustments where feasible for the benefit of all of our customers.
It looks like no help is forthcoming from the MTA on Roosevelt Island's subway problems and the zip line across the East River may be our only hope.

Then again, maybe not. The purpose is for Roosevelt Islanders not to fall in the East River! Here is full text of MTA President Howard Roberts letter.
Re: Roosevelt Island Transportation Issues
Dear Honorables Maloney, Serrano, Kellner and Lappin: I am in receipt of your January 22nd letter regarding transportation on Roosevelt Island and the amount of subway service there. In addition, you suggested an extension of the Q line to the 21st Street/Queensbridge Station. Unfortunantely, this proposal is not operationally feasible due to heavy train traffic in both directions at this location. MTA NYC Transit makes every effort to run its trains according to schedule but delays can occur for various reasons such as mechanical problems, sick customers, switch and signal problems. Delays, especially during the AM peak hours on the heavily traveled Queens Boulevard Line may result in some trains being overcrowded. We closely monitor ridership on the F line, and recent data indicates that while some trains are overcrowded, on average, the F line operates within MTA passenger loading guidelines and has sufficient capacity during peak hours. We will continue to monitor ridership and conditions on the F at the Roosevelt Island Station, and make schedule adjustments where feasible for the benefit of all of our customers. As noted in your letter, in the past trains were able to terminate at the 21st Street/Queensbridge Station. At that time, however, trains did not operate through to eastern Queens. In 2001, we completed the 63rd Street Connector project which links the 63rd Street tunnel tracks to the Queens Boulevard Line. The tracks that were used to terminate trains at the 21st Street/Queensbridge Station are now used as through tracks for F service, which runs every 4-6 minutes during rush hour. In Manhattan, the 63rd Street tunnel tracks have connections to the Sixth Avenue tracks (with access to B, D, F, V service at the 47-50th Streets/Rockefeller Center) and the Broadway Line tracks (with access to Q service at 57th Street). In your letter you had asked whether it is possible to extend the Q train to the 21st Street/Queensbridge Station to supplement F service. This is not operationally feasible because there are only two tracks at the 21st Street/Queenbridge Station, and, given that F trains run through the station on those tracks, there is no place to turn around Q trains. In order to ensure safety, whenever trains change directions on a non-terminal track, such as what you suggest at the 21st Street/Queenbridge Station, it is necessary to change the direction of the signal system. As a result, other trains would need to be kept at a safe distance until the turn-around operation is completed. To terminate Q trains at the 21st Street/Queensbridge Station, it would be necessary to stop F trains on both tracks for several minutes to give Q trains enough time to switch tracks, change directions, and change crews. As a consequence, there would be significant delays in F train service in both directors, which in turn would delay E and V service, which share tracks with the F train. I appreciate your bringing this matter to my attention. Sincerely, Howard H. Roberts, Jr. President Cc: H. Ring, MTA P. Cafiero L. Tendler

3 comments :

Joshua said...

The MTA website says no F train from Roosevelt Island to Queens this weekend (rather than no F train to Manhattan as you state in your post).

ROOSEVELT ISLANDER said...

Joshua,
Thank you very much. You are right and my mistake. When I looked at the MTA site the first listing for the F Train advisory was next weekend when there will be no Manhattan bound F Train. I misread the date. Very sorry.

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