Thursday, April 23, 2009

MTA Plans F Train Subway Service Delays For Roosevelt Island During Tram Outage

Just last month, RIOC President Steve Shane reported in his RIOC column for the 4/21/09 Main Street Wire that:

...At the meeting with MTA, they assured us that there were no planned subway disruptions during the entire period of the tram shutdown....
Alas, that is not to be. It looks like Roosevelt Islanders will have to suffer through morning and evening Rush Hours subway service delays through the planned Roosevelt Island Tram modernization program when there will be no Tram service from July 6 until the Tram's projected re-opening in mid-December.

A reader sent in the following message:
There are signs in the subway saying the F train rush hour service 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday will be reduced until dec. 31 due to track work.
Sounds weird!
I inquired of RIOC President Steve Shane:
There is a MTA poster on the subway platform that indicated there will be less F Train AM and PM Rush Hour Service during the time when the Tram will be out of service (thru 12/31/09). Is that true and if so, is there any chance the MTA will postpone this work until the Tram is back in operation?
Mr. Shane responded:
The MTA has found it necessary to do track replacement work in Queens which it is doing over the weekends. However, the temporary track inserted during the progress of the work necessitates slowing down the trains, resulting in the aforesaid reduction in service. I have inquired and been informed of this chain and while the MTA recognizes the problem, so far there is no choice. The expected reduction is 2 trains per rush hour which will likely exacerbate the present crowding during rush hours as MTA falls behind the to be desired 4 minute headway. See trail of e mail correspondence below.
Mr. Shane also forwarded this response from a MTA representative:
Because of track replacement (about 800 feet) between Roosevelt Avenue and Forest Hills-71st Avenue, there will be delays on the EFV lines.

The work is being done on the weekends. During the week, the trains must proceed at a slow speed through the area which will cause 5 to 10 minute delays. In addition there will be 2 less trains on each line (EFV) during the morning and evening rush hours. We expect the work to continue through the end of summer.
I also asked Mr. Shane:
do you have any idea what "service change ends on Thur" means that is on the attached MTA Poster (below Mon-Fri and above Trains Run)

He did not know the answer but Roosevelt Island 360 does:
Dec 31st is the Thursday it is referring to. The MTA posters will sometimes state the actual ending day. In this case the service changes posted end on dec 31, a Thursday.
Is it possible that the MTA does not consider less frequent rush hour train service to be a Subway Disruption that they assured Mr. Shane would not occur during the disruption in Tram service?


Anonymous said...

It seems MTA's word smiths make a distinction between disruption and reduction. MTA should minimize the service cuts by having the work performed by 3 shifts and not just night shifts.
The subways are already filled up from Queens during the morning rush.The reduction of two trains each hour will reduce the daily rush hour capacity by about 1000.

Why do they not shorten the period by working 24/7 instaed of just night shifts ???

Anonymous said...

The MTA has to be one of the most arrogant, uncommunicative bureaucracies out there. They remind me of RIOC under the Pataki administration. They say the work continues through the summer, but the sign says delays thru Dec. 31. And would it be so terribly difficult to put this explanation on the signs? Of course - it always needs to be a mystery. And given that this "track work" is not being done on an emergency basis, would it have been so difficult to reschedule this work for 2010? One wonders whether bigger state bureaucracies, like the MTA, like to kick sand in (much)smaller bureaucracies' faces, like RIOC? Have no doubt.

Unknown said...

with no tram and limited subway service how are we going to go to and from work and school without having to leave an hour earlier? buses to queens won't do the trick. it's simply unacceptable that we should be left with so few and such poor options. what can we, as residents, do to pressure the-powers-that-be to find GOOD solutions?

Travis said...

I agree, it is completely unacceptable. The MTA needs a change