Friday, January 23, 2015

No Roosevelt Island F Train Service To Manhattan This Weekend - RIOC Notification Alert System Still Needs Some Tweaking

According to the MTA:
F Coney Island-bound trains run via the M from Roosevelt Av to 47-50 Sts

Weekend, 11:15 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, Jan 23 - 26

Trains run express from Roosevelt Av to Queens Plaza.

No Coney Island-bound F service at 21 St-Queensbridge, Roosevelt Island, Lexington Av/63 St and 57 St.
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) issued this advisory regarding the Roosevelt Island weekend F Train subway service disruption:
Notification issued 1/23/15 at 9:45 AM. Please be advised that the MTA has issued a weekend service advisory for the F train, which may affect travel plans. The Tram will run on a rush hour schedule from 7:00 AM until 10:00 PM to accommodate any increase in traffic. Please plan your travel accordingly and visit or call 511 for more information.

For electronic updates on F Train service, sign up for MTA Alerts at
RIOC's new Everbridge notification alert system has come under criticism from some Roosevelt Island residents for providing incomplete information. Roosevelt Island resident Janet Falk reported that recent RIOC alerts notifying residents of MTA F train service disruptions did not include specific information about the change in Roosevelt Island F train subway service. For example, this prior advisory from RIOC about F train service disruption.

 Ms. Falk asks:
... What is the MTA advisory? How does it affect Manhattan-bound or Queens-bound service or both? For today or for several days?

The RIOC advisory creates confusion and prompts questions with no answers in sight, except one: annoyance. The RIOC advisory points me to an external website and asks me to make a phone call, instead of providing a potential solution....
... Why does RIOC decide against sending an informative and resident-friendly, customer-service driven announcement...
... When additional demands for service are placed on the Tram, to compensate for the lack of F subway service, RIOC is responsible for Tram operations and SHOULD ANNOUNCE CHANGES IN TRAM SERVICE, especially when the MTA announces their service changes in advance....
A RIOC spokesperson replied to Ms. Falk:
The RIOC Advisories system is intended to inform the community about island-specific matters that may affect the daily activities of the people who live and work here, particularly those matters relating to services that RIOC oversees or provides. The MTA has a similar advisory system (MTA Alerts) that commuters can sign up for to receive timely updates on MTA disruptions or line service changes. Residents who are already signed up for MTA Alerts find the re-broadcasting and reinterpretations of the agency's announcements are redundant and sometimes confusing.

We are always open to suggestions, but would like to encourage our subscribers to utilize the MTA's resources to stay informed about NYC transit rather than directing island residents to look for MTA-related news through an intermediary. While this step may require a few more clicks, hearing directly from the issuing agency is a surer way to get the most accurate information available. If you would like to receive alerts directly from the source regarding F train disruptions, you can do so by visiting:
At least today's RIOC alert about the upcoming F train weekend subway service disruption now includes information about the added Tram service.

That's an improvement. Next time, hopefully, RIOC will include specific information about the change in subway service. All they need to do is a little tweaking with a cut and paste from the MTA advisory, like I did above.