Tuesday, June 10, 2008

First Day Of Tramless Subway Morning Commute On Roosevelt Island - No Need For Japanese Pushers But How Was it For You?

You Tube video of Japanese "pushers" who stuff rush hour commuters into trains via True Gotham

, this mornings first Roosevelt Island rush hour without the Tram was not as bad an experience as this video showing Japanese "Pushers" who stuff rush hour commuters into subway cars.

I got down to the subway platform just after 8:30 AM to see an F train leaving the station with no Roosevelt Islanders remaining behind on the platform. That was good. Another train did not arrive for approximately 19 minutes during which time the platform became crowded but not unmanageable. Certainly nothing like the rush hour crowds waiting for the 4,5, or 6, trains at 86th or 59th streets but I was told by several waiting commuters that there were more than the usual number of people at the station for that time. The arriving train was crowded but there was room for everyone waiting on the station to board. The next F train arrived about 4 minutes later and was not crowded at all, plenty of standing room. All in all, not a bad first day without the tram. Let's hope it continues.

Dick Lutz of the Main Street WIRE reports that:
Manhattan-bound Roosevelt Islanders got through their first tramless rush hour this morning with no passengers left behind on the platform. Whether high temperatures kept Queens commuters at home or other factors played into the 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. period, a Main Street WIRE tally showed no passengers left behind on the platform when trains pulled out.

Roosevelt Island 360 reports:
I myself was on the platform for the short period between 745am and 750am or so. I came onto a basically empty platform except for a few riders like myself who just descended the escaltors. A train showed up within 5 minutes with room enough for the hundred or more riders that had accumulated in those few minutes.
RIOC President Steve Shane advises: Effective 6AM Wednesday June 11, 2008

To address transportation issues, RIOC has been in touch with the MTA
to try to get assurances about the weekend of June 14 & 15, and there
are no scheduled outages. RIOC will run supplemental bus service and it
will be a good opportunity to see how things will work during the longer
period in 2009 when the Tram will be down for the overhaul. The
supplemental bus service will depart from the Gristedes loop on the
following schedule:
First, to Queens Plaza during weekday morning rush hours every half
hour (6:00 AM until 9:30 AM). The trip is 15-18 minutes so pickups,
while not regularly scheduled, will be available on that schedule. There
will be neither service to nor pickup from Queens Plaza during evening
rush hours.
Second, responding to the many concerns about the elderly,
handicapped, school children, etc., weekdays non-rush hours, there will
be hourly service from the Island to Manhattan starting at 10AM until
2PM, and from 7PM until 11:00PM.
Third, weekends, there will be hourly service starting at 7:00AM
until 11:00 PM from the Island to Manhattan.
Service to Manhattan will be to the pet store opposite the
Manhattan terminal of the Tram on 60th Street, returning on the half
hour with the last pickup in Manhattan at 11:30PM. The charge for the
bus will be $.25.
UPDATE: I am glad that RIOC has decided to run the Red Bus to Second Avenue in Manhattan as it had done during prior Tram shutdowns. Initially RIOC had not planned to do this. Steve Shane from an earlier post:
Our present plan is not to run the buses to 60th street as it is very uneconomical, especially during rush hours.We would consider a night time pickup depending on demand. Putting the red buses into rush hour traffic on the Queensboro Bridge takes a lot of time in both directions.
RIOC should be commended for changing their position.

UPDATE-6/11 - Second day of Roosevelt Island Tramless commute.