MTA To Close Canarsie Tunnel For 18 Months

L train riders knew that one way or another their commute would be altered due to the closing of the Canarsie Tunnel. The main question was how extreme it would be as would the closure be spread out over a period of time while letting some service through or would it be done over a shorter period of time with no service through.

The decision has been made as the MTA has announced that they will be completely closing the Canarsie Tunnel for 18 months staring in 2019 to repair the extensive damage from Hurricane Sandy. Here is more via the official press release I received:

MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) today announced that the massive reconstruction work needed to the Canarsie Tunnel, which carries the L train under the East River between Brooklyn and Manhattan, will require a full closure of the tunnel for 18 months starting no sooner than 2019.

The decision to do the work under a full 18-month tunnel closure instead of a one-track, three-year closure, was made based on a detailed operational review, and only after significant community engagement in order to consider all adverse impacts. Serious consideration was also given to consequences of unplanned outages that would occur if one track was closed for three years.

“While the MTA always looks to avoid service disruptions, there is no question that repairs to the Canarsie Tunnel are critical and cannot be avoided or delayed. Throughout this process we have committed to engaging the community and listening to all concerns so that we can address them as we prepare for this necessary work,” MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast said. “We are committed to working with the community just as closely as we develop ways to add service to help minimize the impacts of the closure.”

Since May, the MTA has held four large-scale, interactive community meetings in communities affected by the upcoming closure including Williamsburg, Bushwick, Canarsie and in Manhattan along the 14th Street corridor; hundreds of riders attended. The meetings were led by MTA Chairman Prendergast, NYCT President Veronique ‘Ronnie’ Hakim, Chief of Operations Planning Peter Cafiero and Senior Vice Presdient for Capital Program Management John O’Grady.

MTA officials also visited all 11 Community Boards along the L Line, which were overwhelmingly in favor of the full, shorter-duration closure. Of the comments MTA received directly through email, social media and at meetings 77 percent were in favor of the full, shorter closure.

“Approximately 80 percent of riders will have the same disruptions with either option. Throughout our extensive outreach process and review, it became clear that the 18-month closure was the best construction option and offered the least amount of pain to customers for the shortest period of time,” President Hakim said. “The 18-month option is also the most efficient way to allow MTA to do the required work. It gives us more control over the work site and allows us to offer contractor incentives to finish the work as fast as possible.”

“We think it is better to have a shorter duration of pain than a longer more unstable process – and risk unplanned closures – by leaving one track open during construction,” Hakim added.

The Canarsie Tunnel was one of nine underwater tunnels that flooded during Superstorm Sandy, all of which required major rehabilitation and repair. Some of that work was accomplished during night and weekend closures, while the R line’s Montague Tunnel under the East River was closed for 13 months and the G line tunnel under Newtown Creek was closed for two months, both for complete renovations.

The Canarsie Tunnel suffered extensive damage to tracks, signals, switches, power cables, signal cables, communication cables, lighting, cable ducts and bench walls throughout a seven-mile long flooded section of both tubes. Bench walls throughout those sections must be replaced to protect the structural integrity of the two tubes that carry trains through the tunnel.

During this rehabilitation process, the MTA will also make significant improvements to stations and tunnel segments closest to the under-river section. New stairs and elevators will be installed at the Bedford Av station in Brooklyn and the 1 Av station in Manhattan, and three new electric substations will be installed, providing more power to operate additional trains during rush hours.

Procurement of design and construction services for the project must begin to move forward this year in order to ensure that hundreds of millions of federal dollars are not lost.

MTA is now starting the process of fully developing alternative service plans and will continue to work with the community, City and State agencies, and all stakeholders to minimize impacts of the closure with added service including additional capacity on the M, J, and G trains. MTA plans to work closely with the City and State to develop routes and determine service levels needed to accommodate projected ridership.

MTA New York City Transit continues to closely inspect the Canarsie Tunnel and takes steps daily to ensure that it remains reliable until permanent repairs can be performed. Specifically, the agency has stepped up its inspection of the tunnel walls and has installed redundant power cables to ensure the pumping system will operate without interruption, but these are temporary measures and the tunnel must undergo extensive repairs.

Prior to the closure of the Canarsie Tunnel, the agency is preparing to rebuild two crucial sections of the M line in Brooklyn and Queens in order to ensure that two decades-old deteriorating overpasses remain safe for travel.

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Service Diversions 07-22-16

I have just updated the Service Diversions for the weekend & through the end of next week.

Make sure to follow @TransitBlogger on Twitter as I am using it more often. Also if you are into indie music make sure to follow @IndMusicReview & @SurgeFM!

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Bus Service Coming To Hudson Line

The MTA Metro-North Railroad has just announced that substitute bus service will run between the Philipse Manor and Ossining Stations due to the next phase in the Sandy rehab project. Here are more details via the press release I received:

MTA Metro-North Railroad today announced that the next phase of the Railroad’s Superstorm Sandy Resiliency Project will require substitute bus service between the Philipse Manor and Ossining stations on the Hudson Line beginning on August 1 through the first quarter of 2017.

Because of reduced track capacity in this zone, morning reverse peak and evening reverse peak trains must operate on an express track, resulting in the inability of these trains to stop at the Philipse Manor and Scarborough stations.

Northbound, morning reverse peak service:

Substitute bus service will be provided at the Philipse Manor and Scarborough stations for the 5:36 a.m., 6:20 a.m., 6:50 a.m., 7:23 a.m., 7:45 a.m., and 8:15 a.m. trains from Grand Central Terminal. Customers traveling to these stations will connect to dedicated substitute bus service at Tarrytown, resulting in an additional 13 minutes of travel time to Philipse Manor and 19 minutes of travel time to Scarborough.

Southbound, evening reverse peak service:

Substitute bus service will be provided for the 4:06 p.m., 4:32 p.m., 5:06 p.m., 6:09 p.m., 7:06 p.m. and 8:06 p.m. departures from the Scarborough station, and the 4:10 p.m., 4:36 p.m., 5:10 p.m., 5:42 p.m., 6:13 p.m., 7:10 p.m. and 8:10 p.m. departures from the Philipse Manor station. Customers from Scarborough and Philipse Manor will board substitute buses to Tarrytown, with an additional 24 minutes of travel time from Scarborough, or 18 minutes from Philipse Manor.

Metro-North crews are making on-going improvements to thirty miles of power, communication and signal infrastructure damaged by Superstorm Sandy. Restoration work will include: communications cable and terminal replacement at all facilities along the 30 mile stretch and elevating platforms to prevent future water damage. These comprehensive repairs are required to restore the system to a state of good repair, ensuring safety, service reliability and expected on time performance for Metro-North customers and the region.

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MTA eTix App Coming To Harlem Line

Just a short time ago, the MTA announced that its eTix app will be available to riders of the Metro-North’s Harlem Line as of this upcoming Monday. Here are more details via the press release I received:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that MTA eTix, the ticketing app that allows Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road customers to buy train tickets anytime, anywhere on their smartphone, will be available for travel on Metro-North’s Harlem Line starting at 4:26 a.m. this Monday, July 25, when the Harlem Line’s first train of the week departs from its first station.

The app continues to be available on Metro-North’s Hudson Line and the LIRR’s Port Washington Branch. The app is scheduled to become available for Metro-North’s New Haven Line, the New Haven Line’s three branches, and the rest of the LIRR, during the week of August 22.

“We are rolling out this customer convenience across both railroads in an expedited manner,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. “This app will help save railroad customers time by making it easier to purchase a train ticket. Anyone who wants to see the future of train ticketing should download this app to experience how easy and convenient it makes the transactions.”

Metro-North’s Harlem Line customers will now also be able to check schedules and see train service status using the app, which interconnects with the popular TrainTime apps for Metro-North and the LIRR. The app also offers account management tools, giving railroad customers the ability to secure refunds for unused mobile tickets, request duplicate receipts, and manage profile info such as password and linked credit card numbers.

More information about the app can be found at this web link:

http://www.mta.info/mta-eTix-promo

Individuals interested in downloading MTA eTix can do so at the links below:
For iOS Devices
For Android Devices
With MTA eTix, customers who download the app will sign up for an account, select the ticket they wish to buy, and enter credit or debit card information. They will then be able to ride the train in three simple steps:

1. Buy a ticket by entering information about origin and destination, and selecting the type of ticket (one-way, 10-trip, weekly or monthly). The ticket is then saved in an electronic “ticket wallet” feature in the app.

2. Prior to boarding the train, pull up the ticket from the ticket wallet and activate the ticket by tapping on the “activate ticket” button.

3. When a conductor comes through the train to ask for tickets, have the activated ticket displayed, and simply show the smartphone screen to the conductor. Conductors will visually validate the mobile ticket by looking at the screen. As the rollout proceeds, conductors will use a handheld device to scan mobile tickets.

The MTA eTix app was developed by Masabi, Ltd., which has also created electronic mobile ticketing programs for MBTA Commuter Rail in Boston, NICE Bus on Long Island, and Metrolink in Los Angeles. Masabi was selected in April 2014 following a competitive request for proposals issued in March 2013.

Next year, the MTA expects to make the MTA eTix app even more user-friendly by allowing LIRR and Metro-North customers who transfer to or from the New York City Subway or New York City Buses to pay their fares using a single app and a single transit account.

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Metro North Ticket Policy Changes

Just a short time ago, the MTA Metro-North Railroad announced some ticket policy changes due to the Tappan Zee Bridge closure. Here are the details via the press release I received:

Metro-North Railroad today announced that because of this afternoon’s crane accident and closure of the Tappan Zee Bridge, a number of changes to ticketing policies and procedures are being made for the remainder of the day:

• Metro-North’s Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry and Newburgh-Beacon Ferry will honor TAPPAN ZEExpress (TZx) bus tickets. Customers who normally depart from Grand Central Terminal (GCT) to connect to the TZx bus at Tarrytown should consider staying on train to Ossining, where they can connect to the Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry, on should catch an express train to Beacon, where they can connect to the Newburgh-Beacon Ferry. Hudson Line tickets to Tarrytown will be honored for travel at all stations on the Hudson Line, as far as Poughkeepsie.

• NJTRANSIT and Metro-North are cross-honoring Hudson Line tickets on the Pascack Valley Line.

Stay tuned for any further updates regarding the AM commute tomorrow.

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