MTA Installs 3 ADA Elevators At 71 Ave

ADA riders in Forest Hills have great news as 3 new elevators have been installed at the 71 Ave-Forest Hills station in Queens. Here is more:

MTA New York City Transit President Carmen Bianco presided over a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to mark the completion of a vital project that now allows customers in Queens to use three new ADA-accessible elevators to reach the E F M R Forest Hills-71st Av station from the street level to both northbound and southbound platforms. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) also installed ADA boarding areas with tactile warning strips and signage, and reconstructed platform edges to comply with all ADA requirements.

One elevator provides ADA access from the street at the intersection of Queens Boulevard’s south service road and 70th Road, and connects to the station’s mezzanine. The other two elevators connect the mezzanine with the northbound and southbound platforms for the E F M R local and express tracks.

“Today’s ribbon-cutting marks our continuing commitment to make the system accessible to customers with limited mobility,” Bianco said. “This station was a priority for us given its high ridership and key transfer point for customers along the Queens Boulevard Line.”

The Forest Hills-71 Av station, which is the fifth busiest out of 78 stations in Queens, serves more than 27,000 weekday customers. The three elevators and installation of other ADA-compliant work were part of a $24.7 million project. In addition, NYC Transit is in the process of modernizing and improving the reliability of the Union Turnpike, 71st Avenue and Roosevelt Avenue-Jackson Heights Interlockings on the Queens Boulevard Line. This $310.7 million project is necessary for the planned implementation of Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) on the Queens Boulevard Line.

“I am happy to be here today to celebrate the opening of these elevators at the Forest Hills-71 Avenue station. New Yorkers have always been very proud of our public transit system, and we must always be making improvements to extend access for the disabled, the elderly and parents with young children. Congratulations to the MTA on this successful project, and I look forward to our continued partnership to constantly update and improve our transit system,” said State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky.

“The day of the long-awaited completion of the Forest Hills-71 Avenue subway elevators has finally arrived. I welcome this day and look forward to a time when the entire subway system will be handicap accessible,” said City Council member Karen Koslowitz, whose district includes Forest Hills.

The completion of this ADA-compliance project brings the number of accessible stations under the Americans with Disabilities Act to 12 in Queens and 81 overall in the New York City Transit system. Another ADA project has begun at the Ozone Park-Lefferts Blvd station on the A line and is scheduled for completion in 2016.

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2 Bronx 6 Line Stations Reopen

This past Sunday, riders at 2 popular 6 Train line stations in the Bronx were happy as the Castle Hill Av & Middletown Rd stations reopened after being closed for 7 months due to a station renewal project. Here is more about it:

NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco, joined by MTA Vice Chairman Fernando Ferrer, MTA officials and community leaders, presided over a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to celebrate the completion of a seven month renewal project at the 94 year-old Castle Hill Av and Middletown Rd 6 line stations in the Bronx.

As part of a $109 million extensive station renewal project along the Pelham Line, Castle Hill Av and Middletown Rd were the first two stations to close for renewal work on October 5, 2013. During the closures, customers were able to take advantage of free shuttle bus service. Despite the harsh winter, both stations reopened on schedule to customer service on Sunday, May 4.

“Governor Cuomo’s leadership has helped provide funding for the MTA’s Capital Plan, which helps fuel our station renewal program, here in the Bronx and throughout our system,” said NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco. “The completion of work here at Castle Hill Av and planned work at three other stations will provide a welcoming atmosphere for our customers as they enter the system or step off their trains.”

Improvements at both Castle Hill Av and Middletown Rd stations included replacement of floors, walls, ceilings, street and platform stairs, reconstruction of platform edges, including rubbing boards and new ADA boarding areas, new lighting in the mezzanines and station painting. In addition, there was full structural steel replacement at Castle Hill Av, and Middletown Rd received public address speakers and will receive new platform lighting within the next two months. Each station will be outfitted with a bird deterrent system, which is currently in the design phase.

“The reopening of these two stations is a great day for our borough. These are critical transportation hubs for the neighborhoods they serve, and my office is grateful to the MTA for being so receptive to the concerns of these communities throughout the construction process,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

New artwork commissioned by MTA Arts for Transit will be installed in frames along the platform windscreens at each station in June. At Castle Hill Av, sculptural metal panels titled “Bronx: Heart, Homeland” by Priscila de Carvalho are a narrative of everyday life in the neighborhood. At the Middletown Rd station, sculptural steel panels titled “Cross-Bronx Waterway,” by Amanda Schachter and Alexander Levi of SLO Architecture, show the journey of the 6 line as it weaves through the neighborhood, and the Bronx River, using metal ribbon work to evoke water ripples in the river that is home to various forms of wildlife depicted in the artwork.

Buhre Av and Zerega Av stations are slated to close between July 2014 and February 2015. The Pelham Bay Park station will also undergo renewal work but will not close during repairs. Service notices will be posted in all stations prior to the commencement of work, and announcements will be made on trains.

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Metro-North Completes Bronx Track Work

MTA Metro-North workers doing work on the Bronx R.O.W. track project. Photo courtesy of MTA Metro-North Railroad.

The MTA Metro-North Railroad has finally completed the major track work project that was taking place in the Bronx. Here are the details:

MTA Metro-North Railroad today announced the completion of an extraordinary track reconstruction effort that began in July 2013 on the tracks through the central Bronx used by New Haven Line and Harlem Line trains.

The result is a safer, smoother ride and improved operating speeds.

All four tracks on a six-mile stretch from Melrose to Woodlawn now allow for speeds up to 75 miles per hour, resulting in improved performance and reliability in time for the May 11 schedule change. Trains were limited to 60 miles per hour prior to the start of the track reconstruction project.

“This project began out of an intensive focus on track safety that led to rigorous inspections using the most advanced rail inspection technologies that exist,” said Metro-North Railroad President Joseph Giulietti. “Its completion, and the enhanced safety it provides, allows us to lift the permanent and temporary speed restrictions that had existed on these tracks in time for our new May 11 schedule.”

Full train schedules have also been restored to Melrose and Tremont stations, where customers during the morning rush hour recently had used temporary shuttle buses to connect to Fordham.

The project began on July 1, 2013, with crews first focused on Track 4, the southbound local track. When work on that track was completed, crews shifted their attention to the adjacent express track. By November 17, crews had finished rebuilding Track 3, the northbound local track. At that time, work was suspended until the spring. Track work is a seasonal activity, and it is suspended each year during winter. This April and May, work resumed on the last of the four tracks to be rebuilt, Track 1, an express track.

During the course of the project, workers:

Removed 6,157 concrete ties

Installed 7,537 new wood ties

Installed 3,243 tons of new stone ballast

Trenched 6,350 feet of the right-of-way shoulder or between tracks to improve drainage

Installed new rail on various curves

Welded rail joints and installed new insulated joints

Excavated and removed 4,995 cubic yards of mud created by poor drainage along the tracks

Removed a significant amount of debris, garbage and graffiti on railroad property

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FASTRACK Returns To The G

Starting this Monday, MTA NYC Transit’s FASTRACK will be returning to the G Train. Here are the complete details:

On Monday, May 12, MTA New York City Transit’s FASTRACK program returns to the G line in Brooklyn. G service will be suspended between Bedford-Nostrand Avs and Church Av from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for four consecutive weeknights from Monday, May 12 to early Friday morning, May 16. Free shuttle buses, and F trains provide alternate service.

Travel alternatives:

• Free shuttle buses operate between Bedford-Nostrand Avs and the Jay St-MetroTech F station making station stops at Classon Av, Clinton-Washington Avs, Fulton St, and Hoyt-Schermerhorn Sts.

• Transfer between G trains and free shuttle buses at Bedford-Nostrand Avs.

• Take the F for service between Jay St-MetroTech and Church Av.

• Transfer between free shuttle buses and F trains at Jay St-MetroTech.

• A service is also available between Hoyt-Schermerhorn and Jay St-MetroTech.

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2 Qns-Bound A Stations Close For 3 Months

Riders at the Queens-bound 88th St & 104th St A Train stations need to be prepared for their stations to be closed for 3 months due to renewals. Here are the details:

MTA New York City Transit announces the beginning of a major $39 million capital project at five stations along the A line on Liberty Avenue in Ozone Park. The project calls for station renewals at 80 St-Hudson Street, 88 St-Boyd Avenue, Rockaway Boulevard, 104 St-Oxford Avenue and 111 St-Greenwood Avenue. For these stations, originally opened in the early 1900’s, these improvements include the installation of new lighting, better platforms, enhanced safety features, and upgraded communications, and will create significantly better conditions for customers.

Improvements at these five stations will also feature repair or replacement of mezzanine to platform stairs, mezzanine floors, doors and windows, and interior and exterior walls. Each station will be painted and canopies, windscreen panels and railings will also be replaced. Customers will also benefit from new lighting in the mezzanines, and new artwork. The construction contracts were awarded in December 2013 as a joint venture to Forte Construction Corp and Emis Construction Group.

In order to carry out work on this project in a safe and efficient fashion, we will temporarily close the Queens-bound platforms of the 88th St-Boyd Avenue and 104 St-Oxford Avenue Stations from May 12, 2014 to August 18, 2014. Normal A service will be provided travelling towards Manhattan.

Queens-bound customers travelling to 88th St-Boyd Avenue must ride to the Rockaway Blvd Station and transfer to a Manhattan-bound A train. Customers wishing to ride towards Ozone Park Lefferts Blvd or the Rockaways from 88 St-Boyd Avenue must ride a Manhattan-bound A train to 80 St-Hudson Street and transfer to a Queens-bound A train. Normal service will be provided travelling towards Manhattan.

Queens-bound riders travelling to 104 St-Oxford Avenue must ride to the 111 St-Greenwood Avenue Station and transfer to a Manhattan-bound A train. Riders wishing to travel towards Ozone Park-Lefferts Blvd from 104 St-Oxford Avenue must ride a Manhattan-bound A train to Rockaway Blvd and transfer to an Ozone Park-Lefferts Boulevard-bound A train.

Following the completion of this phase of the project, work will move over to the Manhattan-bound platforms at these two stations, tentatively scheduled to begin in September 2014.

We appreciate the community’s patience and understanding while we carry out this important work. Service notices will be posted in all stations along the Liberty Avenue line prior to the commencement of work and announcements will be made on trains. Brochures are also available at station booths.

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