5 Subway Stations To Get New Elevators

Yesterday, MTA NYC Transit announced that 5 Upper Manhattan subway stations will receive new elevators. Here are more details via the press release the MTA asked me to share with my readers:

MTA New York City Transit today announced the long-term schedule for major elevator replacement projects at five separate “deep” stations in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, with the first set to begin in January at the 168 St station on the  line. The 168   station will be unaffected by the project.

The work will replace the existing elevators and upgrade communications, security and fire alarm systems. The projects mark the first time that the elevators and component systems at the stations have been replaced in their entirety. MTA personnel began community board and elected official outreach during the summer, and met again with Community Board 12 earlier this month where they presented travel alternatives during the first project. The other stations set to undergo elevator replacement work include the 181 St station, the 191 St   station, the 190 St  station and the 181 St  station.

“Replacing these elevators is long overdue and critical for reliable access to these unique ‘deep stations,’ and we’ve put together a schedule that takes care not to cause unnecessary inconvenience for customers,” said MTA New York City Transit President Andy Byford. “We thank our customers for their patience during this extraordinary work and hope they take advantage of the enhanced bus service and additional free transfers we’ve arranged for the duration of the projects.”

The stations have endured a great deal of water intrusion and decay over the years, which has meaningfully reduced the reliability of these elevators. Three of the stations are more than a century old, and many of the elevator components are nearly a century old. Because of these factors and the fact that these stations are located so far beneath the ground, the work is very complicated and can’t be done just during overnight hours. The work will require two full station closures of about one year each, on a schedule that has been staggered to minimize disruption.

When completed, the elevator doors at 168 St  will open at both the front and rear sides at the lower mezzanine level. The rear passageway behind the elevators at the lower mezzanine level will be reopened in order to improve customer flow.

The overall scope of work also includes improvements to the current emergency stairs, including a lighting upgrade, concrete repair and the installation of new handrails.

During construction, M5 bus service in the area will be enhanced.  Customers may use the free MetroCard transfer on the M3, M4 or M5 buses between 157th and 168th streets.  Customers are encouraged to use the 168 St   service, which will remain available while work is being done on the  line portion of the station.  Customers may transfer between the  and the     lines at the 59 St-Columbus Circle station.  There will also be temporary free out-of-system transfer between the  at 215 St or 207 St and the Inwood-207 St  station.   trains will begin bypassing the 168 St station on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019.

In accordance with new MTA Board policy, three-legged transfers will be available on a limited basis so that customers avoid paying two fares due to the station closure.  For example, a rider from the Bronx wishing to get to the  line may take the Bx10, transfer to the Bx7 and then swipe into the  station at Inwood-207 St on one fare (bus to bus to train).  Going northbound, a customer may take a bus to the   train, and then transfer at 157 St to the M5 and ride to 168 St on one fare (bus to train to bus).

The  line part of the 168 St station is 112 years old.  It is on the National Register of Historic Places along with 181 St , 181 St  and the 190 St  stations.  Some of the oldest components in these elevators and the accompanying machine rooms are more than 90 years old.  The replacement of the deep station elevators at 168 St, 191 St and 181 St on the  line is a $61 million contract that was awarded to Skanska USA. The contract for the two additional stations – 181 St and 190 St on the  line – is expected to be awarded by the end of the year.

US Congressman Adriano Espaillat (District 13) said: “I commend the MTA on its progress to begin the long overdue renovations at 168 St subway station, a main mode of commuter transportation to the Columbia University Medical Center and surrounding area. It remains critical that our city infrastructure systems are safe, secure and reliable. The upcoming renovation will force the station to close for nearly a year, however our city and surrounding communities will benefit tremendously once the station is complete.”

NYC Council Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez (District 10) said: “The 168 St station plays an important role as a transportation hub with heavy usage by residents, patients at NY Hospital, families, and students who pass through the station on a regular basis. It is the number one station in terms of complaints about old infrastructure and accessibility issues. I often hear from constituents and transportation advocates about replacing the 100-year-old elevator to better accommodate the amount of riders that the 168 St station serves. The new elevators will be a much-needed addition and I am committed to working with the MTA to continuing to explore how we can make the 168 St  station accessible for all. The update to the elevators and ancillary facilities will be a great improvement for the community.”

NYS Assembly Member Al Taylor (District 71) said: “I am pleased that so many critical repairs will finally be made to the 168 St  station to make it safer and bring it up-to-date with the latest technological innovations. The replacement of these elevators are critical improvements to the 168 St  station and I look forward to exploring further possibilities with the MTA to further enhance the accessibility of this station.”

Station Dates of Construction
168 Street  Station January 5, 2019 – January 2020 (No service at station.  and  trains will continue to serve the station.)
181 St station October 2019 – October 2020 (Station will remain open with trains stopping and non-elevator entrances available for use. Elevator entrances will be closed.)
191 St station February 2020 – February 2021 (Station will remain open with trains stopping and non-elevator entrances available for use. Elevator entrances will be closed.)
190 St  station November 2020 – October 2021 (Station will remain open with trains stopping and non-elevator entrances available for use. Elevator entrances will be closed.)
181 St  station March 2021 – February 2022 (Trains will bypass station. Station will be closed.)

In the coming days, customer service personnel will staff a Help Desk at the 168 St station on the  line to assist customers who may have questions about the changes. Personnel will be on hand at the following times:

Thursday, December 20 from 3 PM to 7 PM.

Friday, December 21 from 3 PM to 7 PM.

Monday December 24 from 3 PM to 7 PM.

xoxo Transit Blogger

You might enjoy reading these related entries:

MTA To Perform Repairs On 53rd St Tunnel

Yesterday, MTA NYC Transit announced that it will be performing signal modernization & repairs on the 53rd Street Tunnel that services the & . Here are more details via the press release the agency asked me to share with my readers:

MTA New York City Transit will be performing signal and power upgrades, and maintenance and repairs on signals, tracks and electrical infrastructure in and around the 53rd Street  &  Tunnel during a period of lower ridership at the end of December as part of long-term capital improvements that include the resignaling project of the Queens Boulevard Line to a Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) system.  The work will ultimately benefit riders of the     lines as they all share track on one segment or another on either side of the tunnel.

“This intensive work in the under-river tunnel requires workers to have full access to the tracks, but it’s critical for daily reliability and for upgrading the decades-old signals to the latest modern system,” said MTA NYC Transit President Andy Byford.  “We thank our customers for their patience – this work will result in more reliable trips for everyone who uses the      lines.”

During the closure of the 53rd Street Tunnel, crews will be installing rails, plates, tie blocks and track ties, performing preventive switch maintenance, and upgrading communications, signals and electrical infrastructure, such as installing communications and power cables. Full implementation of CBTC on the Queens Boulevard Line will enable New York City Transit to address overcrowding and heavy subway ridership by operating subway trains more closely together, adding passenger capacity and more frequent service. CBTC is being installed in phases on local and express tracks serving the   lines from north of the Kew Gardens/Union Tpke  station to north of the 47-50 Sts/Rockefeller Ctr station on the   lines and south of the 50 St   station.

The 53rd Street Tunnel work will be performed between Queens Plaza and 50 St-8 Av in Manhattan, from 4:45 a.m. on Wednesday, December 26, until 5 a.m. on Monday, December 31.  Ridership is significantly lower during this holiday week compared to other weekdays, and the schedule’s efficiency means an entire month of weekend work can be accomplished in a single five-day period.  Regularly scheduled service – with New Year’s Eve service enhancements – will be in place well before the festivities begin on December 31. A similar service change was in place on these dates last year for intensive Subway Action Plan work.

For service options during this planned work:

  • Between Queens and Manhattan, trains will be rerouted along the line between Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Av and W 4 St, where they will continue on their regular route to World Trade Center.
  • trains will operate between Metropolitan Av and Chambers St.  Customers traveling to and from Forest Hills-71 Av may take the   . Customers traveling to and from Brooklyn may transfer from the line to the .
  • There will be no subway service at Lexington Av/53 St and 5 Av/53 St . For 5 Av/53 St, customers can use the nearby 47-50 Sts/Rockefeller Center station, and customers going to the Lexington Av/53 St station can take the  to 51 St.
  • Customers traveling to and from the city airports may take the    to Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Av for the Q70 LaGuardia Link bus to LaGuardia Airport, or the  train to Howard Beach-JFK for the AirTrain to John F. Kennedy International Airport.
  • trains will continue to serve Queens Plaza except overnights, when free shuttle buses will provide service by making stops at 21 St-Queensbridge, Court Sq and Queens Plaza.

Station signage has been posted to provide customer information and service alternatives, and extra customer service personnel will be posted at stations to help customers navigate the alternate service. A video detailing the service change is available here.

xoxo Transit Blogger

You might enjoy reading these related entries:

Woman Arrested In Bronx Bus Slashings

Two days ago, I wrote about a woman with a service dog who slashed someone after they tried to pet their dog. In a further update to the story, not only was another person a victim in the incident, but the woman responsible for the slashing has now been arrested.

The person behind the attack was 37-year-old Schkema Young. In a big twist to the story, Schkema is proclaiming innocence on the basis she was the actual victim in the incident.

Jenna DeAngelis of CBS2 New York has more:

The woman accused of slashing two other women on an MTA bus in the Bronx says they attacked her first.

Police arrested 37-year-old Schkema Young who they say slashed a pair of passengers after getting into a fierce argument involving her dog.

It took 12 stitches to close up the wound where 20-year-old Demetria McClelland was allegedly cut on the arm by Young. Her girlfriend was also slashed across her face, leaving her with gruesome scars.

“My face is hurting, everything is just a blur to me right now and it’s just too much,” the unidentified woman said Monday night.

On top of the physical pain, the pair says they’re also overcome with fear.

“The situation is traumatizing because its scary to go back on the bus because what if something like that happens to somebody else,” McClelland said.

They were on board an MTA bus Monday afternoon along 149th Street near Morris Avenue when police say one of them went to pet Young’s dog.

“When I went to go touch it she got mad,” McClelland’s girlfriend said.” We ended up having a conflict, going back and forth arguing.”

The victim admits the woman set her off, and things got out of control.

“As soon as we was getting off the bus she said something about my girlfriend’s mom, so my girlfriend went back and after the altercation happened she pulled out a sharp object and started cutting my girlfriend and stabbing,” McClelland said.

Tuesday night, Young shared her side of the fight, claiming the wounds she inflicted came in self defense after the women went back to confront her again.

“Sorry for what? I’m innocent,” the assault suspect said while leaving the NYPD’s 40th Precinct in Mott Haven.

Click here for the complete report.

Even after hearing more details of the case, while I continue to not endorse the actions of Schkema Young, this situation probably would have never happened had someone not tried to touch a stranger’s dog. Use common sense!

xoxo Transit Blogger

You might enjoy reading these related entries:

MTA Testing Countdown Clocks On SAS

So far the MTA’s Second Avenue Subway has been a success. The stations still look to be in great shape, ridership is strong & it has helped crowding somewhat along the Lexington Avenue lines. The only thing that has been missing for the first stage is the arrival countdown clocks seen throughout many NYC Subway stations.

The MTA is in the testing stage of adding the clocks along the Second Avenue Subway. Brendan Krisal of Patch has more:

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — Nearly two years after the celebrated debut of the Second Avenue Subway on the Upper East Side, the MTA is testing out subway arrival time displays in the Q line stations.

The clocks were installed during the week of Dec. 10 – and so far test’s have run into some issues. Commuters on the uptown end of the Q line are only offered information about the arrival of uptown trains.

On several occasions last week, clocks seen by a Patch reporter at East 86th and East 72nd street stations did not display arrival times for downtown trains. One observant commuter noted the problem on social media.

“It’s great that the countdown clocks at 86th Street on the Q are on, but what’s the point if it’s only showing times for 96th Street bound trains? I highly doubt many people here care about the trains going only one more stop uptown,” a Q line passenger wrote on Twitter, calling the new technology “useless” in a follow-up tweet.

The MTA insists that the displays are simply in a “test” period and that the correct information will be displayed by the end of 2018.

Click here for the complete report.

Now one can argue, why were the clocks not installed & ready at the launch of phase 1 of the Second Avenue Subway. To that point, I do agree as it would have made complete sense. Usually the installation of the clocks leads to service diversions due to the work needed to install them. So why did they not do the work while constructing the line and before the debut hence no diversions needed? Who knows, the agency has made bonehead decisions before.

However I do have to call out the Twitter user who complained about the clocks & calling it useless. While your point on paper makes sense, it only does on paper and no reality. The agency is in a testing phase so I rather they get it right before rolling it out for official use. If they rolled it out officially & it only displayed the info it does, then I would agree with your logic. The user just comes off as a typical person who wants to find something to complain about which is the trait of most miserable people.

xoxo Transit Blogger

You might enjoy reading these related entries:

Dog Owner Slashes Woman On Bronx Bus

Just a few hours ago, a woman who was on a MTA bus with her dog slashed another woman in the face after she tried to pet her dog. The incident occurred shortly after 2PM near East 149th Street & Morris Avenue.

I love animals but I would never attempt to pet or come into contact with a stranger’s pet without asking permission. While I am not saying the woman was justified for slashing her because of it (as she was not), this is a situation that probably would have never happened if the victim used common sense.

xoxo Transit Blogger

You might enjoy reading these related entries: