Is The Q Becoming The Next L?

Q train at 21st St-Queensbridge station during a G.O.
Q train at 21st Street-Queensbridge during a G.O. Resized photo courtesy of EyeOnTransit.com

Today’s edition of The New York Observer had a very interesting piece in the real estate section. The article took a look at the Q train & posed the question, can the Q be the next L? As you know all too well, the L train & the majority of neighborhoods it serves has gone under a major transformation over the last few years.

With the loads of gentrification that has occurred in Williamsburg, East Williamsburg, Bushwick, & such… the line & neighborhoods have become a mainstay for the artists, hipsters, & such who seem to take over neighborhoods & leave their lasting tough. Whether this is good or bad depends on who you ask.

Today’s article looks at how the Q could soon become the next L as many are finding the Q & the neighborhoods it serves to offer the right balance of suburban like peace & quiet combined with the close proximity of local community entertainment while being a short ride from Manhattan itself. Here is a look at a piece of Nicole’s article:

I love the Q train. O.K., I love the B, too, but it’s the Q that’s stolen my heart.

When I moved back to Brooklyn in January, the biggest factor in finding an apartment was its proximity to this train line, and especially to the 7th Avenue station (a nice change of pace after riding the G train for three years). It’s just far enough into Brooklyn that I am in a quiet, residential neighborhood, but also only the third stop into the borough, easily depositing me anywhere I need to go in Manhattan.

Like the L train of the early ‘00s, the neighborhoods along the Q/B line have seen new crops of people popping out of its stations along a path rumbling through central and southern Brooklyn, from Downtown, Park Slope, Midwood and Ditmas Park, through Sheepshead Bay and, via an expert right turn, Brighton Beach and Coney Island. The Q line even has some of the same digitally enhanced trains that graced the L line a few years back.

“I was delighted to be looking at an apartment off the Q/B line as it provided quick service to all of the major destinations in my life,” said Jennifer Rajotte, a special events coordinator for a nonprofit, of her move to Flatbush, off the Church Avenue stop, two years ago. “Both trains offer a quick ride to Atlantic-Pacific, where I can hook up with a ton of lines or quickly walk to the G or C, if I have to.”

Not only is the Q/B line convenient, with a recent sighting by Page Six Magazine of Brooklyn celebrity darling Michelle Williams dining with new beau Spike Jonze at popular Ditmas Park eatery The Farm on Adderley (off the Cortelyou Q stop), the perception of southern Brooklyn seems to be getting a makeover.

Click here for the complete article.

It is nice to see NYC neighborhoods being portrayed in a positive light. My only concern is I don’t want to see every neighborhood overrun with hipsters, trust fund babies, etc… with their holier than thou attitude. While I’m not calling for a crime ridden area, it would be nice to be able to live in areas that offer a more diverse & mature attitude without the pretentiousness of a Williamsburg or Park Slope. Lastly when I do move back to the city, I would like to find an area not inflated due to these same people. It seems where they go, increased costs go!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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A Must Read Editorial

Earlier this morning I finally got a few minutes to read a little of the New York Times. As I normally would do, I went to the back of the main section to check out the editorials & I’m glad I did. Today’s edition of the paper contained a must read editorial about the financial state & reality of our city’s transit system. While I am not thrilled with the mention of many’s favorite fallback crutch congestion pricing, it does accurately paint the dire situation our system is currently in.

New York City’s mass-transit system is deteriorating and desperately underfunded. The politicians know this, but they are still providing far too little in the way of financing. The result is that the system’s users, many of them already suffering from tough economic times, could be stuck with the bill.

Neither the city nor the state is paying its fair share, despite what they claim. With the Metropolitan Transportation Authority facing a budget gap of nearly $1 billion next year, direct subsidies from both governments last year totaled about $600 million, not much more than what they were a decade ago, according to the nonpartisan Independent Budget Office. Adjusted for inflation, subsidies have actually declined, saddling riders with an ever-increasing burden.

The main problem is that New York’s state legislators have failed to put a dependable source of financing — like congestion pricing — in place. Transit has been forced to rely on fluctuating taxes from real estate and other sources and, increasingly, rising fares.

Click here for the complete editorial.

The person who wrote this editorial is spot on with the financial state of our transit system. It is great when politicians call out the MTA for their ridiculous practices or decisions. However if they truly wanted to better our system, they would stop putting all the blame on the MTA & do two things. The first thing would be to admit their role in the situation that caused the MTA to be where it is today. Lastly they would actually step up to the plate & put an end to the financial shortchanging of the MTA year after year. Until these politicians are ready to complete both steps, the history of putting the burden on riders will only help but continue on.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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A Closer Look At The Double-Decker Buses

On Friday evening I posted an entry to let people know of the MTA’s photo/press opportunity this morning to announce a 35 day test run of double-decker buses in passenger service . April Dembosky of the New York Times’ City Room blog brings us more on today’s proceedings:

New York City Transit officials unveiled a new behemoth double-decker bus today that will cruise city streets in a 30-day trial run. Not since 1953 have the two-story vehicles carried nontourist passengers.

The 13-foot-tall, 45-foot-long, 81-seat bus will alternate service on local and express bus routes: BxM3 from Yonkers to Manhattan, the X17J between Staten Island and Manhattan, the M15 limited on First and Second Avenues, and possibly the M5 along Fifth Avenue (if the tree pruning along the bus lane goes well).

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to talk with the driver and passengers to gauge how the bus handles in city traffic and how customers react.

“This is not just a show,” Howard H. Roberts Jr., president of New York City Transit, said at a news conference on Monday. “It’s not a movement to titillate the public.”

The agency, a unit of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, is considering bringing back the double-decker bus in light of increased ridership and the mounting cost of gas, said Elliot G. Sander, director and chief executive of the M.T.A.

Click here for the complete report.

I noticed one of the routes being used on the test is the M5. The route is not heavily used & would seem to be a waste as far as test use is concerned. I would think they would want to test it out on routes with decent ridership to get a real gauge as to their effectiveness & potential full time use throughout the city.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Some Just Don’t Know How To Let Go

Back in mid-late June, the biggest story in & around the MTA was “PerkGate”. This scandal came about after a great Daily News exposé which alerted the masses how MTA Board members were abusing perks such as Free E-Z Pass tags, MetroCards, Railroad Passes, etc….. The MTA put up an initial resistance to eliminate the perks after New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo came calling. However their resistance was short lived & they voted to revoke the free travel perks. The last piece of responsibility was for board members to turn in their respective tags, passes, & such. However according to New York Daily News transit reporter Pete Donohue, only 80% of them have:

Former MTA honchos kept one in five lifetime passes that the agency recalled after a Daily News exposé – and their electronic freebies will be switched off within days.

Ex-Metropolitan Transit Authority big shots still have three free E-Z Passes, 10 MetroCards and at least 16 suburban rail passes more than two months after they were told to hand in a total of 143 perks, officials said.

“Our former board members have been very cooperative, and we expect to have all of the passes returned shortly,” MTA spokesman Jeremy Soffin said.

Soffin refused to name those who failed to return the passes and said some of them may not know about the recall because of summer vacations.

He noted that nearly 80% of the passes were returned.

The agency plans to pull the plug on the E-Z Passes and MetroCards by the end of the week, meaning some of the ex-bosses may find themselves stuck at bridge toll gates or subway turnstiles, officials said.

Click here for the full report.

It is ridiculous that it has taken them this long to turn them in. I’m sure we will hear the excuses such as vacations & such but that does not fly with me. If you couldn’t turn them in, have an associate do do. Should I believe that every possible person who could have turned them in was on vacation at the same time? Highly unlikely………

xoxo Transit Blogger

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LIRR Adjusts Shea Stadium Extra Service

As I posted yesterday morning, the LIRR announced extra service for riders attending the rescheduled Mets game tomorrow. However due to the remnants of Tropical Storm Hanna, today’s New York Mets game was postponed. The remnants also caused a suspension of play at The U.S. Open. The LIRR has just e-mailed me a press release with new information on the adjusted Shea Stadium service along with extensions of U.S. Open service for Monday:

The MTA Long Island Rail Road will adjust its schedules for Shea Stadium train service this Sunday, September 7 and Monday, September 8, due to the postponements of Saturday’s (September 6) Mets game and the U.S. Tennis Open matches because of Tropical Storm Hanna. The LIRR will provide its regular additional afternoon service to Shea Stadium Station for the re-scheduled Mets 2:15 PM game start on Sunday and extend its U.S. Tennis Open additional service to Shea Stadium Station through Monday, September 8. The previously announced additional service for the Sunday 8:05 PM Mets game at Shea Stadium will continue.

Following are the adjusted Shea Stadium Station train schedules:

Sunday, September 7 Mets Game start at 2:15 PM

Port Washington Branch:

Eastbound: Trains leaving Penn Station half-hourly between 10:19 AM and
7:19 PM. In addition, an extra train leaves Penn Station at 12:59 PM.
Westbound: Trains leaving Port Washington half-hourly between 10:10 AM and
7:40 PM. In addition, an extra train departs Great Neck at 12:59 PM.

The following Main Line trains will have added stops at Woodside for 2:15 PM game:
Eastbound: 6:09 PM, 6:37 PM, 6:46 PM, and 7:09 PM trains from Penn Station.
Westbound: 11:01 AM from Huntington, 11:26 AM from Long Beach, 12:01 AM from Huntington, 12:26 PM from Long Beach.

Sunday, September 7 Mets Game start at 8:05 PM

Port Washington Branch:

Eastbound: Trains leaving Penn Station at 4:49 PM, 5:19 PM, 5:49 PM,
6:19 PM, 6:49 PM, 6:53 PM, 7:19 PM, 7:49 PM, 8:19 PM, 8:49 PM, 9:19 PM,
9:49 PM, 10:19 PM, 10:49 PM, 11:19 PM, 12:19 AM and 1:19 AM.

Westbound: Trains leaving Port Washington at 4:40 PM, 5:10 PM, 5:40 PM, 6:10 PM, 6:40 PM, 6:58 PM (from Great Neck), 7:10 PM, 7:40 PM, 8:10 PM, 8:40 PM, 9:10 PM, 9:40 PM, 10:10 PM, 10:40 PM, 11:40 PM, 12:40 AM and 1:39 AM.

The following Main Line trains will have added Woodside stops for this game:

Eastbound: 11:30 PM, 12:14 AM, 12:50 AM and 1:11 AM trains from Penn Station.
Westbound: 4:01 PM from Huntington, 4:26 PM from Long Beach, 5:01 PM from Huntington, 5:26 PM from Long Beach, 6:01 PM from Huntington, 6:25 PM from Babylon and 6:26 PM from Long Beach.

US Tennis Open Monday, September 8:

Eastbound: Trains departing Penn Station approximately every half-hour from
8:21 AM through the completion of the event.

Westbound: Trains departing Port Washington every hour from 9:40 AM through
2:24 PM and then at 3:10 PM, 3:40 PM, 4:06 PM, 4:36 PM, 5:00 PM, 5:23 PM and
6:24 PM and then every half-hour through the completion of the event. Trains departing Great Neck at 8:58 AM, 9:32 AM, and then hourly from 11:04 AM until 3:04 PM and then 5:54 PM, 6:20 PM and 6:44 PM.

Customers traveling from branches other than Port Washington can reach Shea Stadium by taking a regularly scheduled train to Woodside Station, then changing to an eastbound Port Washington Branch train. Since Shea Stadium is located in Zone 1, tickets to that zone from outlying stations are valid to Shea. However, passengers must retain their ticket stubs and inform ticket collectors of their intention to travel to Shea Stadium. Customers must hold onto their tickets, which will be collected at the Shea station after they disembark. CityTicket is not valid to Shea Stadium Station.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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