MTA To Add Ferry Service During Shutdown

The inevitable L Train train shutdown between Brooklyn & Manhattan is fast approaching. Riders in the highly popular areas of Bushwick, East Village & Williamsburg are still waiting for concrete answers on how the MTA plans to make up for the service loss.

One of their plans is to add ferry service that will run between the East Village & Williamsburg. The agency would run 8 boats per hour which comes out to about every 7 minutes. The problem is the boats would only hold 149 passengers per boat which comes out to almost 1200 riders per hour which is the equivalent of 22 standard buses or 1 L Train train. Let that sync in…..

Paul Stremple of the Bklyner has more in this report:

Last night, during a joint presentation to Community Board 1 regarding the upcoming closure of the L train and repairs to the Canarsie Tunnel, the MTA and DOT revealed a host of new information, including new details about additional ferry service during the 15-month closure.

The agencies have long mentioned a direct ferry route between the North Williamsburg ferry landing and Stuyvesant Cove. Now, more details are available.

According to the presentation, temporary ferry service during the shutdown will run 6:00 am-Midnight Sunday through Thursday, with a potential for extended hours until 2:00 am on Saturday and Sundays, pending coordination with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation.

Some in the crowd raised concerns about safety on the boats, especially in the late hours of Friday and Saturday, citing the plurality of bars in the neighborhood—fears of drunken revelers taking a dip in the East River elicited shouts of “Man Overboard!” from attendees. Agency officials agreed safety was a concern, telling those gathered that discussions about the plan are ongoing.

The late-night ferry rides may cause additional community concerns, as the US Coast Guard requires the operators to sound their horn at each departure. (Last June, service operators Hornblower swapped out high-decibel horns for quieter ones after neighbors up and down the waterfront lodged complaints.)

With 225,000 L train riders needing to cross the river each day, whether by boat, bus, bike or another train line, there has been a question about what kind of capacity the ferry system could muster during the shutdown, even with a direct service route.

Luckily, the MTA and DOT representatives came prepared with figures: during rush hours (which have yet to be defined), the plan is to run 8 boats per hour in each direction—one every 7.5 minutes. With a capacity of 149 passengers per boat, that means up to 1,200 riders an hour in each direction between Brooklyn and Manhattan. That’s equivalent to about 22 standard buses (but only 1 L train).

Click here for the complete report.

I strongly doubt this service will do much to help riders during the shutdown. The lack of room will make it an option that is not exactly feasible for many. Plus the lack of overnight hour service past a potential 2AM will be an issue as the first few stops along the L in Brooklyn are packed nearly 24 hours a day.

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MTA To Close 4 Manhattan Subway Stations

Earlier today, the MTA announced that it will be closing 3 stations along the B Train & C Train in the coming months for various repairs & upgrades. This is to go along with the previously announced closing of the 163rd Street C train line stop that is coming up next month. Tanay Warekar of Curbed has more:

Three Upper West Side subway stations and one Washington Heights station will close in the coming months for repairs as part of the MTA’s Enhanced Station Initiative, which was first announced two years ago. The West Side Rag first learned of the upcoming repair work at a Community Board 7 transportation committee meeting last week.

The stations in question are the 110th, 86th, and 72nd Street stations on the B and C lines, and the 163rd Street station on the C line. The first to shutter will be the Washington Heights one, which will close on March 12, 2018, and is expected to reopen sometime in September.

The 110th Street station will close on April 9, and reopen sometime in September as well; the 72nd Street station will close on May 7, and the 86th Street station on June 4, and both will reopen sometime in October.

Click here for the complete report.

I for one am anxious to see what kind of improvements and addons we will see at these stations when the work is completed. I am glad to read that waterproofing is one of the parts of the rehab as far too often newly revamped stations suffer from water damage within months of completion. This is completely unacceptable considering the amount of money spent on these projects. Hopefully waterproofing will help solve those issues.

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Local Officals Push For Elmhurst LIRR Stop

The Elmhurst neighborhood in Queens is one of the fastest growing areas in all of New York City. Every time I turn around, I see buildings being renovated or new ones built. I am not the only one who has noticed as residents & local officials have as well which is why they are pushing for the MTA to build a station there. Christopher Barca of The Queens Chronicle has more:

As new residential buildings rise at a breakneck pace along Queens Boulevard — along with the population of Elmhurst as a whole — area leaders say the need for a Long Island Rail Road stop in the community is greater than ever.

But when rivets will actually meet the beams there isn’t so black and white.

The MTA originally earmarked $40 million in construction costs for a new Elmhurst LIRR stop in its 2015-19 capital plan, released four years ago. However, a budget amendment filed in 2017 slashed that to just $3 million for preliminary design and environmental review.

Meanwhile, a number of new, large-scale residential structures have either been built, are under construction or are planned for the neighborhood.

And according to Newtown Civic Association President Tom McKenzie, the M and R subway lines can no longer handle the area’s booming population.

“The trains are already so overcrowded by the time they get to Elmhurst. In the 1960s, the subways were crowded. And the population has doubled since then,” McKenzie told the Chronicle on Monday. “If you have the LIRR, maybe people will spend an extra dollar or two just to get a seat and have some comfort.”

Service on the Port Washington branch of the LIRR is something the neighborhood hasn’t seen since 1985, when the station on Broadway at Cornish Avenue was closed and razed.

And in the decades since, state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing) said, residents have been left cramming onto packed subway cars or praying their bus arrives on time.

Given Elmhurst’s location at the western end of the line, Armaghan said, any work would need to be done specifically in conjunction with the East Side Access project — connecting the LIRR to Grand Central Terminal — Amtrak’s rebuilding of its East River tunnels and the Port Washington Yard Track extension plan, among others.

However, a government source said that planning and development of an Elmhurst station could begin as early as next year.

Meanwhile, Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) said Monday he is holding out hope that design will get underway relatively soon.

Click here for the complete article.

The area is definitely on the upswing & it would make sense to consider adding a reasonably cost effective station there. Hopefully the agency can get the ball rolling on the project as soon as possible.

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NYCT President’s Day 2018 Service Plan

Here is the MTA NYC Transit’s service plan for the upcoming President’s Day holiday:

On Presidents’ Day, Monday, Feb. 19, MTA New York City Transit buses and subways will operate on a Saturday schedule with some planned subway service changes. These changes are part of the MTA Subway Action Plan, Fix&Fortify Sandy Recovery Work in the Clark St Tunnel, the Enhanced Station Initiative in Queens and ongoing capital construction projects to repair, maintain and improve the subway system. Details about these changes are available on the Weekender app and website.

As a reminder some subway lines do not run on weekends: there will be no 6 Train7 Train express service. B Train trains will not run, and customers are reminded to use the J Train instead of the Z train.

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LIRR President’s Day 2018 Service Plan

Here is the MTA Long Island Rail Road’s service plan for the upcoming President’s Day holiday:

On Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 19, the Long Island Rail Road will operate on a Holiday schedule with an extra train as shown in Ronkonkoma Branch timetables. The train, which will be included in the LIRR Train Time™ app, will depart Ronkonkoma at 7:07 a.m. and stop at Central Islip (7:14 a.m.), Brentwood (7:18 a.m.), Deer Park (7:22 a.m.), Wyandanch (7:27 a.m.), Farmingdale (7:33 a.m.), Bethpage (7:39 a.m.), Hicksville (7:46 a.m.), Jamaica (8:09 a.m.), and Woodside (8:19 a.m.), before arriving at Penn Station at 8:30 a.m.

Off peak fares will be in effect all day.

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