Overnight Q Service To Become Local

Broadway line local station riders have good news coming to them as of this December. MTA NYC Transit has announced that Q Train trains will now run local in Manhattan during the overnight hours. Here is more:

MTA New York City Transit today announced that beginning in December 2014, Q trains will make all local stops in Manhattan late nights between midnight and 6:30 a.m. Q train service currently operates with express service in Manhattan during the late night time period, bypassing customers at Prince St, 8 St-NYU, 23 St, 28 St, and 49 St. During this time period, these stations are currently served only by the N train, but with Q trains running local, customers at these stations will see wait times decrease from an average 10- minute wait to a 5-minute wait.

In examining MetroCard data from October 2012, New York City Transit’s Operations Planning Division determined that by shifting service on the Q to local tracks overnight, customers at the local stations would see reduced travel times of over six minutes on average. Customers at other (express stop) stations would see average increased travel times of about one minute. In the aggregate, running the Q local would save about 6,000 customer travel minutes each night.

On a typical night, operating the Q local would lengthen the trips of approximately 1,700 customers, but this would be off-set by the reduced wait times for about 1,300 customers at local stations, especially intra-Manhattan riders going to or from local stations, who would experience twice the frequency, from an average 10- minute wait to a 5-minute wait, as they could ride either an N or a Q.

“We are constantly analyzing service and ridership trends in order to provide the best service possible to all of our customers at all hours,” said New York City Transit President Carmen Bianco. “As we saw increased ridership at local stations along the Broadway Line, it simply made sense to provide these customers with more service.”

In recent years, the areas served by local stations have seen higher than average increases in late night activity. This has been reflected in MetroCard data from 2008 to 2012 that showed overnight MetroCard entries at local stations grew by 28 percent while entries at express stations grew by 12 percent. If this trend continues the benefits of an overnight Q local will only grow in the near future.

Another benefit of a Q local: Currently, some Q line customers headed to Brooklyn walk to express stations to avoid making a transfer even if their origin is closer to local stations. In those cases, running local service might lengthen their train time, but would shorten their walking time. In addition, Brooklyn customers going to or from local stations would no longer need to transfer between N and Q trains.

In the past, overnight 2 and 4 service in Manhattan was converted from express service to local service. These changes resulted in a total net travel time savings for customers on the Lexington and 7 Av lines.

This service change does not require MTA Board approval and when implemented, will cost $73,000 annually.

I feel this is long overdue as the local stations see decent ridership during the late night hours. From what I have noticed, most Q trains are ghost towns during the overnight hours in Manhattan due to running express. This should change all of that pretty instantly.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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