MTA To Increase Trains And Buses In Queens

BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced this week that it will soon offer additional rush hour train service and weekend bus service due to high demand.

Last week our sister publication the Queens Tribune published a feature titled “Surviving The Summer Of Hell In Western Queens” that informed borough commuters regarding delays and closures that are expected in the upcoming months.

The president of New York City Transit has since announced that additional A, D, E and F subway trains will operate during weekday rush hours beginning in November. There will also be additional Q6, Q8, Q29, Q47, Q49, Q101 and Q65 buses on the weekends beginning in July.

“We’re thrilled to add some additional service for subway and bus riders, and much bigger improvements are on the horizon” said New York City Transit President Andy Byford. “We regularly tweak schedules based on changes in demand and operating conditions, and the comprehensive plan I’m announcing this week will outline the path towards even more significant improvements to service that will be felt by all of our customers.”

Beginning in July, the Q6, Q47 and Q65 will offer increased service on weekends; the Q8 will increase service during the midday, afternoon and evening on weekends; the Q29 will increase on weekend afternoons; the Q49 will add service in the morning, afternoon and evening on weekends; and the Q101 will increase in the midday and afternoon periods.

Beginning in November on weekdays, there will be three additional southbound A trains between 8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.; one additional northbound D train between 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.; three additional northbound D trains between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.; three additional southbound E trains between 10:30 a.m. and 12 p.m.; one additional northbound F train between 10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.; two additional southbound F trains between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.; one additional southbound F train between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.; and two additional southbound F trains between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.

All of the additional trains will also make opposite-direction trips.

During an MTA board meeting on May 23, Byford announced his comprehensive plan to modernize and improve New York City Transit, which includes the additional subway service. MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota called the plan “a sound roadmap to a modernized subway system.”

Byford began the presentation with the introduction of communications-based train control (CBTC), which has already been installed on the L line, and is currently being installed on the 7 train. With the installation of CBTC, riders will experience night and weekend closures, but never any full-line closures during the week.

CBTC will be installed on E, F, M and R trains following the completion of its installation on the 7 train. The trains run from Jamaica-179th Street or Jamaica Center/Parsons-Archer to 50th Street.

During the first five years of the Fast Forward Plan, Byford said that there would be a state-of-the-art signal system installed on five additional lines, more than  650 new subway cars, more than 50 newly accessible stations, repair work at more than 150 stations, more than 1,200 CBTC-equipped cars, a redesign of bus routes in all five boroughs, new fare payment system and 2,800 new buses.

“This plan properly identifies and offers substantive solutions for the significant infrastructure problems facing the subway system,” said state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria). “The plan does not, however, answer the question of where the money to finance this ambitious proposal will be found. I have proposed a surcharge on New York City millionaires to help fund necessary subway improvements. Other viable solutions have also been proposed. Above all else, we must do something and quickly enact one of these ideas to establish a dedicated revenue stream to save our mass transit system from further calamity.”

Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144, ahernandez@queenstribune.com or @reporter_ariel.

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