Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Two Subway Stations In Manhattan Returns To Service After Repairs and Renovations

Two subway stations in Manhattan return to service as of this past week here; the 110th Street-Cathedral Parkway (B)(C) station in Morningside Heights and nearly after 17 years, the Courtlant St-World Trade Center station on the (1) Line is back in comission since being destroy during the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
110th Street-Cathedral Parkway Station

110th St-Cathedral Parkway (IND Central Park West) back in full operation after being closed for nearly 5 months for renovation as part of the Enhanced Station Initiative (ESI) program. N/B platform opened on September 2; S/B on September 4th. It features new entrances with LED info screen, artwork containing Fredrick Douglass, and new gateway entrances. The station is located in the neighborhoods of the Upper West Side, and Morningside Heights at the northwest corner of Central Park. I like the expanded artwork of the station, but I’m a little disappointed because they (The MTA) didn’t feature any USB ports on the side of the LCD info screens.
Back in February, the MTA announced plans to shutter three Upper West Side subway stations and one Washington Heights station to conduct repairs as part of the MTA’s Enhanced Station Initiative. The agency opted to close the stations completely to allow for the repairs to be carried out quicker and safer. The 110th Street station closed on April 9 and crews repaired the station’s structural steel, repaired concrete on platforms, and performed waterproofing. A series of station enhancements, such as new railings, replaced platform edges and stair treads; new tiling, a new turnstile area, brighter lighting, a new customer dashboard, and digital signage was also added. In a press release, the agency touted that the subway station managed to reopen “on time and on budget,” both things to celebrate when it comes to the beleaguered subway system. “We’re thrilled to be returning this station to the community in better condition than it’s been in for decades, with critical structural repairs performed and brand new features that will make planning and taking trips with us easier and more convenient than ever,” said New York City Transit President Andy Byford in a statement, who was also present at the reopening of the station. Full photos of the station can be seen on the Transportation Hub's Instagram Page.


Inside the newly recommisioned WTC-Courlandt St station on the (1) Line

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today opened the newly recommissioned WTC Cortlandt subway station, restoring a subway stop to a resurgent area of Lower Manhattan that has once again become a major transit and commercial hub following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Service in both directions began at noon this past Saturday. Originally this station was set to reopen three months from now, but thanks to the resilient leadership of the MTA staff, this station completed work and opened 3 months earlier, just in time for Patriot Day. All stations and lines that link the oculus really contemplates the transportation mode in Lower Manhattan. Rebuilding this station really shows the resiliency and strength that we have as New Yorkers. We may get knocked down but we rise back up, stronger than before. The station itself adds accessibility, links to World Trade Center Transportation Hub Oculus, PATH and 11 Subway Lines. The new station has been constructed with fewer columns, providing direct views into the World Trade Center Transportation Hub for more intuitive wayfinding and customer flow, particularly for mobility-impaired customers using wheelchairs or motorized scooters. The new station is fully accessible, with one elevator for access from the street to the southbound platform, and an elevator from the mezzanine to each platform. The station provides a critical accessible transfer point given its location adjacent to the fully accessible World Trade Center Transportation Hub, which offers connections to 11 subway lines via the Cortlandt St (R)(W) , World Trade Center (E)  and the Fulton Center (2)(3)(4)(5)(A)(C)(J)(Z) subway stations, and to Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) service.  
The station includes modern amenities and security features such as Help Point kiosks on each platform and the two station mezzanines, which allow customers to get information or call for help in an emergency. The station is also air-tempered to maintain a comfortable environment, and includes two new fan plants that provide air circulation and emergency ventilation. The new station’s name references its location at the center of the World Trade Center and Cortlandt Street, which existed above the station location when the (1) line originally opened in July 1918 but was demolished during the construction of the World Trade Center n the late 1960s. 
Since the 9/11 attacks, Lower Manhattan has undergone major construction to restore the area as a business district, tourist destination and transportation hub. Thanks to significant infrastructure investments such as the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, the Fulton Center subway station complex and nearby office towers and shopping complexes, the entire area has undergone a transformation that is now attracting new business and residential development. The National September 11 Memorial Museum and its memorial park, which are located steps from the station, provide a place of reflection that is visited daily by thousands of tourists around the world. Most of the new WTC Cortlandt station was built within the footprint of the Cortlandt St (1) subway station, which was destroyed in the 9/11 attacks. The station shell, tracks and tunnels sustained devastating damage when the towers fell, cutting (1) service from its southern terminus at South Ferry until a year after the attacks. The construction of the new WTC Cortlandt station began in 2015 when the MTA was given control of the site, which is located within the greater World Trade Center site overseen by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ). The station box, within which the station shell and structure are housed, had to be underpinned or supported by piles driven into the bedrock more than 60 feet below, creating an underground railway elevated above the bedrock. The station site was then built to grade, allowing the construction of a subway station 700 feet long and 47 feet wide to take place several floors below street level. A partnership of several agencies, including the MTA and PANYNJ, worked on the design of the new station. The infrastructure of the former Cortlandt St (1) subway station was completely destroyed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks when the World Trade Center collapsed above the station. The MTA rebuilt 1,200 feet of tunnel and tracks and made significant repairs to the station shell, track tunnels and track infrastructure, which enabled the restoration of  line service to the South Ferry terminal. The remainder of the Cortlandt St (1) station was demolished as part of the overall reconstruction of the World Trade Center site, leaving behind the foundation for a new subway station to be built in its footprint. Artwork features a total span of 4,350 square feet across the walls of both platforms and comprises small marble tesserae forming a white-on-white surface for text from the 1776 Declaration of Independence and the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The tactile surface invites subway riders to touch the text as they read, creating meaningful personal encounters meant to acknowledge the civic ideals and aspirations of humanity and society. Full photo coverage of the station is here. Video coverage is here as well.


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

New York City Braces Itself For The Impending (L) Train Canarise Tunnel Shutdown

Ladies and Gentlemen, we apologize for the unavoidable delay-for 15 months.

NEW YORK, NY- In less than a year from now, the BMT 14th Street-Canarsie tunnel that connects 1st Ave, Manhattan and Bedford Ave, Brooklyn will be shut down for 15 months from April 2019 to July 2020. During those 15 months, the MTA will be replacing communication and power cables, which are both the overall length of 151, 000 feet. New tracks and third rail will be installed, as well as new tunnel and lighting system. Approximately 60,000 linear feet of duct banks, 14,400 linear feet of track and track bed, 270,000 linear feet of cable ducts and associated cables, and 7,000 linear feet of concrete lining. The agency will also make upgrades to all tunnels to protect the line and others damaged by Hurricane Sandy from future storm damage. As an added bonus, the MTA is making the projected Bedford Avenue terminus.

Train Service
With the (L) Train only serving Bedford Ave in Willamsburg and Canarsie-Rockaway Parkway, all in Brooklyn, BMT Canarsie line riders would have to resort to other subway line and modes of transportation. Riders will turn to the (2)(3)(4)(5)(7)(A)(C)(E)(G)(J)(M)(Z) lines to make their trips to Manhattan. The (C) and (G) trains will have longer train cars for capacity increase. The (M) Train will have 50 additional cars. The (J)(Z) Lines will be 100% NTT. In order to properly accommodate (L) train riders, (J) and (Z) trains will operate local in both directions between Myrtle Avenue-Broadway and Marcy Avenue. The lines mentioned earlier will see an overall increase of 50% in ridership from the (L) line. There will be widening of platforms, additional stairways, reopening of closed entrances,and adding/reconfiguration of turnstiles at Broadway Junction, Flushing Av, Lorimer, Hewes Streets, Marcy Av, Nassau Ave and Lorimer St (G). New Free Transfers will be available at these following stations; Broadway (G)-Hewes/Lorimer Sts (J)(M)(Z), Junius St (3)-Livonia Ave (L), and in Queens, 21 St (G)-Hunters Point Ave (7). In order to provide extra service between Brooklyn and Manhattan during the shutdown, (M) train service will operate between Middle Village-Metropolitan Av in Queens and 96th St/2nd Ave (Q) Station in Manhattan. It's a good thing that the M train's both Myrtle Viaduct and the Fresh Pond Bridge were repaired between July 2017 and April 2018. 

Bus, Ferry, Service,and 14th Street Busway Travel
During the (L) Train shutdown, there will be a M14 +SelectBusService. This service will operate between Chelsea Peirs-11th Ave and Stuyvesant Cove Ferry Terminal with connections to the M23 +SBS and the (L) Train Ferry, all day except late nights. The route will be launched on January 6th, 2019 and will be overlaid on top of the M14A/D routes. This will be the 19th route to (temporary) join the New York Bus Rapid Transit Family. New 10-15 New Flyer Articulated (alternative energy) Buses will be used on the M14 +SBS route. Remnants of the M14 +SBS route will remain after the shutdown. 

In addition to the implementation of the M14 +SBS next year, there will be four interborough +SBS routes that will travel between Manhattan and Brooklyn, via the Williamsburg Bridge. 80 buses will travel on the bridge per hour. The four interborough Bus Rapid Transit routes are:

-L1: Between Grand Street (L) Station, Brooklyn and 1st Av/15th St, Manhattan; every 2.5 minutes during the AM rush and every 3.5 minutes during the PM rush.

-L2: Between Grand Street (L) Station, Brooklyn and SoHo (South of Houston Street), Manhattan; every 2.5 minutes during the AM rush and every 3.5 minutes during the PM rush.

-L3: Between Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn (near the (L) station) and SoHo (South of Houston Street), Manhattan; every 2.5 minutes during the AM and PM rush.

-L4: Between Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn (near the (L) station) and 1st Av/15th St, Manhattan; every 6 minutes during the AM rush and every 6.5 minutes during the PM rush.

During late nights, the M14, L1, L3, & L4 +SBS does not operate. L2 operates at all times. L14 operates between 11th Ave, Manhattan and Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn (near the (L) station). 

The core of 14th Street (Ninth to Third Avenues eastbound and Third to Eighth Avenues westbound) is expected to serve as an exclusive “Busway” with peak hour restrictions. Additionally, offset bus lanes are planned to be added from Eighth Avenue to Ninth Avenue westbound, and a combination of curbside and offset bus lanes are expected to be added from First Avenue to Third Avenue in both directions. The street redesign would likely bring temporary bus bulbs and expanded sidewalks to the corridor. DOT also plans to add new pedestrian space along Union Square West from 14th to 15th Streets and 16th to 17th Streets. Under this plan, access to the Busway would be mostly limited to M14 local and SBS buses; however, Access-A-Ride vehicles, local deliveries, emergency vehicles, and private cars accessing parking garages would also be permitted. 14th Street bus priority treatments would be in effect during peak periods, with specific hours still to be determined.

13th Street Bikeway Plan
With the L Train closure, DOT expects bike ridership to double at a minimum, and we anticipate as many as 5,000 new daily cyclists will use streets around Union Square. We must provide safe crosstown routes to major north-south bike lanes on avenues, destinations along 14th Street, and for other short trips that now use the L Train. The projected heavy bus and pedestrian uses along 14th Street will make the street not conducive to cycling. In order to meet the anticipated increased demand, DOT has planned a protected bike lane along 13th Street. A 13th Street bikeway would provide a path in both directions that is separated from traffic, offering a safe, accessible option for thousands of daily cyclists. Parking on the south side of the street would be removed and replaced with a standard 2-way path separated from the roadway by a buffer and flexible delineators. The effective width of the roadway would remain the same and sidewalk space would not be altered in any way. DOT is reviewing the curb regulations along the northern curb to accommodate other curb access needs, including local access. In order to minimize heavy parking loss associated with a protected lane, 13th Street was chosen as a two-way bike corridor rather than splitting the lanes into a one-way pair. While 236 parking spaces along the street’s south curb would be lost, all vehicular travel lanes would remain. Intersections would be widened to increase capacity at key points, bikes would be physically separated so they would not be contending for space on the roadway, and most  importantly, protected lanes would increase ridership and shift people away from taking for-hire vehicles on an already over-burdened street. Overall, a 13th Street bikeway would dramatically increase what is known among traffic planners as “person throughput,” greater capacity that would improve mobility for area residents and visitors during the L Train shutdown period.

Travel Along the Williamsburg Bridge
A primary component of the alternative service plan is to provide shuttle bus service from neighborhoods in Brooklyn to subway connections in Manhattan via the Williamsburg Bridge. Providing fast and reliable bus service is critical to alleviate potential overcrowding on the J/M/Z lines and prevent large shifts to private and for-hire vehicles. Currently, Williamsburg Bridge travel times are highly variable, ranging from 10-40 minutes. To ensure reliability, DOT will be implementing a policy of HOV 3+, buses and trucks only in both directions on the bridge during peak hours.

Videos of the commentaries are right here: Part I | Part II (L) Tunnel Reconstruction Powerpoint Slides, seen here.

The BMT Canarsie Line is one the overly populated top 10 transit lines in North America. This work for 15 months is necessary to get the (L) line back on track. We are New Yorkers- if we can survive the shutdown of other lines, the MTA strike of '05, and natural disasters that hits this city, then we can survive anything! Let's go through this together. 


Friday, July 6, 2018

Transportation NYC 2017: Year In Review


**This post was originally supposed to be published in December 2017, so this post reflects the events transpired in 2017**

NEW YORK-We have so much in the Transportation world in the year of 2017. We have had the good, the bad, and the downright rarity that is the New York City Transportation System. So much has transpired within 2017, it can only be explained in descriptive detail. There is still much work that needs to be done on improving the aging New York City Subway system. All the events that transpired in 2017 will sure be to go down in the history books.

In January, an event that occurred was a century in the making. the brand new IND Second Avenue Subway Line was open for the public on New Years Day. New stations open along 2nd Ave on the Upper East Side at 96th, 86th,and 72nd Streets, extending the (Q) Line with an across the platform transfer to the (F) Train at Lexington Avenue-63rd Street. It also saw increase in service and relieves on the overcrowded IRT Lexington Avenue Line by 40%. We've also experience major service changes affecting weekend service along C, F,and G Lines, due track work between Jay St-MetroTech and Bergen Street. (D) and (F) Trains were rerouted to the subway lines during the weekend back in February, September, and October, due to track, signal, and electrical work along the IND 6th Avenue Line. In preparation for the Canarsie Tube shutdown43 for Fix and Fortify Hurricane Sandy Recovery Work, on Memorial Day weekend, the MTA closed (L) Train service between Broadway Junction and 8th Avenue, Manhattan. (M) train service was sent up to 96th Street/2nd Avenue. The entire BMT Broadway Line has gotten a dosage of the IND Second Avenue Subway; the (Q), which operates along that corridor at all times, the (N), which rides on that line during rush hours, the (W), which runs via 2nd Ave during weekdays in case of a General Order on the BMT Astoria Line, and the (R), which runs on the line only one AM rush hour trip. In June, a downtown (F) train lost power due to a major heat wave underground and a downtown (A) train was derailed, crippling service. After 4 years of Hurricane Sandy, the new South Ferry station was reopened for business, thus closing the old South Ferry station loop. Clark Street Tube closures shook things up for weekend (2), (3),and (5) train riders. The closure was for a year-long consecutive Hurricane Sandy recovery work. (2) & (3) train service were suspended between Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. (2) train service operated between Dyre Ave, The Bronx and South Ferry, Manhattan, with local service between 34th St-Penn Station and Chambers St. (3) train service operated in Manhattan between 148th St and 14th St, via 7th Ave Express. (5) train service operated 241st St, The Bronx and Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, via Bronx/Brooklyn Local, and Lexington Ave Express. (4) train service operated to/from New Lots Ave, Brooklyn. From July 1, 2017 to April 30, 2018, reconstruction of two sections of the BMT Myrtle Avenue Line—the approaches to the line's junction with the BMT Jamaica Line and Fresh Pond Bridge over the Long Island Rail Road's Montauk Branch in Queens—required a reroute of (M) service. Trains to and from Manhattan and Queens, instead of going to Metropolitan Avenue, ran via the BMT Jamaica Line between Myrtle Avenue–Broadway and Broadway Junction at all times except late nights, when service was suspended. A limited amount of rush hour trains ran between 71st Avenue in Queens and Second Avenue in Manhattan, replicating the (V) train's routing prior to its discontinuation in 2010. Three shuttle bus routes ran during reconstruction of the Fresh Pond Bridge: one between Myrtle Avenue–Broadway and Fresh Pond Road; the second between Myrtle–Broadway and Metropolitan Avenues, skipping the Fresh Pond Road station during the daytime hours; and the third between Flushing Avenue/Broadway and Middle Village–Metropolitan Avenue, stopping at Flushing and Wyckoff Avenues for a transfer to the BMT Canarsie Line at Jefferson Street.When the Fresh Pond Bridge project was completed on September 2, two six-car shuttle trains began operating between Metropolitan and Wyckoff Avenues at all times, running separately from each other on each of the two tracks; two additional six-car trains were stored in the Fresh Pond Yard in order to swap consists in and out of service. These shuttles, along with a shuttle bus route that provided service between Wyckoff Avenue and Broadway, ran until April 27, 2018. The soutbound (F) and northbound (N) train platforms reopened and Phase II was the start for the opposite platforms to be repaired. We have also experienced R62As on the (4), R142s roaming the (6) and the testing and the arrival of the Bombardier R179 back in November 2017. There multiple occasions when the clock had to be reset due to the malfunctioning of the doors, etc.

Now, on to the buses. In January, we have experienced the arrival of the 2016/7 Novabus LFSA SmartBus #5439 as well as the 2016-2017 New Flyer XN40 CNG Xcelsiors. Later in the year, the MTA received 138 units of the 2017 New Flyer XD60 Xcelsiors that went on the Q44 +SBS (Casey Stengel), M23, M34/A, M60, M79, & M86 +SBS routes (Michael J, Quill), M101/102/103 routes (Tuskegee Airmen), and on the Q52/Q53 +SBS routes (JFK & LGA). These buses also made impromptu appearances on the Bx12 +SBS, Bx41 Local, Bx5, Bx40/42, & Bx22 routes (Gun Hill), and on the Phase II (M) train shuttle bus route (Grand Avenue Depot). 2017's +SBS route debuts are the M79, Bx6, and the Q52/Q53. Back in April 2017, we have witnessed the delivery of 5 2017 New Flyer XN60 CNG Xcelsiors for Nassau Inter-County Express. Staten Island bus units from the Yukon Depot temporarily ran on the MTABC's Q64 & Q110 routes. A bus swap has occurred between Michael J. Quill's RTS units and Jamaica's 2011 LFS units.

**PLEASE KEEP ON READING; IMPORTANT MESSAGE DOWN BELOW**

Hey guys. I know for a fact that I was way behind with my posts. The reason I wasn't able to post from November 2017 all the way until now is because I was dealing with my personal issues and I wasn't able to do blog writting and video uploading at once. But now, I am back in the groove and I have so much transportation stories to share with all of you. My next post will be about the transit events that occured between January 2018 up until now. And also, be on the lookout for my Instagram Page, which will launch on 07/06/2018 at 12 PM. In the meantime, please, enjoy the Hub.