Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) New York City Transit has completed a comprehensive review of service on the subway line, the 11.4-mile subway route which serves growing neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens.
The review studied all elements of how subway service operates on the line, including scheduling conflicts with other train lines that use the same tracks, how train personnel prepare their trains to enter service at terminals, and where trains stop at its 21 stations – even where benches are placed within those stations. The review was performed at the request of New York State Senators Daniel Squadron and Martin Malavé Dilan.
“The line is a vital connection for customers in fast-growing parts of our service area, and this review will be an important tool for making both short-term improvements and long-term additions to our service. We are pleased to be able to take these steps to improve service for all of our train customers,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast.
“Now train riders will be en route to much-needed relief that may one day lead to the meaning great. These recommendations will allow the to keep pace with skyrocketing growth in Brooklyn and Queens – and make the notorious Train Sprint a thing of the past. Increased frequency, shorter wait times, and better communication will go a long way for many riders. I’m looking forward to working with the MTA, Senator Dilan, and Riders Alliance to quickly implement these recommendations,” said Senator Squadron.
“Over time the recommendations outlined in the MTA’s review of the Line will greatly impact the quality of service for thousands of daily commuters. I applaud the MTA for a thorough assessment of the and for putting a plan in action that will almost immediately alleviate some of the difficulties riders had pointed out. I look forward to working with the MTA as the scope of this report is fully realized and plan to do what I can to see each of these recommendations is implemented,” said Senator Dilan.
The review found several opportunities to improve service, including additional trains during the afternoon peak period to operate every 8 minutes instead of every 10 minutes, contingent on identifying $700,000 in additional funding for that service. Adjusting operating times and changing the locations where trains stop within stations can all help make the onboard passenger loads more even between scheduled trains and between the cars in individual trains.
The review found that train ridership, while growing, is relatively light compared to that of other subway lines, and that the line performs well as measured by on-time performance as well as wait assessment measuress. However, the need to share tracks with the line in Brooklyn can cause uneven wait times and loading, which are more pronounced because line customers make twice as many transfers as most subway customers.
The northern section of the line was severely damaged during Superstorm Sandy in October 2012, and needs intensive restoration over the next year to remove and replace damaged equipment that was soaked in corrosive salt water. That work requires the line to shut for 12 weekends in 2013 and for five weeks in the summer of 2014.
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