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aaron38 Mar 29, 2009 2:50 AM

So what does it mean that the W and Z are cut? The N and the J still serve all the same stations, so is it just a reduction in the number of trains, increased wait time? Or are they actually closing some stations?

KVNBKLYN Jun 24, 2009 3:55 AM

The 7 train extension seems to still be moving along:



Quick Progress Digging Number 7 Extension Line
by Matthew Schuerman

NEW YORK, NY June 22, 2009 —Some of the toughest parts in big public works projects come when government agencies, each with their own turf, have to work together. To celebrate one collaboration that's worked out well, the MTA took WNYC's Matthew Schuerman on a tour yesterday of an unfinished subway tunnel underneath the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Here's his report.

REPORTER: In January, contractors began digging a giant trench in the basement of the Port Authority bus terminal. It's 80 feet wide, and 80 feet deep and 150 feet long. It lies right underneath the entrance ramp Greyhound buses take to get to the terminal's lower level. Joe Trainor, MTA's chief engineer:

TRAINOR: This was all of the work we've done in the last six months, which is absolutely mind-boggling.

REPORTER: Now, they have to clean up, and wait. This elaborate operation is just a small piece of the $2.2 billion extension of the Number 7 subway line. When finished, the line will take riders west along 41st street to 11th avenue and then south to 34th street. Just last week, the first tunnel boring machine started snaking its way in the opposite direction, north from its starting point in Chelsea. It's digging the tunnel where the Queens-bound trains will eventually go. The machine for the other tunnel is expected to start any day now.

TRAINOR: If you look over here on this wall, those two lines indicate where those two tunnel boring machines will come through into this pit. The first will come in here on the left, the second machine will come in shortly after that on that side.

The tunnel boring machines are giant 50-ton drill bits that grind through dirt and bedrock. They're expected to arrive at this cavern next spring. The MTA got started digging the cavern early just in case.

TRAINOR: And there were people saying, well, we've got time, and my feeling was, you never have time. You have to do as much as you whenever you can do it.

In fact, the MTA expected the cavern would take two to three years to dig, instead of just six months. But fortunately the Port Authority allowed the MTA to work under the bus terminal 24-hours a day. But Trainor isn't breathing easy yet. He says the entire project is so ambitious, it'll be tough to get finished by the 2013 deadline the MTA has set for itself.

TRAINOR: This is only the first phase. The object is not to build a tunnel, it's to build a subway with the tracks the signals the pump stations, all of the electrical and mechanical gear.

While all of the blasting and excavating was going on underground, customers were waiting for buses just 20 feet away. For a while, buses were diverted to allow easy access for the excavation. But now, 6,000 cubic yards of rock later, workers have covered the pit back up with concrete slabs. And traffic in the bus terminal has gotten back to normal.

CGII Jun 24, 2009 6:52 PM


Originally Posted by aaron38 (Post 4165572)
So what does it mean that the W and Z are cut? The N and the J still serve all the same stations, so is it just a reduction in the number of trains, increased wait time? Or are they actually closing some stations?

The W and Z trains were express, so even though the J and N trains served the same stations, they also serve additional stations. Which kinda sort seriously sucks, because getting from Manhattan to Jamaica on the J train through Queens takes FOREVER.

dchan Jun 24, 2009 7:15 PM


Originally Posted by CGII (Post 4323788)
The W and Z trains were express, so even though the J and N trains served the same stations, they also serve additional stations. Which kinda sort seriously sucks, because getting from Manhattan to Jamaica on the J train through Queens takes FOREVER.

No kidding.

I remember sometime after 9/11, I was taking the E or F from Kew Gardens/Union Tpke to go to school. There was some sort of accident ahead, or somebody was sick, or whatever. The point is that we weren't going to move for a long time. So I took an E back to Jamaica Center and transferred to a J or Z (don't remember which).

Normally, the E or F takes only about 30-40 minutes to get to West 4th Street. But the J and Z, because they were local trains, took more than an hour to reach Lower Manhattan. It was a shitty experience that I thankfully have not had to repeat.

KVNBKLYN Aug 17, 2009 6:33 PM

Still no good news on the rebuilding of Penn Station.

I heard from a friend that there are behind the scenes discussions about taking over the WaMu theater space for more passenger space and to get natural light into the station. Not sure how that would help considering most NJT riders are huddled near the 7th Avenue entrance and most LIRR riders only use their gloomy/tacky concourse beneath 33rd street. I believe the WaMu theater is midblock somewhere above the Amtrak waiting room.

Further ideas from bloomberg's architecture critic:


Sordid Penn Station Needs Overhaul for $9 Billion Tunnel Link
Share | Email | Print | A A A

Commentary by James S. Russell

Aug. 17 (Bloomberg) -- On a rain-swept day in July, the gloomy corridors of New York’s Pennsylvania Station seemed even danker than usual, foreshadowing the bleak prospects for its transformation into a great rail gateway.

The first shovel has been turned on the adjacent, $8.7 billion Mass Transit Tunnel from New Jersey that will double the number of passengers arriving from across the Hudson River. The 9-mile rail link for New Jersey Transit was supposed to feed a spruced-up Penn, but the station’s long-awaited makeover has gone on the back burner.

The tunnel makes realizing the promise of Penn imperative. Passenger growth already crams 46 million annual passengers into two blocks of sordid subterranean hallways. The station handles more people than most airports.

The epic Roman pomp of its 1910 predecessor, demolished more than four decades ago, stirs the hearts of backers of Moynihan Station, the Penn expansion project named after the late U.S. Senator Daniel Moynihan, who dreamed it up.

The old Penn, in so grandly choreographing the passenger throngs, was a great urban experience itself, thrillingly speaking to why millions of people crowd together in New York.

It was ripped down to accommodate today’s dingy melange of offices, shops and Madison Square Garden.

Unfortunately, the Moynihan Station project is in disarray. Over a decade, plans have come and gone for a new Amtrak station in the Farley Post office to the west of Penn. The last hare- brained idea was to skim hundreds of millions of dollars for the expansion by building millions of square feet of boom-era real- estate development.

Bloated Cost

The complexity of the deal making bloated the $1 billion station project to a $14 billion development. The proposal imploded and officials have no new plan. Penn’s overhaul is doomed if it doesn’t become a part of the massive, five-year surface-transportation bill, scheduled to move through Congress by Sept. 30. A likely 18-month delay offers possible salvation.

Flying under the public radar for years, the New Jersey Transit tunnel is moving ahead because it was “shovel ready,” and so qualified for $3 billion in federal funding, jump-started with $130 million in economic-stimulus dollars.

It won’t even terminate at Penn, an option that officials deemed too expensive. Instead, passengers will be deposited three blocks further north, 14 stories below 34th Street. At such a remove, the railroad must duplicate ticketing and services on a 1,000-foot-long concourse, accessed from the street by massive ranks of escalators carved out of bedrock.

Dead Ends

Instead of adding convenience, clarity and amenity to Penn, the design will add more twisting, confusing pathways and menacing dead ends, littered with directional signs.

Even if the tunnel can’t terminate at Penn, as it should have, a great united terminal can still be built.

With a little architectural vision, the tunnel could link with a spruced-up Penn and spur as much as 40 million square feet of commercial and residential development to the north and west of the station. It could transform the far West Side the way Grand Central replaced a smoke-belching ditch with tree- lined Park Avenue.

The tunnel shifts Penn’s center of gravity to the north and east, so the focus of Penn improvements must be on the two blocks the station now occupies, south of 33rd Street and west of Seventh Avenue. The grand Farley Post Office to the west is too peripheral.

Madison Square Garden

Planners have not wanted to tamper with the current station because bulldozing the dingy 1968 silo of Madison Square Garden and the mind-numbing 2 Penn Plaza office building aren’t now options. Instead architects must get surgical.

The abandoned taxi drop-off and the cracked-concrete plazas could host generously sized, daylight-filled entrances. Rationalize the three-level mess of passageways below, and unite the cramped, balkanized facilities to orchestrate easily navigated access to all 21 tracks.

Razing rinky-dink, one-story stores along Seventh and Eighth avenues can make room for expansive, seamless, light- filled links between Penn, the new tunnel station and three subway stations serving 15 lines -- a far better solution than the nasty, twisting passages currently planned.

Farley can be gorgeously built out for future commuters entering from the west and for Amtrak, which serves the smallest number of passengers.

The tough economy will tempt officials to strip these projects of architectural grace and urban significance. That’s what seems to be happening in the tunnel’s low-ceilinged concourse and convoluted vertical access (by engineering giants Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc., STV Group and AECOM).

Jubilee Line

There’s plenty of time to ditch the drugstore-chain look and the skimpy street-level storefront entrances. London’s Jubilee Line does tunnel stations right.

This thing has to work for a century or more. Short-term reasoning stuck us with today’s passenger-demeaning, investment- repelling Penn. Architecture of civic-minded ambition is an almost incidental cost in these engineering projects but is often key to their success. Think of Grand Central.

Skimping on inspiring architecture is millions wise, billions foolish.

(James S. Russell is Bloomberg’s U.S. architecture critic. The opinions expressed are his own.)

To contact the writer of this column: James S. Russell in New York at

Qubert Aug 19, 2009 12:29 PM

:previous: The amount of drama and beaurocracy required to get anything done in NY is staggering. It's disgusting how this and the WTC site have done nothing for almost a decade, and it will be that city's downfall.

KVNBKLYN Aug 20, 2009 2:14 AM


Originally Posted by Qubert (Post 4413496)
:previous: The amount of drama and beaurocracy required to get anything done in NY is staggering. It's disgusting how this and the WTC site have done nothing for almost a decade, and it will be that city's downfall.

It's not bureaucracy per se, it's competing interests from different public agencies and private owners/developers. The redevelopment of Penn Station would require the cooperation of the city, the Port Authority, the MTA, NJ Transit, Amtrak, the owners of Madison Square Garden and whatever developer would be hired to build the new stuff on top and around the site. It's a classic case of too many chefs spoiling the pot.

And for the record, people have been predicting New York City's downfall for centuries and it hasn't happened yet.

CGII Aug 20, 2009 3:00 AM


Originally Posted by Qubert (Post 4413496)
:previous: The amount of drama and beaurocracy required to get anything done in NY is staggering. It's disgusting how this and the WTC site have done nothing for almost a decade, and it will be that city's downfall.

No, it's basic economics. It doesn't make sense/isn't possible to invest billions and billions of dollars into spurious corporate mega developments right now.

NYC4Life Sep 19, 2009 2:11 AM

NY Daily News

Cut in subway station booth agents has some worried about safety
BY Jeff Wilkins

Friday, September 18th 2009, 1:20 PM
Lunie Menard of Flatbush is worried crime will rise at her Newkirk Ave. subway stop without the presence of a station agent.

IF YOU SEE something, good luck trying to say something.

Starting Sunday, 17 subway stations across Brooklyn will lose agents because of budget cuts - which didn't make riders happy.

"I'm concerned for my safety," said Flatbush commuter Lunie Menard, 43, when she learned there would no longer be an agent in the booth at her usual entrance to the Newkirk Ave. station in Flatbush.

"If I'm down there by myself and someone's working, at least I know there's two of us," Menard said. "There's safety in numbers. We need more people down there, not less."

The 17 Brooklyn stations that will lose the maroon-vested agents include the Prospect Park and Sheepshead Bay stations along the B and Q lines; the Nevins St. and Brooklyn College stops on the 2 and 5 lines; and three stops along the L line, including Lorimer St. and Graham Ave.

Despite recent fair hikes and a $2.3 billion bailout from the state Legislature in May, the MTA maintained that cutting agents at 86 stations citywide was necessary due to budget constraints.

"The elimination of the station customer assistance program ... is an unfortunate result of tough economic times," said MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan in a statement.

"As MTA revenues continue to decline, this year's budget assumed that additional nonservice reductions were necessary."

MTA officials said all affected stations will still have one full-time customer assistance booth. Intercoms will be placed at entrances without agents to patch anyone in need of assistance to the 24-hour booth.

"So I'll have to phone someone at the other end of the station to let them know I'm being mugged," asked Bryan Walker, 33, at the Utica Ave. station in Bedford-Stuyvesant, which is also losing an agent. "That makes no sense."

NYC Transit was adamant commuters would be just as safe despite the decrease in agents.

"Safety isn't even a consideration," said Transit spokesman Charles Seaton. "Crime is down at stations across the city. The NYPD is doing a good job of patrolling them."

An agent along the A line speaking on condition of anonymity scoffed at the notion his station will remain as safe when he's forced from his booth.

"We're the eyes and ears of the subway," he said. "We're not police officers but we're trained to help people."

© Copyright 2009 All rights reserved

miketoronto Sep 19, 2009 1:25 PM

You could fool me, because when I needed some help when in NYC this summer with a Metrocard issue, the agent was not helpful at all.
Most just seem to sit there and not really do anything. And she only agreed to do something when I was going to buy another card, and she would have had to swipe my credit card. :)

I know not all are like that. But at the same time, maybe they need some more training.

KVNBKLYN Sep 19, 2009 3:19 PM

These people do absolutely nothing all day and get paid handsomely for it. The only rationale they can come up with for why they shouldn't be fired is that they might wake up from their naps just in time to see you being dragged away to be raped while they push an emergency button and sit in their booth listening to you scream (actual story). This whole idea they provide security is absolutely insane. What kind of security are they going to provide when they're not supposed to leave their bullet proof booths, from which they can't see most of the station? If security is an issue, how about hire security guards or install security cameras?

NYC4Life Sep 22, 2009 10:08 AM


09/21/2009 11:10 PM
City Subways Pick Up Green Energy Funds

The city is set to receive $2 million in federal stimulus funds that will be earmarked for greener technology in the subways.

Officials say they plan to install wireless control points linked to third rail heaters.

The project will allow the heaters to be remotely turned on and off from a central control hub, depending on the weather.

The technology will minimize electricity usage and eliminate wasted energy. Officials say the project will also create jobs.

The money is part of $100 million in grants being distributed nationwide to help reduce global warming.

Copyright © 2008 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Oct 21, 2009 6:52 PM


Updated 12:10 PM
PATH Train Strikes Bumper; All Injuries Minor

A PATH train struck a bumper block at the end of the platform at a Midtown station this morning, injuring about a dozen people.

The New York City Fire Department says six passengers and one worker were taken to area hospitals for their injuries. Three others were treated on the scene.

The train from Hoboken, N.J. was pulling into the 33rd Street Station under Herald Square at around 8:15 a.m. when it hit the bumper.

Service on the line was not interrupted.

Traffic lanes around the station were temporarily closed, but have since reopened.

Copyright © 2008 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Oct 21, 2009 6:58 PM


Atheist Ad Campaign To Hit Subways

A group of non-believers is using the subway system to try to win over riders.

Ads promoting atheism will be rolling out in 12 Manhattan subway stations.

They feature the slogan, "A Million New Yorkers Are Good Without God. Are You?"

The campaign, coordinated by the organization Coalition of Reason, will appear for a month beginning next Monday.

Another group, New York City Atheists, ran a similar campaign on city buses in July.

Copyright © 2008 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

Swede Oct 21, 2009 8:34 PM

^More low-key than the campaign that was up in the subway (and in the streets) here a few months ago. Will be fun seeing how it plays out.

Very nice to hear no-one was seriously injured in the PATH accident. Not nice to hear there was an accident, of course.

KVNBKLYN Nov 13, 2009 9:15 PM

It seems like the 7 train extension is actually moving along. Too bad the MTA's only update in a year consists of three photos. I guess we can't expect that the public be kept informed on a project it's funding for a mere $2 billion. :shrug:

Here are the photos from

NYC4Life Nov 14, 2009 4:01 AM


11/13/2009 09:17 PM
New Metro North Station A Home Run For Yankees Fans
By: NY1 News

Taking the Metro North train to Yankees games was a home run for baseball fans this season.

The new Yankee Stadium stop on the Hudson Line, adjacent to the new Yankee Stadium in Highbridge, Bronx, opened in May for both baseball fans and Bronx residents.

The $91 million station, which took two years to build, includes a 10,000-square-feet mezzanine and a new pedestrian overpass.

"We feel it was very successful. We carried almost a half-million people to the games in our first season," said Robert MacLagger of Metro North Development. "We reached a high of 6,000 people during the World Series per game, for Game 6 of the World Series."

However, not enough people use the stop when there's no baseball.

Metro North says it will try to better promote the station to Bronx residents and workers.

Copyright © 2009 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

Busy Bee Nov 14, 2009 3:58 PM

Too bad it shows like a styleless banal shed. For as much as Yankee Stadium cost, they should have decked this sucker out in limestone to match the stadium, instead, well, instead. This just doesn't look like a high non-resident exposure station on a world class system.

NYonward Nov 14, 2009 4:17 PM


Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 4558518)
Too bad it shows like a styleless banal shed. For as much as Yankee Stadium cost, they should have decked this sucker out in limestone to match the stadium, instead, well, instead. This just doesn't look like a high non-resident exposure station on a world class system.

To my knowledge the Yankees didn't even put up a penny for this station. You have them to thank for the blandness. In all fairness, beautifying the train station would take away from the impressive look of the new stadium and since few apparently use the station on non-game days it was a good choice.

NYonward Nov 17, 2009 10:35 PM

November 17, 2009
Countdown Clocks for 3 Bronx Subway Stations

In London, Paris and Washington, subway riders need only look up at a digital sign to know how many minutes it will be until the next train arrives. New York’s straphangers usually resort to peering into a darkened tunnel.

But for some riders in the Bronx, that often-futile search for a headlight is about to end. New York City Transit announced on Monday that it would debut the first batch of subway countdown clocks next month at three stations on the No. 6 line, a preview of a technology that officials hope to extend to all the numbered lines by spring 2011.

The Bronx countdown clocks will be similar to those on the L line, where they have been in place since 2007.

Transit officials also announced plans for a similar system along the 50th Street crosstown bus route, extending a project that began on 34th Street, where bus shelters are already equipped with countdown displays.

Although the 50th Street project is in its early stages, the announcements were the latest sign that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is making good on its long-held promise to provide riders with information that is a standard feature in other major transit networks.

“People have been crying for this for a long time,” said Andrew Albert, a riders’ advocate and member of the authority’s board.

Still, riders may want to hold off celebrating just yet. Last month, officials said they hoped to install all clocks at 152 subway stations by December 2010; that is now expected to be April 2011.

And while the No. 6 line, with 700,000 rides a day, is the city’s busiest, the stations selected for next month’s rollout are some of the sleepiest. On average, those stations — Brook Avenue, East 149th Street and Longwood Avenue — each carry about 4,500 rides each weekday, fewer than 3 percent of the rides handled at Grand Central. The clocks on 34th Street, in contrast, debuted along a highly trafficked route.

“Work was completed first at those stations, that’s why they will be the first to be turned on,” said Charles Seaton, a spokesman for New York City Transit.

There are no plans in place for the other lettered lines to get the clocks until at least 2014.

New electronic signs will also be in place soon at the 42nd Street shuttle and the Flatbush Avenue station, in Brooklyn, according to transit officials, but they will tell riders where the next train is arriving, not when.

The layouts of those stations have long created confusion among passengers over which track has the next arriving train. Large displays will be installed in the next few weeks, replacing older signs that are partly hidden, the officials said.

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