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Thread: The New York City Subway

  1. #346


    March 26, 2008, 1:47 pm

    Between Us and the Subway Lampposts

    By David W. Dunlap

    A “K1” prototype lamppost, left and bottom center, and a “K2” example in green. (Photos: David W. Dunlap/The New York Times)

    The IRT and the BMT still live. So does the IND.

    New York City Transit is an amalgam of two private subways (Interborough Rapid Transit and Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit) and one municipal line (the Independent). In theory, the distinctions between them were erased long ago.

    In practice, however, the differences survive and — in the case of new street-level subway entrances — are deliberately perpetuated by New York City Transit to reflect the system’s trifurcated origins.

    A close look at two new entrances, Columbus Circle and 42nd Street, reveals the subtle divide. (Ignore the color difference of the metalwork, by the way.

    The terra-cotta red is a primer coat that will be covered in dark green.)

    Columbus Circle was a stop on the original subway and gets what the transit agency calls a “K1” handrail. This was introduced on the IRT and the BMT before 1918 and “reflects the late 19th-century Beaux Arts tradition,” according to the official transit design manual. The lamppost rises from an almost Classical plinth and culminates in a kind of stripped-down Corinthian capital.

    The 42nd Street station was built later and, as such, requires the “KA” handrail, based on an Independent system prototype. The manual calls this “an Art Deco design consistent with the Modernist spirit of the 1930s.” Note the zigzag pattern along the balustrade and X-shapes on the lamppost that could be a faint echo of the George Washington Bridge.

    “These rail prototypes shall be used to give an identifiable street presence for the transit system and will express the line differences,” the manual says. It is a pleasing and subtle way to honor history, permitting anyone with a keen eye the joy of a small discovery.

    Now: CC train, anyone?

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company.

  2. #347


    Train Skip Your Stop? It’s No Mistake, It’s Just the Weekend

    Published: April 4, 2008

    Human affliction is a steady travel companion of subway riders.

    Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times
    Signs in subway stations advise passengers of a raft of service changes.

    To go by many advertisements in the trains, New Yorkers suffer unduly from all sorts of maladies: eczema, psoriasis, frequent urination, cysts, bloating. They have moles and acne scars. Men are impotent; the ads almost sound like lamentations from Nathan Zuckerman, Philip Roth’s literary alter ego. Chronic heel pain has you down? Dial a number and someone will ease your pain.

    If your marriage is kaput, or immigration agents are onto you, or you are jammed up with the law, there are phone numbers for you as well. A command of English is not essential. A woman named Margarita is waiting to hear from “los Hispanos heridos en accidentes.”

    But for many New Yorkers, these miseries pale against the ordeal of a weekend subway ride. There is no known cure for it, no sympathetic Margarita, no wondrous phone call to make it O.K.

    Another weekend is upon us. That means another weekend of the subway’s not behaving as it is supposed to.

    Trains on 12 of the system’s 24 lines will not make their normal runs. Some will skip stations. Some will call it quits short of their usual terminus. Some will yield to shuttle buses. Two lines, the C and the No. 3, will not operate at all.

    Changes are posted in subway stations in a welter of notices. At times, a dozen or more advisories are lined up in eye-glazing formation. Some can feel like part of the SAT:

    “To reach the West Side of Manhattan from Brooklyn, take the 2 to Franklin or Atlantic Avs and transfer to the 4. Take the 4 to Bowling Green and transfer to the 5 on the opposite platform. The 5 makes uptown 2 stops from Chambers St to 149 St-Grand Concourse.”

    You got all that?

    Not everyone does, not even with a map beside the text as a visual aid.
    “You need a scorecard to keep up with it,” said Andrew Albert, chairman of the New York City Transit Riders Council. He hears an “unbelievable” number of complaints from flummoxed passengers. And if regular riders are often confused, Mr. Albert said, imagine the strain for tourists or for New Yorkers who are on a weekend excursion and using an unfamiliar subway line.

    William Henderson is executive director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Even he has had his troubles.

    “My son was going to a test prep class on Saturday mornings,” Mr. Henderson said. “I do this stuff for a living, and I’m sitting there on the platform as the train rolls in, trying to read the sign to figure out if this A train will stop where we needed to stop.”

    “It is not,” he said, “an easy thing.”

    Both Mr. Henderson and Mr. Albert sympathize with subway managers. So does Gene Russianoff, often a critic as a leader of the advocacy group called the Straphangers Campaign. So would any fair-minded person. Unlike systems elsewhere, New York’s subways run 24/7. When else would you sensibly do essential maintenance on the tracks except on weekends or late at night midweek?

    But weekends are not the slack periods they once were. Ridership on Saturdays and Sundays averaged a combined 4.8 million in January, the highest figure in more than 35 years, said Paul J. Fleuranges, a spokesman for New York City Transit.

    So when the No. 6 train skips five stations or the D train runs along N train tracks, thousands upon thousands of people may be thrown for a loop. They swipe their MetroCards, poor devils, totally unaware of the adventure that awaits them.

    Mr. Fleuranges said his agency has “made strides in getting information out to people.” It posts advisories both in stations and on the transportation authority’s Web site. It sends word to 70,000 people who have signed up for e-mail notices of service changes.

    Still, Mr. Albert says more could be done, like changing the notices’ typography so that riders can focus more readily on trains they care about.

    “When someone walks into a station and sees a wall of diversion notices, he turns off,” Mr. Albert said. “It’s worthless.”

    On a northbound No. 4 train last Sunday, many passengers were unaware that they would skip five stations between 149th Street-Grand Concourse and Burnside Avenue. They were not happy. They were even less happy when the train stopped near the 167th Street station and didn’t budge for 19 minutes. Nor were they thrilled with the 14-minute wait at Burnside Avenue for a southbound train that would take them to the bypassed stops.

    Between those delays and the trains’ slow pace even when they did move, the one-stop trip from 149th Street to 161st Street — normally a two-minute hop — took 53 minutes.

    “Why am I stopped here?” a young woman on the stalled northbound train wailed into her cellphone. “This is the worst.”

    At least she could vent to someone. Others were stuck with nothing better to do than to read the advertisements and perhaps wonder how Margarita was doing.


    Copyright 2008 The New York Times.

  3. #348


    How many stops more or less to get to Sutphin/ Jamaica Station? Is Jamaica Station different from Sutphin Station?

  4. #349


    The 2 and 3 trains' weekend schedule is constantly baffling.

  5. #350


    ^^^^^^ and the F running on the C in Brooklyn, talk about a pain.

    uptown 5 on the 2, uptown 2 on the 5, no 3 this weekend, but the G is making an apperence on Queens Blvd for the 1st time in EON's

  6. #351
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewis View Post
    How many stops more or less to get to Sutphin/ Jamaica Station? Is Jamaica Station different from Sutphin Station?
    No, they both refer to the same overall station. Sutphin/Archer is the name of the subway stop but they are all part of the LIRR/Airtrain/subway transfer station.

    In other words, Jamaica Station = Sutphin/Archer.

  7. #352


    At Last, Some Attention for Subway Line Less Traveled

    Published: April 9, 2008

    Like a stray strand of spaghetti just outside of the dinner plate, the route of the G subway line runs, for the most part, from Brooklyn to Queens — but decidedly not into Manhattan.

    Robert Stolarik for The New York Times
    A City Council committee hearing on Tuesday focused on how to improve the G line, which runs between Brooklyn and Queens.

    Without Manhattan ridership, the G line’s rider count is lower than that of other lines, so rider advocates say the G line is too tempting a target for budget cutters. G trains also consist of four cars instead of the six or more found on other lines. And its stations seem especially labyrinthine.

    So, as any G line rider will testify, the cars are teeming, the stations are peeling and transferring to a Manhattan-bound line can be a long march of the sole.

    On Tuesday, the subject of how to improve the G line came before the City Council’s transportation committee, which heard from community advocates, the general public and officials from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

    The issue was especially timely after the State Legislature’s action on Monday rejecting Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan, which would have used federal funds to improve subway service outside Manhattan.
    For G train riders, tempers were running high on Tuesday, especially on why they felt their line had been shortchanged.

    Rolf Carle, 47, a carpenter from Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and a frequent G line rider, said it was obvious what the authority had done.

    “It cannibalized the G line to create V trains” that run from Queens to the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Mr. Carle contended.

    “In 2001, for the first month or so of the V train’s existence, only the first one or two cars had the orange ‘V’ logo on it — the rest of the cars on the trains still bore the green ‘G’ logo,” Mr. Carle added. “If I’d known that the M.T.A. would deny this now, I would have taken photos.”

    Charles Seaton, a spokesman for the authority, denied the charge. “We purchased new cars in 2001,” he said, “which has freed up cars to be shifted around the system, and those cars ended up on the V line.”

    Businessmen were concerned about the troubles of the G line, which regularly runs from Smith-Ninth Street in Brooklyn to Long Island City-Court Square, and extends to Forest Hills-71st Avenue during off hours.

    James Trent, transportation chairman for the Queens Civic Congress, a business group, said that when a trip to Queens Center Mall “becomes an ordeal involving changing trains and climbing up and down stairs and a 400-foot walk through a tunnel, those retail dollars are more likely to end up in Manhattan.”

    City Council hearings are often similar to Congressional hearings, where legislators in high dudgeon interrogate bureaucrats who testify without inflection, but with a microscopic attachment to a neighborhood.

    For example, Lynne Serpe, 36, a political consultant and frequent G train rider, testified that the line should be extended to 179th Street in Jamaica, and if not, at least to Queens Plaza.

    “I live in Astoria, by the Steinway stop of the G/R/V,” Ms. Serpe testified.

    She then began a lengthy recitation of subway line and verse, offering precise details of when and where specific trains stop, all at her great inconvenience. “What that means for me,” she concluded, “is that to catch the G, I need to take the R or V two stops to Queens Plaza, then transfer to the E one stop to Court Square.”

    For the record, Peter Cafiero, the chief of operations planning for New York City Transit, said, “My hope is to dispel any notion that the G line is the stepchild of the subway system, or that we are secretly trying to get rid of it.”

    He said the transit agency was committed to improving the G line by extending it in Brooklyn to Church Avenue, which should increase the number of opportunities for passengers to transfer to other lines.

    Still, Mr. Cafiero said, the agency did not have the money to do all the things it wanted. For example, it wants the line to run to Court Square “at all times” and decrease overall wait time.

    But, Mr. Cafiero said, “the current fiscal climate has not allowed us to proceed with this enhancement at this time.”

    Councilwoman Letitia James replied, “I feel your pain, but we have to have another plan.”

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times.

  8. #353


    April 11, 2008, 6:08 pm

    Cleanliness Is Next to Greek-Design Godliness

    By Jennifer 8. Lee

    The M.T.A.’s new anti-litter poster.

    The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has come out with an anti-litter poster featuring a coffee cup, which became the subject of intense City Room debate.

    The poster, which reads “Be Part of the Solution Not the Pollution,” features a sterile white coffee cup being tossed into a trash can. But the cap of the cup, with a baby-cup nozzle, is suggestive of a number of big chains. We stared at that white cup. Was it from Starbucks? Dunkin’ Donuts? The blankness of the cup suggested to us that the M.T.A. definitely seemed rather aggressive with Photoshop, à la celebrity touchups.

    We e-mailed Paul J. Fleuranges, a spokesman for the authority, and asked him whether the cup was from Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts or another major chain and the agency was purposely obscuring its origins. (Perhaps because they weren’t so good at it last time around?)

    Mr. Fleuranges wrote back:
    No, I don’t recall where the cup was from. Yes, we obscured the cup rather drastically on purpose. We did not want to be seen blaming any one of the aforementioned establishments’ customers (or any others, for that matter) for leaving their half-filled cups under seats, on benches, etc., where they can be knocked to the ground and spill, leaving that caffeine stain on the floor of our subway cars or on platforms. It’s a problem not limited to large coffee houses.
    Well, City Room can tell you what it’s clearly not: the famed blue-and-white Greek Anthora “Happy to Serve You” cup (even with Photoshop, those cups have flat lids).

    Coffee cups have gone white and upscale in recent years, making it feel (as one person said) that everyone has lost his or her eyebrows. Our iconic blue-and-white Greek diner cup was a New York mainstay starting in the 1960s, but it clearly isn’t in favor anymore given that a cup of coffee has become something we pay $3 for instead of 50 cents.

    Perhaps the M.T.A. is suggesting that upscale coffee drinkers litter more than the diner customers?

    But the cheapie Greek coffee cup has a last laugh on the venti vessels — it is now available for $12, in ceramic.

    At least the transportation authority, in encouraging its passengers to pay attention to cleanliness, does not make veiled attacks on other cities.

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times.

  9. #354


    Can someone please explain this to me? I will be staying near Park Slope (Brooklyn) for 1 of the weeks while in NY, and figured that Grand Army Plaza Station was the closest. But ... where I am staying, there are 3 or 4 stations in walking distance.

    I was just "testing" this website that tells you where to go and what trains to get on and all I see are confusing stations and circled train numbers. It obviously has something to do with the fact that I don't live in the city, but I just wanted this cleared up before I continued to search subway paths. This is what it gave me for traveling from Grand Army Plaza Station to Grand Central Station.

    Quote Originally Posted by MTA
    Walk 0.21 miles Southeast to GRAND ARMY PLAZA STATION

    Take the 148TH ST-HARLEM bound Train departing at 2:38 PM
    Arrive at NEVINS ST STATION at 2:43 PM

    Transfer to the WOODLAWN bound Train departing at 2:47 PM
    Get off at 42ND ST -GRAND CENTRAL METRO-N at 3:06 PM

  10. #355

    Default MTA announces environmentally friendly measures

    MTA announces environmentally friendly measures
    Monday, April 14th 2008

    Transit officials said Monday they would make subways, trains and buses more environmentally friendly through measures such as use of solar and wind power and incentives for developers to build near train stations.

    "Thanks largely to our robust transportation network, the energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions of New Yorkers are a quarter of the national average," Gov. David Paterson said. "By capitalizing on the MTA's network, we can further improve our energy efficiency and carbon footprints."

    Paterson joined Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials at Grand Central Terminal to announce the sustainability initiatives, which also include mapping groundwater sources in subway tunnels and using the water in cooling systems.

    "Public transportation can play an important role as society works to achieve greater energy efficiency and smaller environmental impacts, and these far-reaching recommendations show how we in transportation can do even more," said MTA Executive Director Elliot Sander.

    MTA officials set a goal of deriving 7 percent of the authority's energy from solar power, wind and other renewable resources by 2015.

    The authority also will work with state agencies to offer incentives to encourage development near MTA stations, which will take more cars off the road.

    The initiatives came from interim recommendations generated by a Commission on Sustainability set up by the MTA in September.

    Copyright 2008 NY Daily News

  11. #356


    Quote Originally Posted by The Benniest View Post
    Can someone please explain this to me? I will be staying near Park Slope (Brooklyn) for 1 of the weeks while in NY, and figured that Grand Army Plaza Station was the closest. But ... where I am staying, there are 3 or 4 stations in walking distance.

    I was just "testing" this website that tells you where to go and what trains to get on and all I see are confusing stations and circled train numbers. It obviously has something to do with the fact that I don't live in the city, but I just wanted this cleared up before I continued to search subway paths. This is what it gave me for traveling from Grand Army Plaza Station to Grand Central Station.


    Take the 2 or 3 to Boro Hall and transfer to the 4 or 5

  12. #357

    Default Subway Lines near Park Slope, Brooklyn

    This summer, I will be staying for 1 of the 2 weeks I'm there in Park Slope, Brooklyn. I did a (Google) search for the subway lines near the area I'm staying in and found these:
    • Grand Army Plaza (2, 3)
    • Union St Station (M, R)
    • 7th Ave (B, Q, F)
    • 9th St - 4th Ave (M, R)
    Will any of these trains be a problem in the morning? I'm almost certain that some of the days I'm there, I will be leaving the place I'm staying either in the middle of or before rush hour(s). I've heard some people here complain about the R train, so I'll try and stay away from that one, but will any of the other trains be a problem? Long waits? Extremely crowded?

    Last edited by The Benniest; April 17th, 2008 at 08:40 PM. Reason: typo.

  13. #358
    Senior Member NewYorkDoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Brooklyn, New York


    I use the B and Q every day. The rush hours are always pretty full, but sometimes you can snag a seat. Other times its also not uncommon for the train to be full as well when going into Brooklyn. They're always slow going over the bridge and until it reaches Dekalb.

    The B only runs during rush hours which are M-F until around 9 PM. The last B train comes to 34th street in Manhattan around 9:10 PM I believe and obviously later at stations further along. The Q always runs and usually without any route diversions.

  14. #359


    The City Visible

    No Whoosh, No ‘All Aboard’

    Published: April 20, 2008

    THE doorways have mostly been walled up and tiled over, the escalator dismantled and carted away. Other than subway buffs, few people know about this long-empty platform in the underbelly of the subway station at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

    Tyler Hicks/The New York Times
    A tunnel near an unused platform beneath the subway station at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. More Photos »


    Slide Show Next Train, Never

    But the platform endures, gathering dust and grime. And it has seen more activity this year than in the previous few decades. Workers are preparing to demolish part of the platform so that the extended No. 7 line can cut across the space on its way westward. Other sections of the platform will be turned into electrical and hydraulic rooms; the rest will be walled off. The work should be complete in about four years.

    The platform was finished in the early 1950s, but apart from a short stint in the early 1970s serving E trains it was never used much. For two decades starting in 1959, special trains for Aqueduct Race Track stopped here several times a day. Joe Cunningham, a subway historian, remembers glimpsing the empty platform as a child in the 1960s, through chinks in a fence.

    “It was very mysterious,” Mr. Cunningham said. “You’d see this long platform with dim incandescent lights stretching off into the distance.”

    Although much of the old equipment has been removed, some old signs remain, directing the reader to now-empty stairways in a crisp, earnest typeface that was used on the Independent subway line. Opposite the escalator space, a dust-clogged emergency stop button is still attached to a pillar, near a sign that warns against “meddling with this escalator or its mechanism.”

    Several films have been shot here; the track walls bear some “47-50” signs that, at this 42nd Street station, must have been intended for a movie. In the best-known scene shot at the location, from the 1990 film “Ghost,” Patrick Swayze stands on the empty platform and learns from another ghost how to move objects with his mind.

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

  15. #360


    Counter-terror cops tote machine guns in the subways in new crackdown
    Daily News Staff Writers

    An NYPD detective patrols the platform at Columbus Circle, machine gun in hand, as part of a new counter-terrorism initiative.

    Straphangers getting off the No. 1 train in Columbus Circle this morning came face-to-face with a sign of the times: NYPD cops armed with submachine guns, body armor, and bomb-sniffing dogs patrolling the subways.

    The heavily-armed NYPD teams hit the subways just before 11 a.m. in what has been hailed as the first such counter-terrorism initiative in the country.
    "We're doing everything we reasonably can do to prevent an attack," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said as the first teams went to work.

    "There are no guarantees in this world. We know that we've been targeted before. We're doing more than any other transit system in the world."

    The teams are funded through a two-year federal Homeland Security grant. The NYPD received some $30 million from a $159 million regional transportation grant.

    Some commuters were startled.

    "I just got off the subway on my way to work and there are cops with big rifles. It's pretty intimidating," said Makeda Mays-Green, who ran into the teams after getting off the train.

    Such teams have been sent into the subways before - but only on days of high alert.

    As many as half a dozen Operation TORCH - or Transit Operational Response Canine and Heavy Weapons - teams can go out on any given day. They will focus on Times Square, Herald Square, Bowling Green and Grand Central, but will hit other spots as well.

    Similarly equipped NYPD units, known as Hercules teams, have patrolled Wall Street and other landmarks like the Empire State Building since after the World Trade Center attacks.

    "I wish we could live in a world where you don't need police officers with machine guns in your subway stations, but unfortunately that's not where we are today," said passenger Hillel Skolnik. "I think better safe than sorry."

    Copyright 2008 New York Daily News

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