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Lance last won the day on July 14

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About Lance

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  1. Then you're just reducing service on Broadway. Even under the persistent 12-minute service levels, that's 15 trains per hour on Broadway under those conditions, ten on the local tracks and five on the express. Even if we remove the restriction, you'd have to boost N and Q service to meet the currently restricted levels overall. Also, you'd have to run the N via Whitehall, thus giving Sea Beach the extremely slow ride.
  2. I'm not going to wade through the myriad of proposals and instead just touch upon the actual service change announcement. For those complaining about the extreme limitedness of the service, I'm surprised no one has realized that this is the intention. Transit knows this service will fail, which is exactly why they plan on implementing it as such. Few people if any are going to rearrange their schedules and commutes to catch one of the two inbound express trains during the AM rush or the outbound ones in the afternoons, because as we all know, railroad style scheduling does not work on the subway. Transit also knows that they cannot run additional express trains without screwing over Windsor Terrace, Gowanus and Carroll Gardens. When this inevitably fails due to low ridership similar to the Jerome pilot back in '09, Transit can "truthfully" say they tried, but cannot do much else without negatively impacting service elsewhere.
  3. They took a chance with Kawasaki back in the '80s after St. Louis Car closed up shop. There's nothing preventing the MTA from expanding beyond the usual candidates if it becomes necessary.
  4. Lack of options at this point. Astoria is out due to the station rehab at Astoria Blvd. 96 Street is also out due to the M extension for the Canarsie work. They probably don't want to introduce a triple merge between the M, Q and R between Lexington Av-63 St and 57 Street.
  5. That may be, but do you realistically see that changing in the immediate future? Transit is extremely hesitant to change their operations and they have leadership quite content with the status quo. If trains have to be fumigated on a through track in order to relay, under present procedures, they will inevitably cause delays upstream. A way of mitigating this for this scenario would be to treat the short-turning trains like standard 6 trains where every train returns back to service, but that would have to be the case for all short-turning Broadway locals as City Hall has no tail tracks for storage. We are of the same mindset here. However, the MTA is not interested in running additional service simply for the sake of it. That is unless our main man Andy C. orders them to, then all bets are off. The weekend M extension is only in place so people don't bum-rush the limited L trains running cross-river during the slowdown. With the L running normally along its full route and intervals this weekend, the justification for expanded M service is removed in the eyes of the MTA.
  6. A lot. The lower level is completely bare-bones with only a minimalistic set of platforms and one access point via the in-service upper level platform. Unlike Bergen St, in which the lower level actually did see active service for some time before being abandoned, City Hall was never actually placed into service as the plans changed during construction. Only the tracks are well maintained to facilitate post-rush hour layups. In order to get the station completely passenger-ready, those platforms would have to be completely rebuilt and new exits would have to be installed for better passenger flow. All of this would have to be ADA-compliant as this would fall under a major renovation. It would be much more likely that the lower level would just be used to relay trains terminating at Canal St, but that would just replicate the problems of Forest Hills, where through-running service gets trapped behind terminating trains, so that's ill-advised in my opinion. That was intentional. The MTA corporate scheme of the late '60s onwards was implemented on the buses and trains to illustrate the unification of the various transit systems under the MTA umbrella. The purpose of the extended M is to provide alternate service during the partial Canarsie closure, not to provide additional 6th Avenue service. If the L is running its normal route, under these circumstances, there's no reason for the M to run to midtown.
  7. One thing I see around a lot of these service ideas is that they fail to take into account people's commutes. And before anyone says well, they can just transfer, introducing a bunch of forced transfers that did not exist previously will just add to the delay problems, not reduce them. Another thing I've noticed is this belief that long-standing routes should be changed or eliminated to allow for different routes to exist, which ignores why the services have existed for as long as currently have. I'll go into the actual proposals in more detail below, but the idea of taking the E route for example, which has existed as the main Jamaica - Manhattan via Queens Blvd express route since 1937 with very little changes to the northern half of its route, and turning it into a local out of Forest Hills is a disservice to the passengers who use the route. Now, to address a few of the oft-proposed ideas that have floated around for a while now: The first idea actually has the better chance of being realized, mostly because it has the least negative impact. The only real negative of sending the N to 96 Street and combining the R and W into one Astoria - Broadway - 4th Avenue is the loss of direct Astoria - Broadway express service that Astoria has enjoyed since 2001. However, as there are so few local stops between 57 Street and Canal St, it's not that bad as long as the service levels are maintained to where they are presently. The real issue would be how to solve the problem related to the loss of half of Queens Blvd local service. The first iteration of the second idea, taking all of the first idea above, but sending the N via 63rd Street to Forest Hills, does very little but make 4th Avenue riders happy at the expense of Sea Beach, Brighton and 6th Avenue. Removing service from the 11th Street connection removes the merge between the 60th Street tunnel and the Queens Blvd local tracks, but introduces a new one near 36 Street between the Queens Blvd line and 63rd Street. Even the much-maligned 34th Street switch issue is replicated at Lexington Av-63 St where trains would have to cross in front of each other to get to 2nd Avenue / Queens Blvd or 6th Avenue / Broadway. Since everyone here hates the two current merges the R makes, I'm a little curious why shuffling the deck and moving them around is a better solution. Regarding the second part of the second idea, which also flips the roles of the E and N, the N would have to run more service to match current output made by the E. Current output by the N clocks at around 8 trains per hour during the height of the rush hour, so the question is whether the N needs 15 TPH to meet demand at Jamaica Center and Sutphin-Archer. Then there's the issue of cutting service on the flipped E to compensate, which is another non-starter. As we all know around here, the MTA is extremely hesitant to actually add significant amounts of service to any line. Little piecemeal boosts during off-peak periods, sure, but a major boost to Sea Beach service on top of maintaining current output on the E to meet demand on 53rd Street and 8th Avenue; I'm skeptical. Lastly, for the proposal that sends all 6th Avenue service to Jamaica while all 8th Avenue service is truncated to Forest Hills as locals, that plan is once again, dead on arrival. Ignoring the fact that under such a proposal, one of the Jamaica services gets shafted with short trains under the guise of improving service, and as I mentioned in the opening, it introduces a bunch of forced transfers that did not exist before. Under this plan, anyone seeking Queens Blvd from 8th Avenue is subjected to Queens Blvd local-only service unless they transfer to other lines for 6th Avenue - Queens Blvd express service. The problem is that the stations east of Roosevelt Av are more heavily used than the ones west of it, adding more time to riders' commutes should they choose to stick with the service rather than transfer. Then there's the issue of service imbalances as it pertains to demand. I alluded to it in the 2B proposal, but it should be noted that 53rd Street is much more utilized than 63rd Street (Lexington Av-63 St gets its boost in usage from 2nd Avenue), so it begs the question of why it's suggested the lower-used line somehow needs 30 trains per hour while 53rd Street is subjected to the output cap enforced by Forest Hills. Finally, as with the N to Jamaica Center idea in 2B, an extension of the M to Jamaica requires a boost in service levels to meet current demand. The lower floor of service that's required in this plan is 12 trains per hour, the current max output of Jamaica Center, while the F would see 18 TPH out of 179 Street to maintain the combined 30 for the express tracks. Again, that's on top of maintaining the current service levels on 53rd Street and 8th Avenue. All in all, the above ideas mostly either offer very little net gains, negatively impact a larger group of riders than it helps or will cost too much to implement in this current service cut-happy MTA. This is actually a better version of plan 3 above, seeing as it maintains the availability of 6th and 8th Avenue options for Queens Blvd express service (and doesn't one of the Jamaica terminals short trains for no reason). It also reduces the strain on Forest Hills operations by moving one of the terminating locals away from there. Of course, the issue is whether that would be enough justification for sending a local to 179 Street when history and ridership patterns suggest such a route will not gather nearly as many passengers than its express equivalent.
  8. Everything that uses the present MetroCard is slated to switch over at some point. It's too cost-prohibitive to do otherwise for the non-MTA operators.
  9. You mean a relatively low use railroad station isn't equipped to handle the expected crowds from a people mover from LGA? I'm shocked I tell you. Absolutely shocked. So when's our main man Andy C. going to respond to this? This is his pet project subway and LIRR riders will have to deal with in the next few years. Also as a reminder, the MTA has little to do with the actual AirTrain LGA here besides being a catch-all for the additional passengers. This is primarily a Port Authority project with the MTA acting as a victim of circumstance. The Port Authority will probably never add new intermediate stops to the AirTrain as it was designed and built with the sole intention of moving riders between the airport and either the Jamaica LIRR / subway station or Howard Beach. It'd be nice if new stops were added, but the AirTrain is not a subway line and the PA is not going to convert it into one. The AirTrain LGA takes the path of least resistance. Extending the Astoria line makes the most sense logically and better serves the riding public, but that project is a non-starter for the same reason the proposal died back in the '90s-early 2000s. Astoria and Steinway don't want an elevated line overhead where one didn't exist before. The route of the AirTrain LGA however, runs over the GCP and adjacent to Citi Field and a bunch of empty or low value lots. It's a much more circuitous route for sure, but it's easy to see why this one was green-lighted over fighting with NIMBYs to get Astoria extended to the airport.
  10. I know it's considered a joke that the MTA is just now updating to Windows 10, but in reality that's par for the course with any large company. Very few businesses will upgrade to the latest operating system until a couple of major service pack updates are released. Hell, until fairly recently, most major companies were still using Windows XP and have upgraded for Windows 7 / 10 because legacy support for XP finally ended.
  11. I just remembered the physical connection that was built was done so primarily through private funds from Citigroup over their property with only a minor investment by the MTA. If we were to ever get a more efficient transfer there, it would likely have to be built by the MTA.
  12. To respond to the new development over the Court Square station, I'm not surprised Court Square City View isn't building a new transfer connection between the Queens Blvd and Flushing platforms. There's a big difference between replacing one subway entrance and connecting an aboveground set of platforms with an underground set. In order for such a transfer to be done like that, a new mezzanine would have to be constructed on the north end of the Flushing platforms, both of which would have to be extended as they just barely cross over 44th Drive. Then there's the matter of the connection. Valuable real estate would have to be sacrificed on the southwest corner of the lower floors of CSCV to connect the northern Flushing mezzanine to the Queens Blvd platforms. I think some of you are expecting way too much from real estate interests here. It's nice they are contributing to the effort to make the subway more accessible, which should continue and be expanded since the subway is the biggest draw to a lot of these projects. However, to expect them to go above and beyond the scope of their own projects is a bit excessive. If anything, the MTA should've built that connection between Flushing and Queens Blvd themselves instead of the one that was built between Flushing and the Crosstown lines.
  13. Just curious and because I don't feel like sifting through dozens of pages to find the answer: what is the exact proposal for Queens Blvd streamlined services?
  14. It was directly after the junction from the 60th Street tunnels, just west of the actual connection to Queens Plaza. It's shown on the older P. Dougherty maps on nycsubway.org if someone wants to go through the Wayback Archive to get them. I'll post it later if no one else does. As for its removal, it was probably justified like a lot of the removed crossovers, if it isn't used often enough to cover the costs of maintenance, it doesn't need to be there in the eyes of the MTA. Whether or not that's a correct belief is up to you, but ask yourself: how often does the westbound need to terminate at Queens Plaza and reverse back?
  15. I meant a Flickr photo album. I was blanking on the term for a minute.

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