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Amtrak7

No more J shuttle?

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It's not just the (4) GO over Independence Day, more of the same (4) GO's are scheduled for the next few weekends. But why is there no (J) shuttle? Is this a cost saving move or what?

 

It seemed the (J) shuttle didn't carry much anyway.

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Simple:

 

The #4 line has been a constant route to/from Brooklyn for decades, and plenty of folks count on it. Usually on the weekends, the #5 does not run to/from Brooklyn, nor does any version of the J or brown M trains. So if there is track work (or other G.O. work) that stops the #4 or #5 train from traveling to/from Brooklyn, at the Brooklyn Bridge station riders will find it difficult to reach Brooklyn. In addition the Fulton Street complex is a very important transfer station, and the only station where #4 and #5 plus A and C trains meet.

 

The J-Shuttle is meant as an alternative travel route. It allows #4 and #5 riders at the Brooklyn Bridge / Chambers Street station - to use the J-Shuttle and to transfer at the Atlantic Avenue-Pacific Street complex and further use #2 or #3 trains to/from their Brooklyn destinations. The J-Shuttle also allows A and C riders at Fulton Street to take a short ride to reach #4 or #5 trains at Brooklyn Bridge.

 

The J-Shuttle in recent years have become the alternative to the #4 and #5 when those lines can not travel past the Brooklyn Bridge station due to a G.O. or other track work.

 

However it seems that the MTA's finances or decision making has lead to the not running of the J-Shuttle. As an alternative travel method to/from Brooklyn the N, Q, and R trains are enlisted. Often when the #4 train is limited to the Brooklyn Bridge station it is traveling by the local track making local stops. Thus riders can transfer at the 14th Street-Union Square station or the Canal Street station for N or Q trains for travel to/from Brooklyn; or use R trains for stations further south in Manhattan and for a transfer to A and C trains at the Jay Street station.

 

Using the N or Q trains via the Manhattan Bridge means a quick trip between Canal Street and the Atlantic Avenue/Pacific Street complex, a very useful attribute for riders who just really want to continue their over-all trip.

 

Often during late night G.O.'s both the R-train (or midnight hour N-trains) and the #4 are used as alternatives for the "other route" when there is a G.O on one of the routes. This pattern has been in operation for the last 2 decades or more. Thus the J-Shuttle could be seen as "extra".

 

Using N, Q and R trains to replace #4 or #5 trains during G.O's to assist Brooklyn riders allows the MTA to use already running trains and established crews - saving money - rather then new crews/trains just for the J-Shuttle.

 

Hope this helps.

Mike

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It's not really saving money, because it's not like they're hiring extra people off the street for the shuttle. they're just using more of an already several hundred person "extra" or "extra-extra" pool.

Those alternative ways also require a lot of explaining, which can be difficult when a lot of people are displaced like that.

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Simple:

 

The #4 line has been a constant route to/from Brooklyn for decades, and plenty of folks count on it. Usually on the weekends, the #5 does not run to/from Brooklyn, nor does any version of the J or brown M trains. So if there is track work (or other G.O. work) that stops the #4 or #5 train from traveling to/from Brooklyn, at the Brooklyn Bridge station riders will find it difficult to reach Brooklyn. In addition the Fulton Street complex is a very important transfer station, and the only station where #4 and #5 plus A and C trains meet.

 

The J-Shuttle is meant as an alternative travel route. It allows #4 and #5 riders at the Brooklyn Bridge / Chambers Street station - to use the J-Shuttle and to transfer at the Atlantic Avenue-Pacific Street complex and further use #2 or #3 trains to/from their Brooklyn destinations. The J-Shuttle also allows A and C riders at Fulton Street to take a short ride to reach #4 or #5 trains at Brooklyn Bridge.

 

The J-Shuttle in recent years have become the alternative to the #4 and #5 when those lines can not travel past the Brooklyn Bridge station due to a G.O. or other track work.

 

However it seems that the MTA's finances or decision making has lead to the not running of the J-Shuttle. As an alternative travel method to/from Brooklyn the N, Q, and R trains are enlisted. Often when the #4 train is limited to the Brooklyn Bridge station it is traveling by the local track making local stops. Thus riders can transfer at the 14th Street-Union Square station or the Canal Street station for N or Q trains for travel to/from Brooklyn; or use R trains for stations further south in Manhattan and for a transfer to A and C trains at the Jay Street station.

 

Using the N or Q trains via the Manhattan Bridge means a quick trip between Canal Street and the Atlantic Avenue/Pacific Street complex, a very useful attribute for riders who just really want to continue their over-all trip.

 

Often during late night G.O.'s both the R-train (or midnight hour N-trains) and the #4 are used as alternatives for the "other route" when there is a G.O on one of the routes. This pattern has been in operation for the last 2 decades or more. Thus the J-Shuttle could be seen as "extra".

 

Using N, Q and R trains to replace #4 or #5 trains during G.O's to assist Brooklyn riders allows the MTA to use already running trains and established crews - saving money - rather then new crews/trains just for the J-Shuttle.

 

Hope this helps.

Mike

 

:eek: Ohh haha! Boy did I ask for that. Yes, that actually makes a ton of sense to me now. Thank you very much for that.

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Understandable, but the transfers can be very cumbersome. Once the uptown (6) transfer is complete and people can switch to/from the (:)/(D)/(F)/(M) at Broadway-Lafayette, then it would not be as big a deal since then you can switch to the 6th Avenue trains at Bleecker.

 

I'm guessing the transfer at Metrotech has eliminated some of the need for the (J) Shuttle, though I would personally just extend ALL (J) service to Prospect Park when the (4)/(5) is out.

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Overtime - enough said. That's why (J) is split b/w the normal service and the shuttle. Of course it would be simpler to just run it out to Prospect Park, but then you'd have to pay for the extra time crews must spend on the trains.

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Eh, because while the other options may be a bit more confusing, they all utilize already-running services.

For Atlantic-Pacific/Eastern Parkway stations, one could take the (B)(D) from Bleeker St/Broadway-Lafayette St, or the (N)(Q)(R) from 14 St-Union Sq, or the (2) from 149 St (if coming from The Bronx).

If one wanted to transfer to the (A)/©, one could take the (R) from Union Sq or the (F) from Bleeker, in either case to Jay St-MetroTech.

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Eh, because while the other options may be a bit more confusing, they all utilize already-running services.

For Atlantic-Pacific/Eastern Parkway stations, one could take the (B)(D) from Bleeker St/Broadway-Lafayette St, or the (N)(Q)(R) from 14 St-Union Sq, or the (2) from 149 St (if coming from The Bronx).

If one wanted to transfer to the (A)/©, one could take the (R) from Union Sq or the (F) from Bleeker, in either case to Jay St-MetroTech.

 

Yes, but unless you have an unlimited ride MetroCard, you can't switch between the (B)/(D)/(F)/(M) and uptown (6) yet. That will change once the new transfer at Bleecker on the uptown (6) opens.

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Understandable, but the transfers can be very cumbersome. Once the uptown (6) transfer is complete and people can switch to/from the (B)/(D)/(F)/(M) at Broadway-Lafayette, then it would not be as big a deal since then you can switch to the 6th Avenue trains at Bleecker.

 

I'm guessing the transfer at Metrotech has eliminated some of the need for the (J) Shuttle, though I would personally just extend ALL (J) service to Prospect Park when the (4)/(5) is out.

 

Broad Street is better (and cheaper), and the other issue was at times when that Shuttle ran the Fulton St complex was not completely accessible due to construction, forcing it to Brooklyn. However, even Broad while only a few stops, costs money, whereas better announcements and transfers at Union Sq/Bleecker/Canal costs nothing. When I was a C/R I had no problem trying to get everyone off my train at Union Sq/Bleecker, even when that shuttle was available. My announcements started after Grand Central and they were repeated before 14st. By time the train reached the Bridge, it was virtually empty with the exception of those who needed the (J) anyway (people prefer to transfer at Brooklyn Bridge instead of Canal because its an easier transfer to make) or were going to Lower Manhattan. I even told the Ferry people to get on the (R) for Whitehall as not everyone can find the Ferry terminal from Broad St, its not in plain view like it is from Whitehall/Bowling Green/South Ferry. The TSS's at the Bridge always told me good job when they see virtually nobody on the train lol.

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The transfers to the D or F trains at Broadway-Lafayette Streets between the #4 (when running local or due to a G.O.) and the #6 - are simply not as useful or less time consuming as the transfers involving the N, Q or R trains.

 

Assume a G.O. where the #4 train is only going to Brooklyn Bridge, and is traveling local in Manhattan, and the J-Shuttle is not working. The TA is recommending that riders transfer to/from the N, Q and R trains as an alternative. In Brooklyn as usual, #2 and #3 trains make all stops during the entire G.O. Due to when such G.O.'s often occur, the B and M trains are not running, and often nor is the #5 train in Manhattan.

 

Using the D train there are some advantages and disadvantages. For downtown-bound #4 or #6 riders headed TO Brooklyn to get TO Brooklyn local #2 or #3 stations - the D-train is a useful option. It meets at Atlantic / Pacific for the transfer to #2 or #3 trains. However for Brooklyn riders getting TO Manhattan, and getting TO the uptown #4 or #6 trains - until the uptown transfer at Bleecker Street opens - this is not a good option. Users with unlimited Metro-Cards can make the transfer but this would cost other riders an extra fare. Using the uptown D-train past the Broadway-Lafayette-Bleecker Street station as a method to get to eastside Manhattan or Bronx service involves other transfers that can be time-consuming, and at least very difficult to explain easily.

 

The builders of the IND system wisely decided to not make possible any transfers to/from the IRT lines in Brooklyn and very few in Manhattan, and that remains the case to this day. (Yes, that is sarcasm.)

 

Using the F train there are some advantages and disadvantages. For #4 or #6 riders headed TO Brooklyn to get to A or C trains for Brooklyn stations, yes the transfer at Bleecker Street works for a trip TO Jay Street for a transfer to A and C trains. For Brooklyn A-C-F-2-3 riders heading TO Manhattan for UPTOWN eastside #4 or #6 stations - using the F-train is problem-matic. Brooklyn riders on the #2 or #3 headed for the eastside - would have to take uptown R-trains at Atlantic/Pacific to the MetroTech - Jay Street station, then change to the F-train, and then attempt to transfer at the not-existing transfer at Bleecker Street. Why? Once on the R-train such riders should stay on the uptown R-trains to 14th Street-Union Square for a much easier transfer.

 

In fact during such a G.O. it is simply easier for Brooklyn A, C and F riders bound for the eastside of Manhattan, and for #4 and #6 local stations to simply catch the R-train at Jay Street-Metro Tech, and later change at 14th Street-Union Square, or Canal Street. Only once the uptown transfer at Bleecker Street exists, is it easy transfer for A-C-F train riders to reach uptown #4 and #6 local stations especially during such a G.O. Otherwise there are cumbersome time-consuming transfers involved that would not be easy to explain to riders.

 

As is very clear, the D and F trains offer no help at all in attempting to reach the Whitehall Street Ferry termnal area or sections of Manhattan south of Houston Street. While riders could transfer at the Bleecker Street station to D and F trains - attempting to quickly and easily replicate the missing #4 service to/from Brooklyn is just not easily done. A set of time-consuming transfers and work-arounds would be needed - thus making the endeavor difficult to explain to riders who simply want to get to their destinations as quickly or effortlessly as possible.

 

The only route suggestion that is "right now easy" is the D-train TO Atlantic/Pacific as a conduit between the G.O'ed #4 and #6, and the Brooklyn stations of the #2 and #3 trains. This route pathway becomes better once the uptown transfer at Bleecker Street opens.

 

Just the facts.

Mike

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It's not really saving money, because it's not like they're hiring extra people off the street for the shuttle. they're just using more of an already several hundred person "extra" or "extra-extra" pool.

Those alternative ways also require a lot of explaining, which can be difficult when a lot of people are displaced like that.

Of course it's costing NYCT $$$$$.

 

You have people working RDO's, you have the cost of car mileage.

 

For every job you don't have working, the less people required to work an RDO anywhere.

 

The ridership was dismal anyway. Worked it myself many times in the past for an RDO pre-R160.

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Yes, but unless you have an unlimited ride MetroCard, you can't switch between the (B)/(D)/(F)/(M) and uptown (6) yet. That will change once the new transfer at Bleecker on the uptown (6) opens.

 

Well that's why I was referring to Brooklyn-bound passengers with the Bleeker/Broadway transfer. If you're below Bleeker on the Lex and want to go to Brooklyn, you can take the (N)(Q)(R) from Canal Street. If you're trying to get to the Lex from Brooklyn, go to Atlantic and take the (N)(Q)(R) to Canal or Union Square.

 

(Although, if one has time to spare, they could just take the downtown (6) the few stops that are left and wait for it to loop back uptown -- would only add 10 minutes or so to the trip).

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Of course it's costing NYCT $$$$$.

 

You have people working RDO's, you have the cost of car mileage.

 

For every job you don't have working, the less people required to work an RDO anywhere.

 

The ridership was dismal anyway. Worked it myself many times in the past for an RDO pre-R160.

They don't have to use overtime; they have several hundreds of T/O's on the extra and extra extra lists. Only one train (for the shuttle to Fulton), two T/O's per train, and three shifts. Whatever mileage is put on that one train is not going to make that much of a difference.

 

The way they're doing it now is absolutely HORRIBLE! Chambers is now basically a dead end, and you should see all the people both coming from the (J), and displaced from the (4)(5)(6), most there looking for the shuttle. We have to direct them to backtrack to Canal (on the other side, and the people can't seem to understand that, even on regular weekends when they end up on that side because it's the first stairway they see).

They don't even have the platform jobs anymore, and we just don't have time to help all those people.

 

(Is it something at Fulton, where the whole station is closed, or you couldn't get from the (J) to the (A)(C)?)

 

People make these decisions and have no idea what it is like on the road. And they probably report on paper that they have "saved so much money", but they really haven't.

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There was A LOT of People at Fulton Street who couldn't get access to the (4), (5), even when i was on the (C) a whole crowd got out just to realize there was no (4), (5) service, IMO, if this is possible, they should extend the (J) to Broad Street so the people can transfer at Chambers.

 

They don't have to use overtime; they have several hundreds of T/O's on the extra and extra extra lists. Only one train (for the shuttle to Fulton), two T/O's per train, and three shifts. Whatever mileage is put on that one train is not going to make that much of a difference.

 

The way they're doing it now is absolutely HORRIBLE! Chambers is now basically a dead end, and you should see all the people both coming from the , and displaced from the , most there looking for the shuttle. We have to direct them to backtrack to Canal (on the other side, and the people can't seem to understand that, even on regular weekends when they end up on that side because it's the first stairway they see).

They don't even have the platform jobs anymore, and we just don't have time to help all those people.

 

(Is it something at Fulton, where the whole station is closed, or you couldn't get from the to the ?)

 

People make these decisions and have no idea what it is like on the road. And they probably report on paper that they have "saved so much money", but they really haven't

 

They were working on the platform on the (4) and (5) on Fulton Street (From what i saw) i thought u could access the (J) from the (A) and (C), its just not the same staircase as the (4) and (5)

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There are two separate issues:

 

a) Many transit riders are folks who KNOW their transit line, but who might not really know about the various transfer options and capabilities. These folks want to follow their normal habits, and generally expect the transit system to be normal, understandable and dependable. Sometimes these folks do not READ the posters or easily follow what is said over the loud-speakers because there is noise (too many announcements these days).

 

However the Fulton Street station is a VERY important transfer station and the ONLY transfer station between the #4 and #5 and the A and C trains, and during most of the construction period the MTA has done a poor job of helping the riders. Most of the time, the posted posters do a very poor job of explaining how and where to make the transfers when there is construction work. For example this weekend's service diversions do not mention just how A and C train riders from Brooklyn are supposed to reach the #4 and #6 trains.

 

Riders are often left in the dark, and are not helped. Nor does the service diversions help #4 and #5 riders when the A and C use the F-line to reach Manhattan or Brooklyn, and riders have to back-track between Manhattan and Brooklyn to reach their destinations.

 

B) Many times, the MTA could simply DO A BETTER JOB of explaining the service diversions, and the way for riders to reach destinations. If the J-Shuttle is not going to be offered the following is the least that the TA could do. There could be easy to read and follow posters on the trains themselves with the transfer information.

 

One example is to simply stop and stay with the doors open at the A and C trains at the Jay Street station, and tell the riders that they MUST TRANSFER there for the R-train to Canal Street or 14th Street for #4 and #6 trains. This could also be done not only at Jay Street but announcements could be made before reaching Hoyt-Schermerhorn Streets - so that the readers are clear.

 

Many times, clear and loud conductor announcements and good readable signage can head off a bad situation at Fulton Street. Only if that were actually done.

 

Just my thoughts.

Mike

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