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EE Broadway Local

Department of Subways - Proposals/Ideas

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4 hours ago, Lex said:

Also, even with the low number of local stations between Canal Street and 59th Street, if the crowds on the existing (E) trains are any indication, a reckless shift to the express tracks would create even more dangerous situations, which is only exacerbated by the psychological aspect of express/local services (where the latter is at a greater risk of being considerably emptier than the former even with virtually nonexistent savings, all because the former is considered faster).

Tend to agree here. I’m not so worried as to what’d happen to the (A)(C) as I am about the (E). The triple whammy of having to pick up anyone and everyone at Spring and 23, having to deal with Penn Station crowds looking for 53rd for the East Side, and being the only train to 50 St may not be the best thing for crowding and dwell times. Likely wouldn’t rank among the worst in the system, to be sure, but still something to be watchful of. 

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True, that’s why I’d prefer to keep the (A)  and (E) in Manhattan as is, run the (C) to WTC alongside the (E) and run a (K) via the 53rd Street and the 8th Avenue express to/from Euclid. The (K) would replace the (C) in Brooklyn. But it would also have to displace the (M) from the 53rd St Tunnel and the (R) from QBL, which may cause some pushback from QBL riders.

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Is it more beneficial to run 53rd-Brooklyn service or CPW-Brooklyn service? Terminals dictate the former while potential line reliability issues dictate the later (if you were to also cut all CPW/8th local service back to WTC, you would probably also have to send the (A)(C) via CPW local and upper 8th/Concourse local while the (B)(D) run via the express to 207/Norwood.)

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Posted (edited)

Proposed fantasy service change:

(C) operates between 168 St and World Trade Center.

(E) Jamaica Center and Euclid Av normal Exp service in Queens local in Manhattan and Brooklyn. During Rush Hours some (E) Short turn at World Trade Center.

(A) service stays the same.

Edited by bwwnyc123

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50 minutes ago, T to Dyre Avenue said:

True, that’s why I’d prefer to keep the (A)  and (E) in Manhattan as is, run the (C) to WTC alongside the (E) and run a (K) via the 53rd Street and the 8th Avenue express to/from Euclid. The (K) would replace the (C) in Brooklyn. But it would also have to displace the (M) from the 53rd St Tunnel and the (R) from QBL, which may cause some pushback from QBL riders.

Interlined 42 St would be...very ugly. Given the biggest issue with (E) to Brooklyn is merging, I'd just deinterline and choose one pair of services for Brooklyn. 

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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:

On ‎6‎/‎19‎/‎2019 at 1:07 PM, RR503 said:

There are many. I see three schools of thought:

- 1) Deinterline 34 St and leave it (so (N) to 96, more (W)

- 2A) Deinterline 34 St, the 11th St Cut, and (potentially) 36 St (so (N) via 63 to Queens Boulevard, either via local to Forest Hills or via 2B) express to Jamaica Center with (E) via local; (R) to Astoria)

- 3) Deinterline it all ((N)(Q) 96, (R)(W) Astoria, (E)(K) via 8th/53/QB local, (F)(M) via 6th/63/QB express) 

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.

On ‎6‎/‎19‎/‎2019 at 1:18 PM, R68OnBroadway said:

I would say (E)(F)(K)(M) on QBL( (E)(F) same, (M) via 63rd, and (K) 179-WTC via QBL/8th local and 53rd), (N)(Q) to 96, (R)(W) to Astoria).

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.

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3 minutes ago, Lance said:

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.

With all due respect, Lance, I'm going to have to disagree with you here. A lot of your argument revolves around constructions of inertia and straw man versions of NYCT planning -- straw mans that blow right by the fact that this is the proposal thread, where the poster is NYCT planning. I don't have time right now to go through the ins and outs of each proposal (I will definitely do so later), but I think that, while it's exceedingly easy to fall into these 'real riders want the trains of today' arguments, those same real riders want trains that arrive with some modicum of reliability, have space for them to board, and follow some sort of routing logic. None of those are true for Queens. Change is hard, but given the impossibility of expansion in this day and age, is absolutely necessary lest the subway in Queens become quite literally inoperable. 

I also want to zero in on this 'transfers versus one seat rides' question for a second. A lot of us on here love to throw the phrase 'international best practices' around when talking about capital planning and project management. Some even are daring enough to challenge the pervasive New York exceptionalism in NYCT's operating arms and suggest we examine adoption of those best practices in train control -- things like CBTC, dwell control, system (rather than line-by-line) capacity planning, and the like. Deinterlining is another such best practice. No other metro system in the world operates as heavily an interlined network as does New York. That obviously shouldn't mean that we just go and deinterline everything, but it's equally wrong to dismiss it out of hand as some sort of fantastical construction, as that simply isn't true. 

Just some initial thoughts. I'll be back with (lots) more later. 

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9 hours ago, RR503 said:

Tend to agree here. I’m not so worried as to what’d happen to the (A)(C) as I am about the (E). The triple whammy of having to pick up anyone and everyone at Spring and 23, having to deal with Penn Station crowds looking for 53rd for the East Side, and being the only train to 50 St may not be the best thing for crowding and dwell times. Likely wouldn’t rank among the worst in the system, to be sure, but still something to be watchful of. 

The problem is that WTC is a shite terminal and even today it can barely handle the frequencies asked of it.

So to be clear, this is what the logical end result of that is

(E)(K) are QBL to Fulton via 8 Av Express

(A)(C) are CPW to WTC via 8 Av Local

Under this scenario, all trains stop at 50 St so that becomes a moot point. The only concerns I would have are

  • I'm not entirely convinced that a service pattern like this wouldn't gum up the works at 59 St
  • Jamaica Center to the Rockaways is a hellishly long ride. You'd probably want to terminate the 8th Avenue trains at Howard Beach and run all the shuttles from there instead.

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4 hours ago, Lance said:

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.

I agree that this idea isn't the greatest. It is, however, the least impactful way of maximizing Manhattan-Queens capacity: you've filled 63 and sent 60 to Astoria, meaning that you can, in theory, run the full 120tph that the Manhattan-Queens infrastructure allows. I consider it the worst alternative here, though it may be ever so slightly better than the present given how terrible Manhattan-Queens crowding is. 

4 hours ago, Lance said:

 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.

(N) runs 10tph rushes, which would mean +2tph to fill Parsons, or +5 to completely duplicate current (E) service levels with the 3tph from 179 preserved. The issue with a 12 or 15tph (N) is what it always will be: Dekalb. What series of operational interventions would be necessary to get those trains through reliably? You don't want half of your QB expresses being spat into Lex-63 at irregular intervals during the PM rush; that'd fast become a delay node, and would likely lose you a few tph to boot.

Contingent on Dekalb being deemed (or made) functional enough to dispatch (N)s with some basic level of regularity, I actually think this is a defensible service pattern. It creates a merge at Lex-63, yes, but makes up for that addition by eliminating the merge at 36 -- a merge whose elimination would likely lead to a much more tenable load balance between expresses and locals on Queens Boulevard given the popularity of the 53 St corridor. Better crowding balance means lower dwells (so there's a second layer of operational upside), and you get all this without having to sever the Queens Boulevard-Lex Express connection; riders can take (N) to 14. You'd need more cars and some basic level of investment in the operations budget to sustain it, but this could certainly be worth it. 

4 hours ago, Lance said:

 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.

Fully with you on the short train issue. 8 car (M)s seem like a tough sell given prevalent crowding, and even the 9 car trains achievable with some switch work at Metro may not be up to the task.

Beyond that, though, I want to push back on a lot of your logic. One of the few successful transit planners of this century -- Jarrett Walker, the man that led the extremely successful redesign of the bus network in Houston -- once said the following:

Quote

....Walker’s fundamental advice is to start by “wiping the slate clean,” he told a crowd at TransitCenter last week. Only a blank canvas will yield “design choices based on the whole network,” he said, which in turn produce benefits compelling enough to “overcome little problems.”

For transit planners who know their bus network and each justification for all of its quirks inside out, it can be difficult to let go and think freely. At the bus network redesign workshops he leads for transit agencies and city DOTs, Walker insists that participants refrain from discussing historical reasons for routes and steer clear of anticipating political objections (as in, “that parking space over there belongs to a business owned by the city councilor’s cousin”).

This of course is a discussion of bus networks, where much greater topological freedom exists, but the basic message I believe holds true. "It exists therefore it should be this way" is an excellent political justification for having something, what with humans being so resistant to change. It is not, however, a sound technical justification for the same. Service plans, extension proposals, etc, should be able to stand on merit beyond whatever stature is leant to them through tenure. Queens' subways being the unreliable, complex, crowded, inefficient mess that they are, I believe the case very much exists for change. 

To the question of this service plan, a compelling case does in fact exist for it. 53 is popular; 8 Avenue less so. 63 isn't too popular; 6 Avenue is just west of Midtown's economic center. Divorcing these two destination sets and the transfers that come with them -- Broadway express and (potentially) Lex from 63; Lex with less of a walk, 6th express, and whatever routes this 8th service touches in Lower Manhattan from 53 -- onto the express and local tracks of Queens Boulevard will absolutely force transfers and lengthen commutes, but it'll realize a hell of a lot of capacity. Not only do you gain incrementally in delivered capacity through the elimination of merges, but people now have reason to stay on local trains, meaning that their space will be better used into Manhattan. That better use of train space in turn allows for growth, not just because making local trains relevant capacitally ups your effective capacity by that much, but also because shorter dwells and a more fluid railroad may allow for increased service levels with CBTC. 

Would this be a hard sell? You can bet your ass it would, and I wouldn't be at all optimistic about its prospects politically. That said, though, there does exist a sort of 'law of grand plans,' which seems to dictate that if you can deliver to people something truly transformative (extremely reliable, high frequency service in this case) their opposition to a big change may lessen. So I don't know. 

4 hours ago, Lance said:

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.

This plan is great from an O/D perspective, but it breaks down on idiotproof-ness and load balance. A high frequency merge between all services at 36 St would likely become quite the bottleneck, while full duplication between locals and expresses means that there'd be pretty much zero incentive to stay on a local. If someone can present to me a compelling case that high frequency service can be delivered with today's dwells and operating environment under this plan, I'm all ears, but until then, I have some reservations here. 

15 minutes ago, bobtehpanda said:

The problem is that WTC is a shite terminal and even today it can barely handle the frequencies asked of it.

So to be clear, this is what the logical end result of that is

(E)(K) are QBL to Fulton via 8 Av Express

(A)(C) are CPW to WTC via 8 Av Local

Under this scenario, all trains stop at 50 St so that becomes a moot point. The only concerns I would have are

  • I'm not entirely convinced that a service pattern like this wouldn't gum up the works at 59 St
  • Jamaica Center to the Rockaways is a hellishly long ride. You'd probably want to terminate the 8th Avenue trains at Howard Beach and run all the shuttles from there instead.

WTC is crap, but that isn't an immutable reality. A good portion of its issue seems to be excessive dwell in the pockets at the terminal, aggravated by a relatively restrictive signal system that slows traffic into the terminal to a much greater degree than what existed previously. If 8th Avenue (L) -- which, IINM, has worse geometry than WTC -- can eeke out 26tph with CBTC, I don't see why WTC would be capable of much less with the advent of 8th CBTC. 

Otherwise, yes, Jamaica Center to the Rocks would be a slog. All the more reason to do 8th to Forest Hills. 

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5 minutes ago, RR503 said:

WTC is crap, but that isn't an immutable reality. A good portion of its issue seems to be excessive dwell in the pockets at the terminal, aggravated by a relatively restrictive signal system that slows traffic into the terminal to a much greater degree than what existed previously. If 8th Avenue (L) -- which, IINM, has worse geometry than WTC -- can eeke out 26tph with CBTC, I don't see why WTC would be capable of much less with the advent of 8th CBTC. 

Otherwise, yes, Jamaica Center to the Rocks would be a slog. All the more reason to do 8th to Forest Hills. 

I have heard that 8th Avenue could terminate 28 TPH.

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30 minutes ago, bobtehpanda said:

The problem is that WTC is a shite terminal and even today it can barely handle the frequencies asked of it.

Instituting step backs in the schedule and fixing the signal geometry will solve that.  

People might also stop holding the doors in the back of an (E) train if they know another will be arriving soon. There are many times during even the peak of the peak where one or both tracks is empty for several minutes.

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8 minutes ago, Union Tpke said:

I have heard that 8th Avenue could terminate 28 TPH.

Increased power, more cars, and perhaps terminal improvements at Atlantic would do the trick.

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2 hours ago, Lance said:

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.

IIRC the plan isn't to combine the (R) and (W) just yet, but have one full-time local service between Astoria and Bay Ridge and have the other part-time service truncated to Forest Hills - Whitehall. The remaining question is what should the weekend service plan be, assuming that Broadway will only run three services like every other trunk line.

2 hours ago, Lance said:

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.

Agreed that the (N) to QBL via 63 St is a non-starter. SAS needs more service and an option to route the (M) via 63 St should be preserved for the future.

2 hours ago, Lance said:

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.

You nailed QBL's fundamental design problem - the Queens Plaza - Roosevelt Ave stretch has practically no ridership and takes a longer physical route than the track, causing local-express transfers to and severe overcrowding on the (E)(F). If trains could run local east of Roosevelt Ave but express west of that stop, the crowding would be significantly less.

For ridership balance purposes, the ideal QBL service plan is to keep the (E)(F) the same as usual, reroute the (M) via 63 St, and introduce a Forest Hills - Euclid Ave (K) train (QBL local via 53 St, 8 Ave express, Fulton Local). This gives each tunnel a minimum of 2 express trains + 1 local train every 8 minutes.

2 hours ago, RR503 said:

With all due respect, Lance, I'm going to have to disagree with you here. A lot of your argument revolves around constructions of inertia and straw man versions of NYCT planning -- straw mans that blow right by the fact that this is the proposal thread, where the poster is NYCT planning. I don't have time right now to go through the ins and outs of each proposal (I will definitely do so later), but I think that, while it's exceedingly easy to fall into these 'real riders want the trains of today' arguments, those same real riders want trains that arrive with some modicum of reliability, have space for them to board, and follow some sort of routing logic. None of those are true for Queens. Change is hard, but given the impossibility of expansion in this day and age, is absolutely necessary lest the subway in Queens become quite literally inoperable. 

I also want to zero in on this 'transfers versus one seat rides' question for a second. A lot of us on here love to throw the phrase 'international best practices' around when talking about capital planning and project management. Some even are daring enough to challenge the pervasive New York exceptionalism in NYCT's operating arms and suggest we examine adoption of those best practices in train control -- things like CBTC, dwell control, system (rather than line-by-line) capacity planning, and the like. Deinterlining is another such best practice. No other metro system in the world operates as heavily an interlined network as does New York. That obviously shouldn't mean that we just go and deinterline everything, but it's equally wrong to dismiss it out of hand as some sort of fantastical construction, as that simply isn't true. 

Just some initial thoughts. I'll be back with (lots) more later. 

To offer a middle ground, convenient transfers should always be prioritized over one seat rides. Here are the places where deinterlining should be implemented with few to no questions asked:

  • Rogers Junction IRT - Franklin Ave can easily accommodate local-express cross-platform transfers
  • 8 Ave Canal St merge - Canal St is another cross-platform transfer
  • Broadway 34 St merge - 57 St, 42 St, 34 St, and 14 St are all good transfer points
    • and all 4-track local-express segments in general

and here are the places where it's more questionable:

  • DeKalb Ave: Neither DeKalb Ave nor Atlantic Ave have cross-platform transfers.
  • QBL: There is a severe imbalance in ridership along QBL (see above)
  • Columbus Circle: Interlining actually should be implemented, but it requires the (A)(C) to run local along CPW / 8 Ave, the (B)(D) to run express on CPW, and the (E)(K) to run express into Brooklyn.

 

Some special cases where deinterlining results in so much extra capacity that it's probably worth it to bite the bullet:

  • Retire 53 St / 6 Ave connection and 11th St cuts - the new (K) train is basically half a line's worth of capacity
  • Grand Concourse - 149 St: The (4)(5) should be running to Woodlawn and the (2)(3) would take over White Plains if Harlem-148 St didn't exist.
10 minutes ago, RR503 said:

This of course is a discussion of bus networks, where much greater topological freedom exists, but the basic message I believe holds true. "It exists therefore it should be this way" is an excellent political justification for having something, what with humans being so resistant to change. It is not, however, a sound technical justification for the same. Service plans, extension proposals, etc, should be able to stand on merit beyond whatever stature is leant to them through tenure. Queens' subways being the unreliable, complex, crowded, inefficient mess that they are, I believe the case very much exists for change. 

To the question of this service plan, a compelling case does in fact exist for it. 53 is popular; 8 Avenue less so. 63 isn't too popular; 6 Avenue is just west of Midtown's economic center. Divorcing these two destination sets and the transfers that come with them -- Broadway express and (potentially) Lex from 63; Lex with less of a walk, 6th express, and whatever routes this 8th service touches in Lower Manhattan from 53 -- onto the express and local tracks of Queens Boulevard will absolutely force transfers and lengthen commutes, but it'll realize a hell of a lot of capacity. Not only do you gain incrementally in delivered capacity through the elimination of merges, but people now have reason to stay on local trains, meaning that their space will be better used into Manhattan. That better use of train space in turn allows for growth, not just because making local trains relevant capacitally ups your effective capacity by that much, but also because shorter dwells and a more fluid railroad may allow for increased service levels with CBTC. 

Would this be a hard sell? You can bet your ass it would, and I wouldn't be at all optimistic about its prospects politically. That said, though, there does exist a sort of 'law of grand plans,' which seems to dictate that if you can deliver to people something truly transformative (extremely reliable, high frequency service in this case) their opposition to a big change may lessen. So I don't know. 

The real question is how much does full deinterlining help QBL? QBL express can gain maybe 6 more tph with CBTC, but QBL local barely justifies 15-20 tph, let alone 30. QBL probably will need another capital project (beyond CBTC) to fix the fundamental design flaws of the line. Even the bypass line connecting to 63 St wouldn't actually increase Queens capacity since the 11 St cut wouldn't be retired, so another East River tunnel has to be in the works somewhere.

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1 minute ago, Caelestor said:

The real question is how much does full deinterlining help QBL? QBL express can gain maybe 6 more tph with CBTC, but QBL local barely justifies 15-20 tph, let alone 30. QBL probably will need another capital project (beyond CBTC) to fix the fundamental design flaws of the line. Even the bypass line connecting to 63 St wouldn't actually increase Queens capacity since the 11 St cut wouldn't be retired, so another East River tunnel has to be in the works somewhere.

This is the issue though: the express can't gain any significant capacity with CBTC because dwells are so long because no one uses the locals. So to increase express service, you -- weirdly -- have to make its relative attractiveness against local service lesser. 

We can't wait for some far off capital project to fix Queens. I, as well as other frequent line riders, sure wish we could, but the fact of the matter is that the (E) and (F) run at/over 100% capacity, and Queens is growing. 

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2 minutes ago, RR503 said:

This is the issue though: the express can't gain any significant capacity with CBTC because dwells are so long because no one uses the locals. So to increase express service, you -- weirdly -- have to make its relative attractiveness against local service lesser. 

We can't wait for some far off capital project to fix Queens. I, as well as other frequent line riders, sure wish we could, but the fact of the matter is that the (E) and (F) run at/over 100% capacity, and Queens is growing. 

Can't wait for more riders in LIC to attempt to get on a crushloaded train of sardines!

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14 minutes ago, Union Tpke said:

Increased power, more cars, and perhaps terminal improvements at Atlantic would do the trick.

If we compare the Victoria line and the (L) for a second (two lines with similar characteristics: ATO, two tracks, no shared trackage), the ability to short turn trains at Seven Sisters is one of the things that allows for 36 (!!!) trains per hour in the peak of the peak. A similar short turn terminal at Atlantic Avenue would help improve (L) frequencies, more-so than Myrtle-Wyckoff does today. 

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27 minutes ago, Around the Horn said:

If we compare the Victoria line and the (L) for a second (two lines with similar characteristics: ATO, two tracks, no shared trackage), the ability to short turn trains at Seven Sisters is one of the things that allows for 36 (!!!) trains per hour in the peak of the peak. A similar short turn terminal at Atlantic Avenue would help improve (L) frequencies, more-so than Myrtle-Wyckoff does today. 

Agreed. Could Mets-Willets be reconfigured as a similar short-turn terminal for the Flushing Line?

48104535106_ce73be1cbf_b.jpgScreen Shot 2019-06-21 at 3.08.32 PM by Union Turnpike, on Flickr

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1 minute ago, Union Tpke said:

Agreed. Could Mets-Willets be reconfigured as a similar short-turn terminal for the Flushing Line?

Some trains already terminate at Willets and 111 St, IIRC.

The real solution would be two tracks to at least Broadway LIRR, with Flushing serving as the short-turn terminal. But "tale of two cities" deBlasio is never going to propose something like that.

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1 minute ago, bobtehpanda said:

Some trains already terminate at Willets and 111 St, IIRC.

The real solution would be two tracks to at least Broadway LIRR, with Flushing serving as the short-turn terminal. But "tale of two cities" deBlasio is never going to propose something like that.

That is true, and I agree. I was wondering about a short-term way to increase service further.

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1 hour ago, Union Tpke said:

I have heard that 8th Avenue could terminate 28 TPH.

I heard this from two trustworthy people, but a different figure is given in this report from the FTA:

Quote

Regarding the capacity performance, while the CBTC system itself is capable of
supporting a theoretical throughput of at least 30 trains per hour (TPH), due to
the topology of the line, the number of trains available and the throughput capacity
at the terminals, the actual headway that can be supported on the Canarsie Line is
26 TPH (an endurance test was performed to demonstrate this). Today, with the
number of trains available, a service of 22 TPH is being provided. It is important to
note that the NYCT engineering group conducted some simulations and analyses
that show that the current traction power substations would need to be upgraded
if service on the line were to be increased above 24 TPH. 

@RR503 Supposedly, current service is 20 TPH, and capacity improvements will increase it by 10% to 22. Something looks fishy here. We are upgrading the substations to get to 22.

This claim seems to be incorrect:

Quote

Overall, the signal system was designed for 150-second headway that provided
the capability to run 20 trains per hour (an operating headway of 180 seconds). 

 

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3 hours ago, Caelestor said:

IIRC the plan isn't to combine the (R) and (W) just yet, but have one full-time local service between Astoria and Bay Ridge and have the other part-time service truncated to Forest Hills - Whitehall. The remaining question is what should the weekend service plan be, assuming that Broadway will only run three services like every other trunk line.

Agreed that the (N) to QBL via 63 St is a non-starter. SAS needs more service and an option to route the (M) via 63 St should be preserved for the future.

Got me thinking, since the (M) regularly runs to 96 on weekends there are talks of preserving this service pattern. That would depend, however, on what you would do to the (N) .

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Union Tpke said:

I heard this from two trustworthy people, but a different figure is given in this report from the FTA:

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere (don't remember) that 8 Av limits capacity on the (L) due to its design... If true, building a new westward terminal would certainly help.

Edited by Bay Ridge Express

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This will go against everything that has been discussed in these last few pages, but I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who had a random thought of what if the (brownM) was never moved off Brighton and worked a proposal around that. I’ll share it here since this IS the proposals thread. What My Friend Proposed was the Following: 

(brownM) - MetroPolitan to CI via Brighton 

Either (B) or (Q) can be moved to 4th Avenue Local to Supplement Service along  there.

(V) - Follows pre-1976 :KK: route to Broadway Junction running alongside the (J)(M)(Z) given that Williamsburg could handle more than 24TPH

My Criticism with this proposal is that there’s no need for the (M) to go to Brighton and that a Nassau-Bay Ridge service via 4th Avenue is more important at the moment. Not to mention that a new Bottleneck will be introduced at 36th Street and DeKalb’s bottleneck would be worsened by sending either the (B) or (Q) via 4th Avenue Local. Lastly, the (V) Service my friend proposed is better off being used for Culver since there was a whole fiasco of bringing Express service to Culver a while back. If the goal is to bring people to Brighton from Williamsburg, then it’s better to Bury the Franklin Avenue (S) and extending it connect with the (G)

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