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Service Changes: NYC Transit Committee Notification: A-Division Subway Schedule Changes Spring 2017

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SERVICE CHANGES: NYC TRANSIT COMMITTEE NOTIFICATION: A DIVISION SUBWAY SCHEDULE CHANGES EFFECTIVE SPRING 2017 

Service Issue
To ensure that subway schedules accurately match current rider demand, schedules are regularly reviewed, evaluated and revised in order to provide passengers with the most efficient and effective service possible. NYC Transit routinely changes service to reflect changes in demand in compliance with MTA Board-adopted subway loading guidelines.

Additionally, due to damage sustained during “Super Storm” Sandy, in order to maintain the long term safety and viability of the 2 and 3 lines’ Clark Street Tubes between Brooklyn and Manhattan, major reconstruction and rehabilitation work is needed. This vital work can be performed on weekends and would therefore not affect regular weekday daytime service. To accommodate this work, beginning in June 2017, and continuing for approximately 13 months, no 2 or 3 service would be able to operate via the Clark Street Tubes on weekends while work is being conducted. Temporary long term 2,3,4, and 5 schedule and route changes are proposed that would affect Saturday and Sunday service, as well as early Monday morning service before 5:00 a.m. Note that these schedule and route changes would be incorporated into our picked schedules starting in June 2017; however, work in the Clark Street Tubes will start prior to June 2017 and will require a few weekend service diversions before the start of the June pick.

Recommendation
Implement routine schedule adjustments for the 1 and 7 on weekdays. In order to ensure the long term safety and viability of the 2 and 3 lines, and to provide cost effective service that will best mitigate potential crowding and passenger travel time impacts while work is being conducted on the Clark Street Tube, implement temporary long term schedule and route changes to Saturday and Sunday 2, 3, 4, and 5 service, as well as early Monday morning service before 5:00 a.m.

Budget Impact:
Implementation of the proposed routine 1 and 7 schedule changes will cost approximately $0.6 million annually, which is consistent with the proposed 2017 Operating Budget. Implementation of the proposed temporary long term schedule and route changes to Saturday and Sunday 2, 3, 4, and 5 service will save approximately $1.3 million annually as compared to current service plan. This is consistent with the proposed 2017 Operating Budget.

Proposed Implementation Date:
Weekday 1 and 7 schedule changes, and Saturday and Sunday 2,3,4, and 5 schedule and route changes, including changes to early Monday morning service before 5:00 a.m., will be implemented in June 2017. 

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Purpose:
To obtain Presidential approval, and to inform the NYC Transit and MTA Bus Committee, of schedule adjustments on the 1 and 7 routes in response to changes in subway ridership, and of temporary long-term schedule and route adjustments on the 2, 3, 4, and 5 that are being proposed to accommodate reconstruction of the 2 and 3 lines' Clark Street Tubes between Brooklyn and Manhattan, which is needed for the long term safety and viability of 2 and 3 lines.

Discussion:
Proposed Guideline Schedule Adjustments
Schedule adjustments on the 1 and 7 routes are proposed in response to changes in subway ridership. The schedule changes outlined below will be implemented with the Spring 2017 Pick. These changes represent service adjustments during weekday afternoon rush periods and weekday evenings to more closely align 1 and 7 service with customer demand and established guidelines for subway operation. Details of these proposed adjustments are shown in Attachment I.

The additional weekday 1 trips are proposed in response to weekday ridership growth in upper Manhattan, as well as to provide more frequent weekday service along the IRT Broadway-Seventh Avenue line between Lower
Manhattan and the Bronx. Combined express 2, 3 service currently carries ridership volume in excess of guideline capacity during the p.m. peak hour, and due to track capacity constraints, it is not feasible to schedule any additional northbound 2, 3 service. Additional 1 service during the afternoon rush period, as well as the evening hours, will help relieve crowding along the shared corridor.

The additional weekday 7 trips are proposed in response to weekday ridership growth along 42nd Street in Manhattan and along the Flushing line in Queens during the early shoulder of the p.m. rush period and during the evening. 

The schedule changes proposed are as follows:
* Weekday 1 service will be increased a total of 3 round trips between approximately 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. One additional round trip will operate during the afternoon rush hour and two additional round trips will operate during the evening hours.

* Weekday 7 service will be increased a total of 6 round trips between approximately 4:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. One additional round trip will operate during the afternoon rush hour and five additional round trips will operate during the evening hours. 

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Proposed Schedule Adjustments to Accommodate Clark St Tube Reconstruction

We are continuing to fix and fortify our system after the damage that was caused by “Super Storm” Sandy. There is extensive work that needs to be done in the Clark St Tubes to ensure the long term safety and viability of 2 and 3 lines. This vital work can be performed on weekends and would therefore not affect regular weekday daytime service. The weekend service plan that is being proposed to accommodate reconstruction of the Clark Street Tubes was developed with the same “get in, get it done, get out” philosophy as other recent major construction projects. The primary goals of this proposal are to minimize the impact on customers to the greatest extent feasible, minimize the duration of the project and to minimize customer confusion by providing the same service every weekend, to the degree that we can, during the timeframe of this project. This consistency provides predictability not only for customers but for the contractor as well. It also helps shorten the overall duration of the project.

To accommodate construction in the Clark Street Tubes beginning in June 2017, no 2 or 3 service will be able to operate between Manhattan and Brooklyn on weekends while work is being conducted. Temporary long-term schedule and route adjustments on the weekend 2,3,4, and 5 are needed to accommodate this vital reconstruction work. Note that these schedule and route changes would be incorporated into our picked schedules starting in June 2017; however, work in the Clark Street Tubes will start prior to June 2017 and will require a few weekend service diversions before the start of the June pick.

During the weekend construction work on the Clark Street Tubes, in order to maintain 2 and 3 service along 7th Avenue in Manhattan, 2 and 3 trains will need to terminate at alternate locations in Lower Manhattan. In order to provide alternate service to the greatest extent practicable while taking into account the locations of track switches that allow trains to terminate and change directions, 2 trains would be
rerouted via the 1 line south of Chambers St and would terminate at South Ferry. Because of capacity constraints at South Ferry, 3 trains will terminate at 14 St, which is the nearest feasible terminal location north of South Ferry (see Attachment 2).

Because of these 2 and 3 service reroutes, there will be no subway service available at the Park Place, Wall St, Clark St, and Hoyt St stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn on weekends.

To provide alternate service in Brooklyn on weekends, 4 service will be extended from Crown Heights-Utica Av to New Lots Avenue to replace the 3, and 5 service will be extended from Bowling Green to Flatbush Av-Brooklyn College to replace the 2. Both the 4 and 5 will operate with all local service south of Nevins St.

In addition, to facilitate travel between Brooklyn and the 7th Avenue line in Manhattan, a free out of system transfer will be provided between the 4 5 at the Bowling Green station and the 1 2 at the Whitehall St-South Ferry station complex in Lower Manhattan. 

To improve operations and reduce the need for additional train crews, the northern terminals of the 2 and 5 will be swapped. 2 trains will operate via the Dyre Avenue line between Eastchester-Dyre Avenue
and E 180 St, and 5 trains will operate via the White Plains Road line between Wakefield-241 St and E 180 St. This is consistent with current operating practices when Clark Street Tunnel is closed for major repairs.

All of these changes together will affect approximately 205,000 riders on the average weekend, and average passenger travel time will increase by about 4.5 minutes. Approximately 70,000 cross-river riders will have to take an alternate service, such as the 4, 5 and R services, which have the capacity to carry these riders. Approximately 85,000 riders will be affected by a reduced frequency in service, and approximately 50,000 riders will be affected because the station they normally would have used will not have service on weekends while this plan is in operation.

In addition to operating on Saturdays and Sundays, this service plan would operate overnight from Sunday night until 5 a.m. on Monday mornings. As such, this service plan technically includes changes in weekday schedules and routes; from the perspective of the vast majority of riders, however, this is a “weekend only” service plan.

Schedule and route changes such as those proposed here have generally been made through issuance of General Orders and via schedule supplements on affected weekends rather than being incorporated into a
Pick. Due to the magnitude and duration of this project, however, it will be more beneficial from both a financial and staffing perspective to implement these changes via Pick. Allowing the worksite to be
accessed predictably and consistently will reduce delays and contractor costs. Further, by incorporating these changes via Pick, and because of the resulting crew scheduling efficiencies, we maintain the flexibility to provide additional service when it is needed to accommodate special events and other necessary weekend service changes for capital and maintenance work. Perhaps most importantly, given how different this service plan is from regular weekend service, it will help minimize passenger confusion and ensure that riders have a consistent weekend service. 

Recommendation
Implement routine 1 and 7 schedule adjustments. In addition, in order to ensure the long term safety and viability of the 2 and 3 lines, and to provide cost effective service that will best mitigate potential
crowding and passenger travel time impacts while work is being conducted on the Clark Street Tube, implement temporary long term schedule and route changes to Saturday and Sunday 2,3,4, and 5 service.

Alternatives to the Proposal
Do nothing. NYCT would not make normal 1 and 7 service adjustments to better meet customer demand nor make temporary long-term schedule and route adjustments to Saturday and Sunday 2,3,4, and 5 service. Without the latter changes, vital reconstruction work of the Clark Street Tubes cannot occur. Do the Clark St Tube Work through issuance of General Orders and via schedule supplements on affected weekends. This alternative would be more costly and would require many more train crews. Riders would also have less consistent weekend service, and the project duration and period of weekend service disruptions would be longer. 

Budget Impact
Implementation of the proposed routine 1 and 7 schedule changes will cost approximately $0.6 million annually, which is consistent with the proposed 2017 Operating Budget. Implementation of the proposed temporary long term schedule and route changes to Saturday and Sunday 2, 3, 4, and 5 service will save approximately $1.3 million annually as compared to current service plan. This is consistent with the proposed 2017 Operating Budget.

Proposed Implementation Date
Weekday 1 and 7 schedule changes and Saturday and Sunday 2, 3, 4, and 5 schedule and route changes will be implemented in June 2017. 

Approved:
Veronique Hakim
President - NYCT

31162997270_0250c3809c_b.jpgScreen Shot 2016-12-09 at 2.09.20 PM by spicker613, on Flickr

 

31162996760_a7ef9389e3_b.jpgScreen Shot 2016-12-09 at 2.09.13 PM by spicker613, on Flickr

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This is ridiculous. So they have no more track capacity to add more (2)(3) trains, which is what people need, so they turn around and run more (1) trains.  The (1) needed more service anyway just because of its own crowding.  What they are trying to say is that people will use the (1) over the (2)(3) because the (2)(3) are bursting at the seams. That's a nice way to force folks into other travel arrangements.  

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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This is ridiculous. So they have no more track capacity to add more (2)(3) trains, which is what people need, so they turn around and run more (1) trains.  The (1) needed more service anyway just because of its own crowding.  What they are trying to say is that people will use the (1) over the (2)(3) because the (2)(3) are bursting at the seams. That's a nice way to force folks into other travel arrangements.  

 

It isn't ridiculous. The (1) is overcrowded so adding service will help. They can't do anything about adding service on the (2)(3).

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It isn't ridiculous. The (1) is overcrowded so adding service will help. They can't do anything about adding service on the (2)(3).

I ride the (1)(2)(3) and it is ridiculous.  The (1) service is a separate issue from the (2) and (3) and needed its own service improvements.  The fact that they can't add more (2)(3) service will just negate any benefits of adding more (1) service, so yes it is ridiculous because they are already at track capacity for the (2)(3). I already let several (2)(3) trains go before I can get on one as it is...

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This is ridiculous. So they have no more track capacity to add more (2)(3) trains, which is what people need, so they turn around and run more (1) trains. The (1) needed more service anyway just because of its own crowding. What they are trying to say is that people will use the (1) over the (2)(3) because the (2)(3) are bursting at the seams. That's a nice way to force folks into other travel arrangements.

Wait, what? I'm trying to understand your post. Are you saying there's more to what the (MTA) is saying about adding (1) service over (2)(3) service? I really can't think of a way to add trains if my track is at capacity.

 

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Wait, what? I'm trying to understand your post. Are you saying there's more to what the (MTA) is saying about adding (1) service over (2)(3) service? I really can't think of a way to add trains if my track is at capacity.

 

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What isn't clear?  They've admitted that they don't have the track capacity to accommodate more (2)(3) riders, so they're adding more (1) service to try to offset that.  My point is regardless of what is going on with the (2)(3), the (1) already needed a service increase, so what happens when they need to add more service?  They don't have any more track capacity for the (2)(3), and given how frequent the (1) already runs, I can't think they have that much capacity there either.  In short if you need any of these trains during the rush, be prepared for more trains to flag you.  That's what they're essentially saying because I already wait several trains before I can get on one, be it the (1)(2) or (3) during the evening rush to get to the Upper West Side.

 

What I want to know is what are they doing to address the crowding on the (1)(2)(3) long term?  If they are already at track capacity during the rush for the (2)(3) I think they've got a big problem on their hands.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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What makes it ridiculous? You're dealing with rigid infrastructure that takes a lot of overall clout to expand. Hi Upper West Side, meet Upper East Side. Only that UWS has more (less crowded) options 2.5 Avenues away. People past that can walk or take a bus. Not much else that can be done.

 

I've had to deal with that when I went to Manhattan College from Brooklyn. A couple techniques helped me out, like moving down the platform to another car if my exit spot was too crowded, or since I needed the (1), just take the (1) from where I got on the line. A good number of people get off at 72 and 96 Sts, so unless you're going to Lenox Terminal or South/Central Bronx, take the (1).

 

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What makes it ridiculous? You're dealing with rigid infrastructure that takes a lot of overall clout to expand. Hi Upper West Side, meet Upper East Side. Only that UWS has more (less crowded) options 2.5 Avenues away. People past that can walk or take a bus. Not much else that can be done.

 

I've had to deal with that when I went to Manhattan College from Brooklyn. A couple techniques helped me out, like moving down the platform to another car if my exit spot was too crowded, or since I needed the (1), just take the (1) from where I got on the line. A good number of people get off at 72 and 96 Sts, so unless you're going to Lenox Terminal or South/Central Bronx, take the (1).

 

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You're telling me things I already know.  The question is how are they going to deal with the increase in ridership down the line if they're at capacity now?  The (1) is already a mess during rush hour. I take the (2)(3) to 72nd or sometimes 96th if the (1) is too packed or backed up, just so that I can get off at 86th street.  The (1) used to be a train you could take to avoid the packed (2)(3) lines, but I think because of the amount of gentrification that is becoming less of an option too...

 

Oh and the (B)(C) aren't that much better these days... I actually switched to the (1)(2)(3) because of how insanely crowded the (B) gets now.  The (C)... Same deal... 

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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Bring back the 9 Avenue El, or run a streetcar. Maybe a 12 Avenue Subway... :-)

 

In the "what if" respect, it comes down to the City and the State to decide if they want to do something to increase the amount of service provided to that area. Of course the growing neighborhoods will most likely oppose any proposition that puts a shovel to the ground.

 

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This is ridiculous. So they have no more track capacity to add more (2)(3) trains, which is what people need, so they turn around and run more (1) trains.  The (1) needed more service anyway just because of its own crowding.  

 

It's ridiculous that they're adding more trains, because the line actually needed more trains? 

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It's ridiculous that they're adding more trains, because the line actually needed more trains? 

Aren't you the bright one. It's ridiculous that they're not adding enough service.  

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Bring back the 9 Avenue El, or run a streetcar. Maybe a 12 Avenue Subway... :-)

 

In the "what if" respect, it comes down to the City and the State to decide if they want to do something to increase the amount of service provided to that area. Of course the growing neighborhoods will most likely oppose any proposition that puts a shovel to the ground.

 

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Have they already implemented technology on the (2)(3) line to run more trains?  I know they had that project on the Lex line for years, but haven't heard anything about the 7th Avenue line.

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Have they already implemented technology on the (2)(3) line to run more trains? I know they had that project on the Lex line for years, but haven't heard anything about the 7th Avenue line.

That I'll leave the tech updates to the more knowledgeable.

 

I will say this: when you decrease your headways by increasing traffic, you decrease reliability. I might make my target guideline loading by adding trains, but my trains will end up running at 15 mph instead of 25-35, and even less if they run slow now. Also, if an incident occurs on the railroad, my recovery time and general impact both increase with the addition of trains. Then you'll be criticizing the (MTA) for major delays.

 

So I may see that 2.5 minute window between trains and think "they could have filled the gap here", but it carries a lot of ramifications.

 

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That I'll leave the tech updates to the more knowledgeable.

 

I will say this: when you decrease your headways by increasing traffic, you decrease reliability. I might make my target guideline loading by adding trains, but my trains will end up running at 15 mph instead of 25-35, and even less if they run slow now. Also, if an incident occurs on the railroad, my recovery time and general impact both increase with the addition of trains. Then you'll be criticizing the (MTA) for major delays.

 

So I may see that 2.5 minute window between trains and think "they could have filled the gap here", but it carries a lot of ramifications.

 

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Well we won't get into that part of it, but the (MTA) has fabricated this headache of being overcapacity to a degree by forcing people to take the subways.  You have fewer people riding buses, so that means more people riding the subways...

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The impression I'm getting with the whole track capacity thing is that they're trying to avoid making the (2) and (3) what the (4) and (5) lines are now, with all the extra trains, bottlenecks and delays. 

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The impression I'm getting with the whole track capacity thing is that they're trying to avoid making the (2) and (3) what the (4) and (5) lines are now, with all the extra trains, bottlenecks and delays. 

lol... Given the amount of delays I experience with the line at night, I'd say they'll have to try a bit harder.  I will say that the line is generally pretty decent during the morning rush after 09:00 though.  The saving grace for the line is the (3).  If Harlem becomes too gentrified, the line will indeed turn into the Lex line.  I see how they run the trains in the morning and the (3) really helps deal with the overcrowding from the (2).  I am just amazed that they're at capacity given how poorly the (2) runs in the Bronx and in general.

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lol... Given the amount of delays I experience with the line at night, I'd say they'll have to try a bit harder.  I will say that the line is generally pretty decent during the morning rush after 09:00 though.  The saving grace for the line is the (3).  If Harlem becomes too gentrified, the line will indeed turn into the Lex line.  I see how they run the trains in the morning and the (3) really helps deal with the overcrowding from the (2).  I am just amazed that they're at capacity given how poorly the (2) runs in the Bronx and in general.

 

The (2) runs poorly, but it is still more affordable than the car, express bus, or Metro-North.

 

Have they already implemented technology on the (2)(3) line to run more trains?  I know they had that project on the Lex line for years, but haven't heard anything about the 7th Avenue line.

 

AFAIK that technology upgrade was for reliability, not increasing capacity. Moving to CBTC is really the only way to increase trains per hour.

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I am just amazed that they're at capacity given how poorly the (2) runs in the Bronx and in general.

 

Don't forget all the bottlenecks along the line: Nostrand Junction where the (2), (3) and (5) trains all merge at grade, 142 St Junction where downtown (2) trains and uptown (3) trains cross at grade, the inefficient terminals, etc. 

Edited by Mysterious2train

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The (2) runs poorly, but it is still more affordable than the car, express bus, or Metro-North.

 

 

AFAIK that technology upgrade was for reliability, not increasing capacity. Moving to CBTC is really the only way to increase trains per hour.

I guess that depends on how much you value your time.... For trips to the North Bronx, I've opted for Metro-North and the express bus.  The (2) is local in the Bronx and excruciatingly slow and unreliable... In Manhattan below 96th street, I rarely ride the (2) because it simply packed to the rafters.  I usually get the (3) and will transfer further north if I need to take the (2).  Speaking of more affordable, that's a big reason why the (1) has become so crowded. Riders in my area for certain are switching to the subway in some cases because the express buses are too slow in the morning.  Some have switched to Metro-North as well, but from what I've seen more and more people are riding the local buses to the (1) train.  

 

Don't forget all the bottlenecks along the line: Nostrand Junction where the (2), (3) and (5) trains all merge at grade, 142 St Junction where downtown (2) trains and uptown (3) trains cross at grade, the inefficient terminals, etc. 

Long term something will have to be done.  The (2) line is experiencing more ridership than it can handle in part because of rising housing costs, which is further exacerbating an already bad problem.  

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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Honestly we need more subway lines to be built if we really want to address capacity on a serious scale. Too bad they cost nearly half the economy to build.

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I'm guessing they're intending on opening South Ferry III in June as well.... Otherwise they wouldn't mention running (2) trains all the way to the Ferry, would they?

Edited by paulrivera

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Honestly we need more subway lines to be built if we really want to address capacity on a serious scale. Too bad they cost nearly half the economy to build.

If that's gonna happen, the (MTA) is gonna need new subway cars and yards to meet up with capacity. Don't forget the political strength of doing such things as well.

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The existing subways outside of Lexington Ave and Queens Blvd aren't being used to their full capacity. There's a few creative ways to increase capacity without building new tunnels.

  • Easiest: Articulated trains can increase capacity by up to 10 percent
  • Next easiest: Install CBTC and modern signal system to get most lines to 30 tph
  • Hardest: Rebuilding terminals and junctions that are the current chokepoints

Overall, these subway service changes seem reasonable.

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Here's the real elephant in the room when it comes to the (2). The line makes 49 stops on it's normal weekday route despite being an express in Manhattan and peak hour trips have scheduled run times in excess of 100 minutes. The line is just too long for it's own good and until that is straightened out it will always have it's problems. 

 

The other elephant in the room is that the (3) is little more than a supplement to the (2) which means that the real star of the show on the 7 Av express corridor only runs 12 TPH during the peak. That is the reason why you're getting all that overcrowding. 

Edited by JubaionBx12+SBS
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I wont be surprised if the  (5) runs at 8 minute headways while the  (2) runs at 12 minute headways for this G.O. Imagine they shutdown Lenox Av and Clark St tubes at the same time. 

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