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Around the Horn

CBS2 Exclusive: $275-Million Facelift Will Make Subway Stations More Accessible

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Byford has put the 42nd Street Shuttle Rebuild project on the fast track...

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The gap has existed for a jaw dropping 100 years. The platform curves at odd angles because officials say it was first built as a tunnel, not a subway station, and even though there are plenty of warnings.

“The warnings, that doesn’t matter with the warnings, doesn’t mean anything too wide. Just yesterday I had to help a lady,” LaMart Applewhite said.

CBS2’s Kramer started investigating the gaps after a Facebook post lamenting the difficulty experienced by commuters.

The transit authority’s new president Andy Byford has made station accessibility a top priority. He’s developed a $275-million plan to fix the shuttle and say goodbye the gaps for good.

“It will take time to do,” he said. “They’ll get started at the end of the year. It will take until 2021, to actually rectify the gaps, because what we’re doing is straightening the platform.”

Byford rides the trains daily. He recently took the shuttle and feels the commuters’ pain.

“I stepped carefully,” he said.

When the project is complete, the MTA will be able to add more cars to the shuttle, going from four to six.

The transit authority president said he’s embarking on a $1-billion project to make 19 more stations accessible to people with disabilities. Currently 118 of the system’s 472 stations are fully accessible.

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2018/02/19/subway-station-accessibility/

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Isn't track 4 already gapless? This shuttle rebuild just seems like a waste of money to end up with something that isn't better than the current setup.

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Interesting, however I still feel that the money should be used towards something even better. The (7) serves as an alternative to the 42nd street shuttle so I think that shouldn’t be a top priority. 

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3 hours ago, P3F said:

Isn't track 4 already gapless? This shuttle rebuild just seems like a waste of money to end up with something that isn't better than the current setup.

If I remember correctly, under this plan, track 4 would be taken out of service.

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5 hours ago, MTA Bus said:

If I remember correctly, under this plan, track 4 would be taken out of service.

Which goes further to show what a waste it is... Keep the two tracks that have gaps and remove the track that doesn't!

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I don't believe there is any intention of keeping track 4 in service once the platforms for tracks 1 and 3 are extended. The wording is a little wonky, but it doesn't sound like the plan has changed all that much from its initial proposal besides being "fast tracked". There's no room to expand track 4 without hitting something. The other tracks however have plenty of room to expand eastward, especially if they mirror the platform setup at Grand Central.

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9 hours ago, NewFlyer 230 said:

Interesting, however I still feel that the money should be used towards something even better. The (7) serves as an alternative to the 42nd street shuttle so I think that shouldn’t be a top priority. 

The (7) is not an alternative when the platform at Grand Central is not accessible.....

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28 minutes ago, Jdog14 said:

The (7) is not an alternative when the platform at Grand Central is not accessible.....

I didn’t know that, I don’t know why putting an elevator at a major station like that wasn’t a huge priority. The MTA is so slow to do things and even when they do some things (ex. countdown clocks) sometimes they aren’t done right. 

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2 minutes ago, NewFlyer 230 said:

I didn’t know that, I don’t know why putting an elevator at a major station like that wasn’t a huge priority. The MTA is so slow to do things and even when they do some things (ex. countdown clocks) sometimes they aren’t done right. 

 

Grand Central on the 7 is a tricky place to put an elevator. It would require deep boring, and may not even be possible at all without a massive cost. 

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2 hours ago, Lance said:

I don't believe there is any intention of keeping track 4 in service once the platforms for tracks 1 and 3 are extended. The wording is a little wonky, but it doesn't sound like the plan has changed all that much from its initial proposal besides being "fast tracked". There's no room to expand track 4 without hitting something. The other tracks however have plenty of room to expand eastward, especially if they mirror the platform setup at Grand Central.

There's a bit of unused platform on the west end, past the pedestrian bridge.

On the eastern end, though, what even is behind that wall? Somebody's basement? 

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275 million?! I totally agree the improvements should be made (and a long while ago at that), but if that's the cheapest the MTA can go, i'll be smh for a long while. I think it's somewhat pricey even for a busy corridor like this and has to last a while. Maybe it's me, but I definitely got culture shocked looking at that price :blink:

Edited by NoHacksJustKhaks

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6 hours ago, Jdog14 said:

The (7) is not an alternative when the platform at Grand Central is not accessible.....

Grand Central is fully accessible. I don't know where this rumor is coming from. 

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18 hours ago, NewFlyer 230 said:

The (7) serves as an alternative to the 42nd street shuttle so I think that shouldn’t be a top priority. 

Yeah but it's a worse option for getting between the two stations. It makes a stop at 5th, and getting to and from the (7) platform at GC is long and meandering, while the (S) drops you off right near the main terminal. The (S) also leaves you closer to the (N)(R)(Q)(W)(1)(2)(3) platforms at Times Sq. There's a reason why it's so packed all the time.

Edited by kosciusko

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In terms of recent MTA (and other regional) transit projects, $275m is on the more reasonable end. Should it be lower? Of course. But while SAS phase 2 is supposed to be $6b, East Side Access is a $12b and counting money pit, and the mayor can't think of any solution other than a $2.5b streetcar to nowhere, $275m for a long-standing proposal to make a very busy line fully accessible and more capable isn't terribly offensive.

Especially since the (7) is no alternative: it's both overcrowded and out of the way at both TSQ and GCT. The (S) needs the upgrade. I'd like to see them automate it for even higher capacity, and while TSQ is being reconstructed, the shuttle would be a decent place to trial platform screen doors.

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On 2/20/2018 at 12:54 AM, P3F said:

Isn't track 4 already gapless? This shuttle rebuild just seems like a waste of money to end up with something that isn't better than the current setup.

IDU why they don't make it a two-track line with island platforms and three crossover switches so people don't have to dash to figure out which train to get on, but that's just me.

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12 minutes ago, Deucey said:

IDU why they don't make it a two-track line with island platforms and three crossover switches so people don't have to dash to figure out which train to get on, but that's just me.

They could eliminate the dash by announcing track numbers in advance... like, there's a schedule; there's no need to withhold the information until the train is almost arriving.

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21 minutes ago, P3F said:

They could eliminate the dash by announcing track numbers in advance... like, there's a schedule; there's no need to withhold the information until the train is almost arriving.

And at 34th St on 7th Av/8th Av, and Barclay's on the IRT, they could tell us on the island platforms the expresses are stopping at the locals and locals at the expresses and make us run up and down the stairs to get to the train too.

Or they could just build Island platforms so all one has to do is turn one way or the other to get on an express or local. Won't happen at the stations I mentioned because of capacity, but doing that with the (S) would make the dash disappear, the station safer in regards to slip and trip injuries, and make the line more efficient in operation.

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Re: Cost and configuration

The bulk of the cost will likely be to reconfigure the shuttle platform to better handle passenger flow. Right now, I'm sure everyone's aware that, unless the train departs from track 1, one has to power walk to get to the other tracks. I've long since learned that if those clocks say less than two minutes and the train is leaving on track 4, it's a lost cause. The current setup hasn't really been improved upon since being converted into shuttle operation nearly a century ago. (Just realized the IRT H-system turns 100 this year.)

In order to convert the current shuttle setup into a two track operation, they are expected to expand the platform between tracks 1 and 3, possibly mirroring the setup at Grand Central, and offer connections to the 6th Avenue line (whether it's in-system or not has not been determined), both of which will require supporting 42nd Street above. Also included in those costs are elevator installation and general station rehab. Remember, this is a very busy station and it hasn't seen a real rehab since the entire complex was worked on back in the '90s.

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2 hours ago, Deucey said:

And at 34th St on 7th Av/8th Av, and Barclay's on the IRT, they could tell us on the island platforms the expresses are stopping at the locals and locals at the expresses and make us run up and down the stairs to get to the train too.

Or they could just build Island platforms so all one has to do is turn one way or the other to get on an express or local. Won't happen at the stations I mentioned because of capacity, but doing that with the (S) would make the dash disappear, the station safer in regards to slip and trip injuries, and make the line more efficient in operation.

Yeah, you just made a point and then demolished it all by yourself.

The one other thing I will say, not directly related, is that Track 1 is currently convenient because you don't have to walk around it to get on a train. If they make Track 1 trains open doors only where Track 2 used to be, everybody is going to have to walk around Track 1 to get on a train. Opening doors on both sides would extend the dwell time since that's 12 cars' worth of doors that need to be closed.

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16 hours ago, Deucey said:

And at 34th St on 7th Av/8th Av, and Barclay's on the IRT, they could tell us on the island platforms the expresses are stopping at the locals and locals at the expresses and make us run up and down the stairs to get to the train too.

Or they could just build Island platforms so all one has to do is turn one way or the other to get on an express or local. Won't happen at the stations I mentioned because of capacity, but doing that with the (S) would make the dash disappear, the station safer in regards to slip and trip injuries, and make the line more efficient in operation.

Those particular stations were built that way specifically to discourage overcrowding at major commuter rail transfers. You have to pick between the local and the express, and that's the point.

If you really need the cross platform transfer, Nevins and Times Square are a stopk away respectively.

Edited by bobtehpanda

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1 hour ago, bobtehpanda said:

Those particular stations were built that way specifically to discourage overcrowding at major commuter rail transfers. You have to pick between the local and the express, and that's the point.

If you really need the cross platform transfer, Nevins and Times Square are a stopk away respectively.

Not to mention being able to have three platforms at those stations instead of two.  

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On 2/20/2018 at 7:48 PM, kosciusko said:

Yeah but it's a worse option for getting between the two stations. It makes a stop at 5th, and getting to and from the (7) platform at GC is long and meandering, while the (S) drops you off right near the main terminal. The (S) also leaves you closer to the (N)(R)(Q)(W)(1)(2)(3) platforms at Times Sq. There's a reason why it's so packed all the time.

The (7) is directly below the (1)(2)(3) at Times Square and directly below the (4)(5)(6) at Grand Central (or at least, if I remember the station layout correctly).

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