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Via Garibaldi 8

Aspiring Subway Riders Turned Away From Queens N/W Station At Rush Hour

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Aspiring Subway Riders Turned Away From Queens N/W Station At Rush Hour

BY CLAIRE LAMPEN IN NEWS ON DEC 11, 2018 10:30 AM

121118subway.jpg

The 30th Avenue stop in Astoria this morning. (Courtesy @mineralcomet)

This morning's commute is canceled, at least for those unfortunate souls who attempted (and may still be attempting) to take the N/W line from Queens. Straphangers who showed up at the Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard stop were reportedly turned away after lining up just to enter the station at rush hour. We're told that MTA officials abruptly informed crowds that trains had stopped running and they'd need to find an alternate route, which—from that particular vantage point—does not exist, at least not by subway train.

*Cue MTA cackle into the void*

https://twitter.com/dreamstate08/status/1072496653276454913/photo/1

Frustrated rider Josh Abrams told Gothamist that he waited for 20 minutes to get onto the platform at Astoria-Ditmars, his daily stop for over eight years. "I've never seen it this bad," he said. Around 8:19 a.m., Abrams continued, officials announced that everyone could just forget it: There would be no trains to Manhattan, and all these would-be passengers would need to find another way to get to work. "But they didn't bother to suggest one," Abrams added, "probably because there was no R service either." Even if there were, though, that wouldn't have immediately solved anyone's problem. Just take a look at the map as a sad trombone calls out somewhere in the distance:

lolmta121118.png

(MTA Info)

Piling insult on top of egregious inconvenience, the New York City Transit Authority's Twitter apparently presented a different version of events. "Of course the subway Twitter feed was lying to us, claiming that trains were running with delays when they were not running at all," Abrams said. "I had to give up trying to get to work this morning since it was just hopeless at that point."

Eventually, the transit authority did correct course, informing passengers that the wild delays they'd weathered stemmed from switch trouble in Brooklyn, which bled all the way up the line to Queens. As a result, the D, N, R, and W lines were perfectly screwed, along with everyone who attempted to ride them over the East River. Curiously enough, the MTA directed the masses to the E and F lines, which, again, look at the map. I mean come on.

Absent any other affordable choice, people flocked to the buses, triggering a separate shitshow:

https://twitter.com/NewsMaven/status/1072480449878999041/photo/1

While the MTA presumably hunted for the source of this problem, stations overflowed with diverted straphangers waiting on trains and answers that would not come. "You cannot walk the platform or exit safely," one Twitter user complained. "This happens far too often."

https://twitter.com/Ssssaaaammmmmmm/status/1072489824584642562/photo/1

Apparently, a select few straphangers did eventually "enjoy" a train surprise? Who the hell knows.

The MTA seems to still be working out this particular kink, but I for one will be shattered if this latest collapse turns out to be the direct result of Brooklyn's newly installed fast trains. Please can we have just one nice and efficient thing to look forward to in this mandatory subway hell? Please??

Source: http://gothamist.com/2018/12/11/queens_subway_commute.php?fbclid=IwAR064NZlCJAh3ud0B-HAs-8syfECsb9Umk34ooynqR3zQAZ6DVc8rAEMclo

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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(F) trains weren’t going into manhattan and were advised to take the (E) 🤦🏽‍♂️

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5 minutes ago, VIP said:

(F) trains weren’t going into manhattan and were advised to take the (E) 🤦🏽‍♂️

I just think it's a damn shame what's going on.  Yesterday I had a meeting and I completely avoided the subway and both rides were a pleasure.  Today and tomorrow theoretically I should be taking the subway during the rush, but won't be. I'm going to opt for the express bus and then back track a few stops on the subway.  I have to be in Hudson Heights and the (A) train is a mess during the rush.  At least I can get a seat and relax.

I've been hearing similar stories on the (7) line.  Apparently the (7) is so bad at night that people back track to Hudson Yards just to get on the train to get back to Queens, otherwise they can't get on.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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4 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I just think it's a damn shame what's going on.  Yesterday I had a meeting and I completely avoided the subway and both rides were a pleasure.  Today and tomorrow theoretically I should be taking the subway during the rush, but won't be. I'm going to opt for the express bus and then back track a few stops on the subway.  I have to be in Hudson Heights and the (A) train is a mess during the rush.  At least I can get a seat and relax.

That sounds like a great idea. Save yourself the headache. It’s like More people decided to use the subway or MTA is not being honest as to why and how these catastrophic delays are occurring. It’s really getting tired and old already. Funding needs to be evaluated as well. 

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5 minutes ago, VIP said:

That sounds like a great idea. Save yourself the headache. It’s like More people decided to use the subway or MTA is not being honest as to why and how these catastrophic delays are occurring. It’s really getting tired and old already. Funding needs to be evaluated as well. 

I think they simply don't have capacity to handle rush hour crowds. This has been going on for a few years.  I started noticing it then on several lines and started altering my commute.  When I am offered tutoring gigs, I tell the parents these are the hours that work for me and if there's no flexibility in terms of arrival because of the abysmal subway service then I won't be able to tutor your kid.  I would usually tutor after I leave my office when I decide to during the week, but now I push it back later because the trains are unbearable well after 6pm.  The lines on the platform are just ridiculous and then the gaps between trains are so long that there's no point in even trying to push your way on.  Mind you... People are indeed leaving the system via Uber, Lyft, biking, etc., but they still can't meet demand. That's what's scary.  I think it will take at least several more months before we can see any relief and then some.  

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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I was stuck in this stupid mess yesterday. When I got on at Ditmars at around 8:30, there was a train already in the station. I got on and a couple of minutes later, I heard the conductor say that one of the cars was out of service. Not sure what happened, or if it was related to the mess. Another train arrived, and the station announcement is "Take the train on the supermarket [Key Food] side". So many move to that train. However, neither train left the station for about 15 minutes.

The crowding at Ditmars was made worse because one staircase is closed, so everyone has to use the south staircase to come up to the platform. There is a strong tendency for people to just crowd around that stair. But Ditmars paled in comparison to 30th Avenue. Only about 4 people were able to get on my car. The platform was dangerously crowded. Queensboro was a little better, because some got off, but many were waiting to get in.

The dwell times were about 3 minutes or so. Just a crappy commute.

I just don't understand what the problem was up here. Why were the trains at Ditmars held for 15-20 minutes? Was it a problem with one of the trains? My (W) train went local, why couldn't it just run express on the local track for this? 

Edited by GojiMet86

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That's the other thing that's been insane. Last week the crowding at Grand Central during rush hour was so bad that I was almost certain that someone would fall off of the platform.  I waited for one or two (6) trains to crawl into the station, squeezed my way on and then fought my way off at Union Square, and it was supposedly "Good Service" then. The (B)(D) is the same deal. Let a few trains pass and then you can get on one assuming they come because if they don't forget it.

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I wanna know where all these people came from... a couple of years ago shit service wasn’t this shitty. I think that “spare factor” practice needs to be transformed into empty “put ins”  and alleviate crowds and over crowded platforms. 

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6 minutes ago, VIP said:

I wanna know where all these people came from... a couple of years ago shit service wasn’t this shitty. I think that “spare factor” practice needs to be transformed into empty “put ins”  and alleviate crowds and over crowded platforms. 

It's simple. We've had population growth and especially in areas that were previously industrial.  Look at parts of Williamsburg, Bushwick, Long Island City, etc., that were mainly industrial. They are now HEAVILY residential and ALL of these people now take the subways that have moved there. We have no new subway lines to speak of and literally a handful of new stations in Manhattan. It should come as no surprise that the subway can't cope.  The developers are in bed with de Blasio and the City is laughing at all of the money coming in but they aren't requiring these developers to do squat, all the while claiming that the City has no money to contribute to the (MTA) .  Meanwhile there is money for sweetheart deals for Amazon, and Amazon isn't required to spend a dime on transportation infrastructure. It's absurd... Jeff Bezos has more money than God, yet he's getting a tax break from NYC. <_<

 

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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3 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

It's simple. We've had population growth and especially in areas that were previously industrial.  Look at parts of Williamsburg, Bushwick, Long Island City, etc., that were mainly industrial. They are now HEAVILY residential and ALL of these people now take the subways that have moved there. We have no new subway lines to speak of and literally a handful of new stations in Manhattan. It should come as no surprise that the subway can't cope.  The developers are in bed with de Blasio and the City is laughing at all of the money coming in but they aren't requiring these developers to do squat, all the while claiming that the City has no money to contribute to the (MTA) .  Meanwhile there is money for sweetheart deals for Amazon, and Amazon isn't required to spend a dime on transportation infrastructure. It's absurd... Jeff Bezos has more money than God, yet he's getting a tax break from NYC. <_<

I actually did some homework and you beat me to the response lol. Your theory is in fact correct. It’s a sad thing what’s becoming of New York city and Transit. 

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2 minutes ago, VIP said:

I actually did some homework and you beat me to the response lol. Your theory is in fact correct. It’s a sad thing what’s becoming of New York city and Transit. 

Gentrification has also spurred people moving further out increasing population there as well, putting more strain on lines that didn't have issues before. The (1) train is a perfect example of this.  You have all of the people that come down from Westchester (they always have but there are definitely many more of them than before) packing on at 242nd because they can't afford to live in the City anymore, but also can't afford the high Metro-North fares. Go into Upper Manhattan and it's the same thing... People moving into Washington Heights, Hamilton Heights, etc. because the rents while high are still more tolerable than further south.  The (1) used to be one of the best lines in the system and now forget it. A struggle with the overcrowding.

I've noticed an increase in the number of people in my neighborhood that have stopped taking the (1) . They can't deal with the overcrowding, so they switched to Metro-North.  

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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2 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

It's simple. We've had population growth and especially in areas that were previously industrial.  Look at parts of Williamsburg, Bushwick, Long Island City, etc., that were mainly industrial. They are now HEAVILY residential and ALL of these people now take the subways that have moved there. We have no new subway lines to speak of and literally a handful of new stations in Manhattan. It should come as no surprise that the subway can't cope.  The developers are in bed with de Blasio and the City is laughing at all of the money coming in but they aren't requiring these developers to do squat, all the while claiming that the City has no money to contribute to the (MTA) .  Meanwhile there is money for sweetheart deals for Amazon, and Amazon isn't required to spend a dime on transportation infrastructure. It's absurd... Jeff Bezos has more money than God, yet he's getting a tax break from NYC. <_<

It's easy and tempting to blame population growth, but the fact of the matter is that NYC has added only about 100k residents since 2014 -- hardly some amount that the subway can't handle. I'm sure you've seen my posts in other threads on this matter, but I think this narrative that NYC popularity is what's making the subway bad really just serves to obfuscate/excuse the sheer incompetence of the people who operate the system. Peak hour loads are down, we're drowning in spare capacity...and yet service evokes my third grade science project. That's indicative of an operational issue, not some fiat of external reality. 

Development in industrial zones, btw, has largely come in areas that have (or had at the beginning of development) subway capacity to spare. Ex: Myrtle (M), 4th Ave (R), IRT South Bronx, Brooklyn (J)(Z), etc. If we ignore the frighteningly shortsighted nature of taking over industrial land for residential use (hello long haul delivery trucks), the infrastructural implications of these trends aren't all that bad, despite what many will tell you. 

Edited by RR503

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3 minutes ago, RR503 said:

It's easy and tempting to blame population growth, but the fact of the matter is that NYC has added only about 100k residents since 2014 -- hardly some amount that the subway can't handle. I'm sure you've seen my posts in other threads on this matter, but I think this narrative that NYC popularity is what's making the subway bad really just serves to obfuscate/excuse the sheer incompetence of the people who operate the system. Peak hour loads are down, we're drowning in spare capacity...and yet service evokes my third grade science project. That's indicative of an operational issue, not some fiat of external reality. 

Development in industrial zones, btw, has largely come in areas that have (or had at the beginning of development) subway capacity to spare. Ex: Myrtle (M), 4th Ave (R), IRT South Bronx, Brooklyn (J)(Z), etc. If we ignore the frighteningly shortsighted nature of taking over industrial land for residential use (hello long haul delivery trucks), the infrastructural implications of these trends aren't all that bad, despite what many will tell you. 

Actually my point was that we appear to be AT CAPACITY on some lines. At least that's what I've been hearing on here, so which is it?  For example, supposedly the (1) and several other lines are maxed out during certain periods, so if that is the case, then yes, population growth (even some 100k to the system) would put severe strain on things.  All I know is the trains are unbearable, and I'm trying to get them at various times.... Sometimes at say 05:45, sometimes after 06:00, and the madness doesn't end now until it's almost 7pm, so clearly there's a problem. I suspect that maintenance is another problem.   I don't know if you watch the board meetings, but what they're proposing is insanity... Less cleaning and maintenance... 

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1 minute ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Actually my point was that we appear to be AT CAPACITY on some lines. At least that's what I've been hearing on here, so which is it?  For example, supposedly the (1) and several other lines are maxed out during certain periods, so if that is the case, then yes, population growth (even some 100k to the system) would put severe strain on things.  All I know is the trains are unbearable, and I'm trying to get them at various times.... Sometimes at say 05:45, sometimes after 06:00, and the madness doesn't end now until it's almost 7pm, so clearly there's a problem. I suspect that maintenance is another problem.   I don't know if you watch the board meetings, but what they're proposing is insanity... Less cleaning and maintenance... 

Save for the (L), Brooklyn (F), Manhattan (2)(3) and the Manhattan Bridge trains, no line entering the core has seen a ridership increase since 1973 (and '73 was hardly a banner year for NYC...). The only line that has gained peak-hour trains over that same time period? The (L) (see here and below for more). This notion of overcrowding and the system being at (or anywhere near) capacity is an illusion created by the MTA's ops policies and service design. 

Maintenance is an issue, yes -- signal workforce was cut in 2010. But delays caused by maintenance issues only get so bad because our operating environment is such shit. People don't respond quickly and intelligently, and given high dwells/timers, there's little flex capacity with which reroutes can be done. And let's not forget that about 2/3 of all weekday subway delays are directly attributable to operations, not incidents. 

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That's crazy the overcrowding happened but not sadly surprised. City and state government needs to stop sleepwalking on transit and wake up to improve it. Once the 2020s hit, the subway is gonna need a major overhaul and some new subway lines. The network cannot stay as it is anymore. 

2 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Gentrification has also spurred people moving further out increasing population there as well, putting more strain on lines that didn't have issues before. The (1) train is a perfect example of this.  You have all of the people that come down from Westchester (they always have but there are definitely many more of them than before) packing on at 242nd because they can't afford to live in the City anymore, but also can't afford the high Metro-North fares. Go into Upper Manhattan and it's the same thing... People moving into Washington Heights, Hamilton Heights, etc. because the rents while high are still more tolerable than further south. The (1) used to be one of the best lines in the system and now forget it. A struggle with the overcrowding.

I've noticed an increase in the number of people in my neighborhood that have stopped taking the (1) . They can't deal with the overcrowding, so they switched to Metro-North.  

As a (1) train rider myself, I have seen the effects of these changes so rapidly. The crowding on it during rush hours is really bad that sometimes I had to wait for the next train to show up just to get on. Hell, I've even been on trains that have had to by-pass stops because of heavy delays. On top that, the (1) is also taking in passengers from the (2) & (3) on weekends because those are slow to show up. 

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38 minutes ago, TheNewYorkElevated said:

That's crazy the overcrowding happened but not sadly surprised. City and state government needs to stop sleepwalking on transit and wake up to improve it. Once the 2020s hit, the subway is gonna need a major overhaul and some new subway lines. The network cannot stay as it is anymore. 

As a (1) train rider myself, I have seen the effects of these changes so rapidly. The crowding on it during rush hours is really bad that sometimes I had to wait for the next train to show up just to get on. Hell, I've even been on trains that have had to by-pass stops because of heavy delays. On top that, the (1) is also taking in passengers from the (2) & (3) on weekends because those are slow to show up. 

The (1)(2)(3) on weekends north of 42nd street is HORRIBLE.  The crowding is unbelievable.  If I do take that line I try to get on at 42nd or 34th where it's more tolerable.  I also don't even consider the line during rush hour anymore.  I've had a few instances now where we were kicked off of the train at 137th street and left PACKED on the platform. I had to scramble to find another way to get to my office.  Given the layout Uptown it's the (1) or bust.

19 minutes ago, S78 via Hylan said:

It also doesn’t help that the (1) had it’s weekend daytime frequency reduced from six to eight minutes.

Interesting. i find that overall the (1) seems more frequent than the (2) and (3) on weekends.

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I'm with RR503 on this one. The ridership argument just doesn't hold water. NYC was far more Manhattan-centric and crowded in the 1940s-1960s with a similar population yet none of the nonsense you see today. Actually, as a Queens Blvd rider, I think the trains are far less crowded than I remember them being in the 2000s. I've been able to get on Queens Bound (E) trains from Queens Plaza during the peak of the rush at times. I think what's happened is the frequency has gone way down (since 2010) and the huge capital overhauls of the 1980s/1990s that rescued the system are now reaching the end of their life cycle. 

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The thing is that construction and rehabilitations are not being taken seriously anymore. It got so bad I don't even consider entering Manhattan often because of terrible delays and overcrowding. Recently instead of (4)(5) to the Bronx, now it's (a) /B67 to (J)(Z) then catch the Q44 when I'm done with my day from school. Sure the (A) and (J) and (Z) is nearly the same but honestly though it's beyond obvious that having bigger cars makes more room and I do notice a slight difference in crowds with the A and B division. 

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