MTA Advances Work On Second Avenue Subway Service


For those who miss the W Subway train...

The wonderful letter may be coming back. In fact, MTA New York City Transit is proposing to hold a public hearing on the possibility of restoring the W Subway Line in Queens and Manhattan this fall, in order to allow the Q Subway Line to begin serving the Second Avenue Subway between 63rd and 96th streets when it opens later this year.

The Second Avenue Subway’s first phase will serve the existing F Subway Line station at Lexington Av/63 St as well as three new stations at 72 St, 86 St and 96 St., integrating them as one system into the existing subway network – an unprecedented accomplishment in the MTA’s modern existence.

MTA Capital Construction will also award final contract modifications on work for the first phase in line with the established budget for the project. Both measures will be presented to the MTA Board for approval at public meetings next week.

“With every day’s work on the Second Avenue Subway, the MTA gets closer to fulfilling a promise first made to New Yorkers in 1929,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. “Opening the Second Avenue Subway will provide new options for our customers and relieve congestion on Lexington Avenue 4 Subway5 Subway6 Subway trains.”

MTA Capital Construction continues to reach important construction milestones along Second Avenue. The 96 St Station has been fully energized with a permanent power supply, after successfully switching over from temporary construction power. In addition, the project’s final track crossover was completed north of the 72 St Station, allowing trains to switch tracks when necessary.

Adding the W Subway Line to the system will provide more choices to Queens and Manhattan customers who use the Broadway N SubwayQ SubwayR Subway Lines, as well as allow New York City Transit to prepare for a seamless transition and connection of service between those lines and the Second Avenue Subway. New York City Transit is proposing to hold a public hearing on this service proposal in spring, in order to implement it by fall.

The proposed service changes would return the W Subway to Astoria, where it will operate local service into Manhattan and terminate at Whitehall St. The line would effectively replace Q Subway service in Queens. The Q Subway Line will temporarily terminate at 57 St/7 Av, but will continue to 96 St upon completion of the Second Avenue Subway. In addition, N Subway trains will operate express in Manhattan from 34 St-Herald Sq to Canal St, a change from its current local service in Manhattan. R Subway service would remain unchanged.

More details of the proposed service changes are listed below:

  •  N Subway Line: Service in Queens and Brooklyn remains the same, but trains operate express in Manhattan on weekdays during peak hours, midday and evenings.
  •  Q Subway Line: Northern terminus temporarily changed to 57 St/7 Ave until the Second Avenue Subway opens. At that point, trains will operate from 96 St in Manhattan to Coney Island-Stillwell Av in Brooklyn, stopping at: 86 St, 72 St, Lexington Av/63 St, 57 St/7 Av and all express stops on the Broadway Line in Manhattan. During late nights, the Q will run local between Brooklyn and Manhattan via the Manhattan Bridge. Service in Brooklyn remains the same.
  • R Subway Line: No service changes.
  • W Subway Line: Restoration of weekday service, making all local stops from Astoria-Ditmars Blvd to Whitehall St via the Broadway Line. No service on weekends or late night.

The proposed service changes will provide a cross-platform transfer to the F Subway Line at Lexington Av/63 St, giving customers an easy transfer to and from the Second Avenue Subway that will help alleviate current overcrowding conditions on the Lexington Avenue Line. The changes, including the restoration of the W Subway, maintain service frequency and loading guidelines for customers in Astoria and avoid significant deviations from current service that might confuse customers on those affected lines. Customers on the Broadway Line will also benefit from an increase in choices for express and local service in Manhattan.

If the changes are approved, they will be implemented in fall 2016. The new terminus for the Q Subway Line would be implemented after the Second Avenue Subway opens, with the extension of Q Subway service to 96 St.

The cost for these service changes is approximately $13.7 million annually, which has been incorporated into NYC Transit’s approved budget.

W Subway service was previously eliminated as part of service cuts implemented by the MTA in 2010 as a result of a global economic downturn that led to significant decreases in funding across all MTA agencies.