The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Monday released its largest capital plan ever, with a proposed investment of $51.5 billion in the city’s transit system. The 2020-2024 capital plan, which requires board approval, would invest a whopping $40 billion in subway and buses alone, which includes fully funding the long-awaited second phase of the Second Avenue Subway. In phase two, three new subway stations would be built with the Q train extending to East Harlem.
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As of today, the MTA has added four express trains to the F line during morning and evening rush hours. Two F trains will run express between the Church Avenue and Jay Street-MetroTech stations, stopping only at Seventh Avenue, during the morning and evening rush hours. Additionally, two Manhattan-bound trains will run express from Church Avenue between 7 and 7:30 a.m. and two Coney Island-bound trains will run the express route between 5 and 5:40 p.m. Previously, as the Daily News reports, the F train’s route was the longest in the whole subway system without an express option.
After an abysmal couple of summers, New York City’s subway system finally saw significant improvement in service this year, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Thursday. According to data from the agency set to release in full next week, the on-time performance rate reached 84 percent on weekdays last month, up from just over 68 percent last August. That is the highest on-time performance, which measures the percentage of trains that reach their terminal location within five minutes of their planned arrival, recorded in roughly six years.
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The MTA’s five-year capital spending plan for major system-wide repairs from 2020 to 2024 has been under increasing scrutiny from public transportation watchdog groups, who have asked the MTA to provide more detailed priorities and policy goals for the project. The organizations–including the newly-formed Build Trust Campaign made up of TransitCenter, the Riders Alliance, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign and Reinvent Albany, released a report Monday asking that the MTA and Gov. Andrew Cuomo significantly improve transparency in planning the project and provide a fiscal roadmap to outline the plans for major repairs to the subway, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North, and the bridges and tunnels that fall under MTA management, Curbed reports. Cuomo also issued a letter to the MTA board Monday outlining his own list of priorities for the Capital Plan.
Photo by Stephen Rees on Flickr
While the L train slowdown has gone largely unnoticed so far by commuters, the MTA is throwing an unexpected wrench in next weekend’s travel plans. The L train will not run between Manhattan and Brooklyn from Friday, Sept. 13 to early Monday, Sept. 16 to make space for new accessibility projects, the agency announced on Wednesday. The shutdown allows the MTA to install an escalator at the Union Square station and make the L and F, M platform at 14th Street-6th Avenue more accessible.
Photo via jseliger2 on Flickr
President Donald Trump offered to help complete the second phase of the Second Avenue Subway in a tweet on Saturday, surprising New York officials who said no agreement had been reached. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is still seeking federal funding for phase two, which extends the Q line from its terminus at 96th Street north to 125th Street in East Harlem and is estimated to cost $6 billion.
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Service changes will get a little more painful this weekend as the MTA continues to upgrade the 1, 2, and 3 track switches north of the 96 Street station. The ongoing work is entering its final phase this weekend and will bring serious service outages. All 1, 2, and 3 service between Harlem and downtown Brooklyn will be suspended this week and next, beginning late each Friday evening.
A Brooklyn council member wants straphangers to ride the city’s transit system for free on a handful of major holidays. Council Member Justin Brannan, who represents the 43rd District, will introduce next week a non-binding resolution that requests the Metropolitan Transportation Authority offer free subway and bus rides during six holidays, as the New York Post first reported.
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After committing to install four elevators at the 14th Street and Sixth Avenue F, M, and L stop as part of a lawsuit settlement, the MTA has now announced it will also be adding elevators to access the 1, 2, and 3 platforms at Seventh Avenue. As The City reported, the 14th Street subway complex between Sixth and Seventh Avenues is one of the busiest stops in the city, servicing more than 48,000 riders a day. The expanded project will make the entire complex fully accessible, though it won’t happen overnight.
The board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which has the power to increase fares and approve service changes, looks nothing like the straphangers who use the transit system it oversees. A report released this week by the government watchdog group Reinvent Albany found MTA board members are richer, whiter, and more likely to live outside of New York City than riders.