Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Today's letter to the MTA

Since I've already blogged about extending express service on the A line, why not take it up with the MTA? Here's what I emailed them via their Web site:

As a daily user of the 207th St station in Manhattan on the A line, I write to ask for extended express service on my line and to reduce the number of stops during express service.

I make this request because I commute almost daily from Inwood to midtown and downtown Manhattan for business and entertainment. Currently, express service on the A stops shortly after 10:30 p.m. It can be challenging to make it to the station in time if I'm working late or attending an evening event (such as the theater) and I frequently miss the last express train. Given the number of local stops between the Central Business District (or even Brooklyn) and Inwood, this considerably lengthens my commute time home.
The problem is at its worst when the late night local train inexplicably travels at a very slow pace between stations or stops completely for several minutes. This can almost double the time of my commute. I have heard other riders here in Inwood voice similar complaints.

I would propose the following changes to A express service:

1. Lengthen the hours of operation for express service--at the very least, run the A express until midnight Sunday through Thursday and 1:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Even better, run it express 24 hours per day, like the D train. This will require, of course, keeping the C train in operation during extended hours.

2. Eliminate unnecessary stops that are already covered by local service and do not provide significant transit interconnections: 145 St, Canal St, Chambers St.

3. Ultimately, as transit funds come available to make line improvements, build local tracks up to 207th St, then cover all stops between 207 and 168 streets with the C. In other words, the first four stops on the A express would be: 207th St, 168th St, 125th St, 59th St.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I would appreciate a response to my request.

Stay tuned for their response.


Anonymous said...

Although I fervently agree with your demand for extended hours for A Express service, the extension of local C service to 207th street is pretty much implausible. As you've probably noticed, there is no room for additional tracks along the A line. The middle track is used as a direction-reversal point for A trains on their way to the 207th street yards after they go out of service. Sending trains up that corridor would necessitate a new service track from the 207th street stop to the 207th street yards. If you are referring to an entirely separate tunnel for the A train, that would be a capital project for which there will never be money. Even the 2nd Avenue subway, which is far more necessary, won't be completed for a very long time, and it's been in the works for decades.

Urbanis said...

Thanks for your comment. I agree that it's highly unlikely the MTA will extend local C service to 207th St anytime soon; however, I put the request in for two reasons: (1) I wanted to articulate the vision. If we only ever ask for small improvements, small improvements is what we'll get. (2) It makes the remaining requests (extending express hours, dropping a few stops from the express route), which don't require any construction, seem far more reasonable. Again, I believe that asking for more leaves you with more when the inevitable scaling back occurs.

The B&Ts said...

When they don't even run the A train on most weekends for the foreseeable, I see little to no chance of getting the improvements you've requested. Pity.