Farewell to the Loops! “Newer” South Ferry Station Reopens!

Over the weekend, I began hearing some speculation that the New York City MTA was going to reopen the “newer” South Ferry subway station on Tuesday, June 27, 2017. If such an opening were to materialize, it would mean that the “newer” station would be open by the July 4th holiday, and would also solidify the “hints” that the MTA was dropping in their notification of weekend service changes for the (2) and (3) trains.

Sure enough, that speculation proved to be true…

…Gone are the days of hearing trains screech their wheels at the South Ferry Loops…

…Gone are the mad rush hour shuffles to get to the first five cars of the train to get off at the South Ferry Loops…

…And gone are the other knacks associated with boarding trains at the South Ferry Loops – the announcements, the conductor routines, having to maintain antiquated gap fillers, etc.

…All thanks to hard work and yes, tons of funding, to get the “newer” station back online…just a bit over four years after the loops reopened, and almost five years since SuperStorm Sandy flooded much of Lower Manhattan’s subway tunnels.

The MTA’s “Fix & Fortify” Capital Program, launched after the devastation caused by Sandy, is aimed at rebuilding and restoring storm-damaged infrastructure that the agency owns and operates. This work has encompassed numerous projects, but the South Ferry station restoration project has been among the largest to date – costing $344 million dollars (that’s over half the amount spent on constructing the station in the first place, which was $500 million). In addition to restoring storm-damaged infrastructure, the MTA is also making efforts to strengthen its transit network against future storms. One of the most noticeable features of the newly reopened South Ferry is the addition of heavy metal flood doors at the station’s entrances – designed to keep flood waters out of the station.

Other features that customers may notice different from the original opening of the “newer” station in 2009 include LED lighting (the original station had fluorescent lights), larger station name text font along the platform walls (the original station name text font was very small), and of course the addition of Wi-Fi service (so that customers can surf the web while waiting for their train). Of course, long-time customers can’t help but notice how the “newer” station handles more trains than the loops can – not to mention that all 10 cars of the train can be boarded without major issues.

So with all of these new bells and whistles in place for the “newer” South Ferry, let’s just hope that no more large storms come around and flood the station again.

SF New
Diagram of the new station setup. I originally created this diagram in 2013 when the SF loops reopened, but changes have been made to reflect the reopening of the new platform and the closure of the loops.

 

NYC Subway W-Train makes a comeback on 11/7/16

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It’s a long time coming for the New York City Subway – the return of “W” service to Manhattan and Queens!

Back in 2009, during the height of the recession – many transit agencies were forced to cut back service in order to trim down their budgets. This came at a time when transit ridership was hitting all-time highs due to higher gas prices and unstable economic conditions. The New York City MTA was not immune to these circumstances and enacted a rash of service cuts in 2010 that included the elimination of the “W”, replacing it with “Q” service in Queens.

Fast forward to 2016 and the Second Ave Subway – which has been marred in delay after delay during the past several decades – is set to open its first segment this December.  In preparation for the launch of “Q” service to 96th St, the MTA is bringing back the “W” to compensate for the loss of service that the re-alignment of the “Q” will bring to Queens. These changes in fact; will bring the “N”, “Q”, “R”, and “W” trains all back to their pre-2010 levels – except of course that the “Q” stays in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

The MTA has put together a comprehensive guide to the realigned services, including where and when you can catch each train. Please be sure to pay close attention so that you can plan out your commute. The realigned services kick off on Monday, November 7, 2016, with the first “W” trains departing at 6:30am.


south-ferry-1

Oh, that South Ferry…

Because the “W” terminates at the Whitehall St/South Ferry station in Manhattan, I thought that this would be a good time to also post an update on the reconstruction of the “newer” South Ferry station for the “1” train. As many know, the “newer” station was damaged due to Superstorm Sandy.

Since earlier this year, work officially began on gutting out and rebuilding the “newer” South Ferry “1” platforms – which lie below the “older”, curvier “1” platform. In addition, the “newer” entrances to the station’s mezzanine level have also been undergoing reconstruction – namely replacing the elevators and escalators in and out of the station. As a result – customers have been having to rely on the “older” entrances at Whitehall St and the Staten Island Ferry building to access the “older” platform for the “1”. The free connection between the “R” and the “1” continues to be maintained via the mezzanine passageway between the respective platforms.

With the return of the “W”, all station signage is being updated to reflect the connection to the revived service and this will no doubt bring forth a very rare opportunity for transit fans to get photography and video action of the “1”, “N”, “R”, and “W” trains together while the “older” “1” platforms remain open. As I will say right now, enjoy this opportunity while it lasts! Because come the fall of 2017, the “older” “1” platform will close (very likely forever this time) in lieu of the “newer” platform reopening.


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South Ferry Subway Station Update

It’s been almost two months since the New York City MTA reopened the old South Ferry Loop subway station, and customers are very delighted to see the vital transit link restored. During the past several weeks, I’ve watched at least two dozen YouTube videos (some from die-hard transit fans) of the station in action; from the trains screeching around the looped platform, to the gap fillers expanding and contracting. As I mentioned in a previous post, the 100+ year old station reopened to passengers on April 4, 2013, following the destruction of the newer replacement station that was due to SuperStorm Sandy. In this post, I will highlight some of the things that I’ve observed through news reports, other blog postings, and yes…those YouTube videos.

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Restoration of the South Ferry Loop is nearly complete!

As the month of March comes to a close, I want to take a moment to provide an update to the restoration of service to the South Ferry Loop station along the New York City Subway – Line 1.

Just a couple days ago, on March 29, the NYCMTA released a set of new photos of the restoration work nearing completion. Among the highlights, we see that there is a new connector hall between the older loop platform and the newer concourse level. This will allow customers entering from the newer station entrances to gain access to the older loop platform, as well as those exiting Line 1 trains to connect to Line R trains at Whitehall St station.

The question remains however; when will the restored station open? The timeframe still points towards the first full week of April, but no exact date has been set. Once the station does reopen, things will be a lot better for the thousands of customers who rely on the South Ferry station to get them to and from Manhattan.

In the meantime, please take a moment to view my previous posting on South Ferry.

Reopening a closed subway station: South Ferry and Cluny – La Sorbonne

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Greetings everyone!

I know I’ve been talking quite a lot about the Paris Metro as of late. However, I don’t want to leave the New York City Subway out of my discussions, as there’s much to talk about on that system. Particularly, I will be speaking of news that the New York City MTA will be, for the first time in the agency’s history, reopening a previously closed subway station.

During the lifetime of a subway system, many stations may permanently be closed to passengers for a variety of reasons. Common reasons include: the distance of the station in comparison to adjacent stations (stations too close to each other), cost of maintaining the station (too expensive to maintain and keep open), and the design of the station (either the station is obsolete or too oddball to keep open). In any case, once a subway station is permanently closed to passengers, passenger access will be permanently sealed and trains will simply pass through the corridor without stopping.

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