Testimony of the New York City Transit Riders Council
to the Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority
on the Proposed Second Avenue Subway Phase 1 Service Plan
Board Room, MTA Headquarters, 2 Broadway, New York, NY
April 7, 2016
Good evening. I am Christopher D. Greif, the Brooklyn Borough President’s representative on the New York City Transit Riders Council (NYCTRC). I reside in Brooklyn and travel on just about all of the subway lines and many bus lines. The NYCTRC is one of three New York State legislatively mandated councils that make up the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA (PCAC).
The NYCTRC supports the proposed restructuring and expansion of subway service to serve Phase 1 of the Second Avenue Subway. The opening of the Second Avenue Subway is a milestone that we have awaited for many years and a true cause for celebration. We do, however, have several comments on issues that we believe should be considered in the final service plan.
The Council is pleased with the restoration of W service after its elimination in the 2010 service cuts. The W train was a valuable service because it provided more capacity on the Broadway Line and additional options for riders to travel to Lower Manhattan. The restored W service is proposed to operate between Queens and Lower Manhattan. We believe that New York City Transit should remain open to the possibility of extending W service to Brooklyn during peak periods. This would provide more frequent service between Manhattan and Brooklyn, and could provide for ridership growth as Brooklyn continues to increase in population.
We are also pleased that restoring W service will allow NYC Transit to provide additional express service in Manhattan on the Broadway Line. The proposed shift of the N to express tracks south of 42nd Street would give riders additional opportunities to choose the service that best meets their needs.
The NYCTRC understands that W service will likely be restored in advance of the opening of the Second Avenue Subway, and at this time the Q train would end at a temporary terminal at 57th Street and 7th Avenue. We ask that you be particularly sensitive to the impact of turning Q trains in Manhattan on other lines that share track with the Q. NYC Transit should ensure that Q train operations do not force other riders to be delayed, and we ask NYC Transit to pay particular attention to these issues.
Thank you for your attention to the views of the New York City Transit Riders Council.