Archive for the tag 'b trains'



THE COMMUTE: Last week I described my harrowing trip home from a Broadway play due to detours and inadequate road signage. This week I had a similar experience returning from a play on the Upper East Side of Manhattan using the subway.

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This Is No Way To Plan

Burgeoning F train ridership. Source: abrunete / Flickr

THE COMMUTE: I have often been critical of MTA route planning. Last week I asked what faulty methodology resulted in truncating the B4 at Coney Island Hospital on weekends, middays and evenings when service was cutback in 2010. The original plan was to truncate the line at all times until I provided data showing that the route was well utilized on weekdays at 2:30 p.m., with seated or nearly seated loads at Ocean Parkway and Neptune Avenue. Despite that data, the MTA still decided to reroute the bus from Neptune to Avenue Z where it was already served by the B36. That decision was rescinded two weeks ago.

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Everyone here at the Sheepshead Bites offices has been staring at this hypnotic video we found of a simulated B Train running express from Prospect Park to Brighton Beach in a virtual environment.

For those wondering what you’re looking at, it’s not footage of a hijacked subway via some Grand Theft Auto-type video game. Rather, it’s a video capturing OpenBVE software in its full glory.

OpenBVE is an open source program for Windows, Linux and Mac created by dedicated train simulating enthusiasts. This particular video was created by AlognquinRider810.

According to Wikipedia:

Users operate trains from the cab controls viewing the track ahead, or from trackside with a roaming view of the 3D exterior and railway scenery. The goal is to successfully drive a selected railway route and train, obeying signals, making stops on schedule, picking up and dropping off passengers, without speeding or derailing.

So, it’s like the opposite of Grand Theft Auto. That’s all well and good, but wouldn’t it be more fun to see what happens when you send the B Train hurtling at high speed off the rails of the elevated platform? I mean, for educational purposes, of course.

For those without the patience to see their local train stop in full 3D glory, skip to 10:45 to see the train pull into the Sheepshead Bay station.

CORRECTION (5/30/2012 @ 11:14 a.m.): Looks like our source was flat out wrong on this one. We just got a call from Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo, who told us that this is not part of the MTA track work as we originally stated, but rather a staging area for construction on the Belt Parkway.

The project is overseen by the Department of Design and Construction, and will be a rehabilitation of the Belt Parkway from Coney Island Avenue to Knapp Street. At a cost of $8.3 million, it includes the milling and repaving of the road in two sections – Coney Island Avenue to East 26th Street, and Brown Street to Knapp Street. They will also be replacing or making repairs to catch basins, storm sewers and landscaping, according to a city notice.

Construction is currently slated to finish by November 2012.nue and East 26th Street, and Brown and Knapp Streets.

Original post:

MTA workers have spent the last week or two preparing a new staging site for construction along the Brighton Line, underneath the tracks adjacent to the westbound Belt Parkway.

Trucks and other equipment will enter the site from Shore Parkway at East 14th Street, a congested stretch of roadway prone to speeders, nestled in between an exit ramp and an entrance ramp to the highway.

The authority set up a similar staging area in March two blocks away, on East 15th Street between Avenue Y and Avenue Z, and work on that section appears to be wrapping up.

Source: urbanshoregirl / Flickr

Otherwise known as “The Good, The Bad And The Inconvenient,” here are the service changes on the B and Q lines for this week, as well as a heads up on Q line service changes for next week. This week’s changes are in effect for today through Friday. You’ve been duly warned.


From 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., March 12-16, Manhattan-bound B trains will run local from Brighton Beach to Kings Highway. You should allow for additional travel time.



From 10:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., March 12-16, there will be no Q trains between 57th Street-7th Avenue in Manhattan and Ditmars Boulevard in Queens. Take the N train instead.

From 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., March 12-16, Coney Island-bound Q trains will skip Avenue U and Neck Road


From 11:45 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., March 12-16, Q train service will operate in two sections:

  1. Between 57th Street-7th Avenue and Atlantic Avenue-Pacific Street.
  2. Between Atlantic Avenue and Stillwell Avenue, every 30 minutes.

To continue your trip, transfer via passageway at Atlantic Avenue-Pacific Street.

Next Week:

From 12:01 a.m. to 5:00 a.m., Tuesday to Friday, March 13-16, Manhattan-bound Q trains will skip DeKalb Avenue.


Source: Roosevelt Islander

THE COMMUTE: If you do not have an unlimited pass and there are insufficient funds on your MetroCard, do not attempt to pay your bus fare by combining two cards. The MTA will deduct the remaining amount from the first card and a full fare from the second card, not just the amount you are short. That’s what Queens Assemblywoman Grace Meng discovered last week.

That is because the system was not set up to allow you to combine cards but to use cash to complete your transaction. This is not a problem on the trains since turnstiles do not accept cash. The system works fine if you are short just a quarter or so. But what if you are short $1.30? (Few people will have that amount of exact change in their wallet.) You would lose $0.95 and therefore would be paying $3.20 for a $2.25 ride if you use a second card. The problem is more serious on express buses where you could lose $5 if you do not have an extra $0.50 if you think using a second card will deduct only the money you still owe.

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THE COMMUTE: When the MTA severely cut bus service in June 2010, they did so to help close a budget gap. Their official line was that they were cutting service to improve efficiency and to inconvenience as few customers as possible. Based on a methodology that was never fully disclosed, which I disputed in detail, connections were severed between neighborhoods, increasing the number of trips requiring three buses. By doing so, a double fare was now required for those trips (by those without unlimited ride MetroCards) and the MTA quietly reversed a policy in effect since the 1930s that no service changes would require riders to pay additional fares.

Now the MTA has quietly released a 115-page report [PDF], neatly tucked away on its website evaluating the effects of those changes.

Keep reading for Allan’s breakdown and analysis of the report…

Today’s special edition of The Commute is a follow-up on yesterday’s column on suggestions and critiques of the planned Select Bus Service (SBS) route on Nostrand Avenue, which will replace the B44 Limited.

THE COMMUTE: Last week I made a slight error by stating that the average SBS passenger making a 2.3-mile trip will save an average of 1.7 minutes. A Sheepshead Bites reader brought the error to my attention. The correct estimated time savings is 4.4 minutes compared to current service. Part of this savings is not due to SBS but because the SBS will be operating slightly more often than the current Limited bus. The 1.7 number referred to the time that would be saved if the Limited service were to be increased to the level of frequency provided by the SBS without any of the SBS features. In other words, the SBS by itself when discounting the additional bus frequency will save the average passenger 2.7 additional minutes.

This is the average time savings for everyone using the B44, not only SBS passengers, and includes additional walking time to and from bus stops. One of my concerns before attending the Open House was that the MTA was not taking walking time into consideration and was only measuring bus travel time savings.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at how the MTA/DOT came to their conclusions presented at last week’s SBS Nostrand Avenue route hearing, and why they might be lacking.

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THE COMMUTE: No one is getting married, but if you want the MTA to make any changes to the proposed Select Bus Service (SBS) route on Nostrand Avenue and Rogers Avenue planned for early 2013, now is the time to let them know and they will listen to you. At least that is what they told me last week at their Open House at Brooklyn College. Your opportunity to speak up will be on October 25 at Community Board 15′s monthly meeting.

I went to the Open House with a list of questions to ask of the MTA regarding their plan, and I promised to tell you their answers this week. I was able to ask most of the questions but not all. Don’t let this plan hit you by surprise. Learn now what they are planning and, better yet, read between the lines to learn what they are not telling you. I hope to help you with that.

Read on to find out what are the changes you should be requesting.

UPDATE: (3:25 p.m.): From Notify NYC:

All regular service has resumed on the B, D and Q trains after this morning’s derailment of a work train just north of the Dekalb Avenue station in Brooklyn. Expect residual delays.

UPDATE (9:38 a.m.): Downtown [Q] train service has resumed its regular route.

At around 6:00 a.m. this morning, a work train came off the B tracks at Dekalb Avenue Station, putting the entire line out of commission and creating delays along several other lines. Here are the changes currently in effect, via

Both directions, there is no  train service between the Brighton Beach Station and the Bedford Park Boulevard Station.

Downtown  trains are running on the  line from the 59th Street-Columbus Circle Station to the Jay Street-Metrotech Station then on the  line to the Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue Station.

Both directions,  trains run local from the 59th Street-Columbus Circle Station to the Bedford Park Boulevard Station.

Downtown  and  trains are running on the  line from the Canal Street Station to the Dekalb Avenue Station.

Select downtown  trains are running on the  line from the 36th Street Station (Brooklyn) to the Coney Island-Stilwell Avenue Station.

Please expect delays in service on the  and  trains at this time.

Please allow additional travel time.