Now for some NYCT minformation
This week (and next week) - - the first FastTrack program of 2018 started on the 8th Ave A/C/E lines in Manhattan. Among the service changes, C service ends an hour earlier, while on a separate notification shows M service ending by 9 PM.
But nothing for the B line which also ends early, by 9:30 PM. This is because A trains are partially running on the B/D lines (in both directions) between 59th Street/Columbus Circle and 34th Street/6th Ave before using the F tracks to/from Jay St Brooklyn. With E trains already running on the F line between Manhattan and Queens, and the bottleneck switching of A trains north of 34th Street, it makes operationally sense to end B service earlier before FastTrack starts. Being that the B is a disposable line with alternate A/D/Q services available, I think it's a great move to cut service on lines like the B, C and M lines before a major shutdown on one line takes place.
I just disapprove of the way NYCT is mishandling the information which customers need to know - - why tell customers only 2/3rds of the story when you tell them C and M service ends early but nothing on the B. It's not the first time it happened - - on the week of December 18-21, B service ended early - - only between Atlantic Ave and Brighton Beach in Brooklyn - - nut there was no B service at all on the entire non-rush hour length - - between 145th Street and
Brighton Beach. But wait, it gets better, a false service notice showed northbound B (and C) trains ran express from 59th Street to 145th Street. No B trains were running after 9:30 PM
The MTA has an obligation in reporting every service change, no matter how trivial it may seem. During winter storms, they tell us to monitor the MTA website for the "latest service changes". Here is a YouTube video on their Cold Weather Plan.
"Latest" does not mean two hours after the fact. Or nothing at all.
And it sure does not mean you have to use their MTA Subway Time app to find out if your train is running or not. Here is a prime example of the week of Jan 5-8 - - and from Jan 3 when the storm was going to hit the NYC area, After 6 PM, all 6 express service in the Bronx is suspended - - all trains run on the local track. But the MTA website says "Good Service" on the 4/5/6
It was not posted until after 8 PM. On January 8, when the 6 express service does not start until 8 AM, nothing was posted at all (although on the morning of Jan 4, they were actually spot on - - for once)
And if you want to find out if the B and W service ended early - - - nope, not at 8 PM. for the B and 9 PM for the W.
The weekend of January 5-8 they failed to post service changes on the A/E/F/2/3/Q lines which were affected by the remains of the Bomb Cyclone, a quick but brutal winter storm on . The A was running local in Brooklyn, the E and F were also running local in Queens (in addition to the existing planned trackwork on the E and F between Roosevelt and 71st Aves), the 2 and 3 were running local in Manhattan (alongside with the existing scheduled 2 and 3 weekend diversions) and the Q was also running local in Manhattan. In fact, it also pissed off Benjamin Kabak, a prominent transit blogger and website owner of his 2nd Ave Sagas website and Twitter accounts:
MTA website says NB Q trains are running express in Manhattan and yet the train I’m on is making local stops. The agency is confoundingly bad at providing reliable up-to-date service info these days. They were much better for a while but not any longer.— Second Ave. Sagas (@2AvSagas) January 7, 2018
But I told NYCT on Twittter 36 hours ago about the Q local in Manhattan. Ignorance is bliss.
@NYCTSubway Q local in Manhattan, Prince and 57 in both directions. Nobody told you this either.— David-Paul Gerber (@WakefieldBxDave) January 6, 2018
It's ironic that one of your own applications (MTA Subway Time) has exposed the misinformation which RCC refuses to pass down to the proper channels. pic.twitter.com/KweK56KBO1
When I asked about the B line - - NYCT responded (with a compliment, thank you)
Good afternoon David, We truly appreciate your attentiveness. As a customer with such knowledge about the subways, you know that service is often adjusted while in route and after the schedules are published. (1/2) ^IR— NYCT Subway (@NYCTSubway) January 16, 2018
Service tonight for the B and M trains are running regular and we do not anticipate any service changes. If this changes, we’ll let everyone know. (2/2) ^IR— NYCT Subway (@NYCTSubway) January 16, 2018
However, it does not address the problem of not posting the service change about B service not running after 9:30 PM
But at the end of the day with some of the more disposable lines ending early than scheduled - - and now that most trackwork now starts at 10 PM instead of around midnight, it's time for NYCT to take a hard look at cutting service - - no not to cut service across the board, but to shorten the operating hours of the 5/B/C/M/W lines to have then cease running after 9 PM. This makes it a lot easier on a set schedule basis instead of constantly posting service notices that the M ends at 8:30 PM. The frequency of these nighttime service changes does warrant a more steady and permanent set of service changes. When the L line shuts down in 2019, then the M will need to run 24/7 - - if not to Forest Hills then to 96th Street and 2nd Ave on the Q line.
Having a predictable schedule each night instead of variations in service makes it easier for customers to follow. And less chances of posting wrong or missing information/
Update: Seems like NYCT is getting better at these notifications the last week. Let's hope this will be a long term process as when they do inform customers, they can do a great job if they put their effort into it. Bravo (pun intended):