Unless you know to check the MTA website, consider yourself lost because conductors working on adjacent lines were giving wrong directions - - as well station platforms on the J which should never have been open in the first place. Here is a short timeline.
Prior to my Saturday outing, I took this picture at Fulton Street on the J - - with the wrong directions - there is no A/C at Fulton St on that same Feb 5-8 weekend. That was corrected with a new set of posters on my Saturday outing (see before and after photos, thanks to NYCT's Twitter account for getting this done)
Now for the timeline on Saturday 2/6
10:55 AM - - I arrived at Court Square and asked the conductor on the Manhattan-bound 7 train (Car #7848) if I could "transfer" to the E train here. The conductor pointed to the exit and told me "Yes, straight ahead and downstairs". These instructions are incorrect, Court Square on the E side is closed.
11:10 AM - - On a southbound 4 train (car #7704) as we arrived at 14th Street-Union Square "Transfer to the ....Q.... train" automated announcement was made - - there is no Q service in Manhattan
11:15 AM - - southbound 6 train (car 2151) at Canal Street, conductor announced only the N and R transfers. She is correct as there is no J and Q service at this complex. I walked over to the J platform via the N/Q lower level and saw plenty of posters - - and to no surprise at all, nobody reads them. Conductors on the N line were making clear announcements about no Q trains running so customers can hop on and change at Atlantic/Pacific for the Q shuttle bus or stay on to Coney Island for the Q shuttle train. I continued to the J platform where I saw things that are wrong, both by customers and NYC Transit planners - - I fault customers for not reading the paper signs about no J service and also take blame for NYCT brass not reassigning personnel to the J platform area at Canal St and Chamber Street (there is one direct exit to street from the J platform at Canal which remains open.)
If you look down and can't tell what those two red lights on the tracks mean, something is wrong with you. This is the customer' fault.
People waiting for the J - - good luck - - next J train will arrive within the next 36-40 hours. Note the posters are literally right in front of their faces.
Here is one of many posters at the Canal St complex.
When the J is not running at Canal Street, NYCT should close the Centre Street street level entrance to the J platform - it is a minor inconvenience as the entrances to the northbound 6 on Lafayette Street and the rest of the complex are just around the block, no more than 200 feet away. I went back to the southbound 6 platform where I saw the PA/CIS was showing the next 6 train was 13 minutes away. So I took a walk on Lafayette where I saw an old B51 bus Guide A Ride.at the Lafayette and Walker Street bus stop. The B51 bus route was discontinued in June, 2010
At Chambers Street on the J, there was no NYCT personnel telling customers about no J service - only tape and signs were present.
11:41 AM - - took a southbound 4 train (car #1226) one stop to Fulton - this is the ugliest part of the trip. Not only did the conductor allow the automated A/C/J transfer announcements at Fulton Street, a customer asked him how to get to Myrtle/Broadway on the J and M lines in Brooklyn. The conductor advised the customer to take uptown trains to Canal Street and "transfer" to the J - - that is soooo wrong so I told the customer to stay on the 4/5 express to 14th Street then take the L to the M (via. transfer at Myrtle/Wyckoff) instead. It feels good to come to the rescue of a lost customer when he was given bad directions by a NYCT employee - - many of these conductors should be cognizant in the major service disruptions happening on nights and weekends.
Oh and speaking about the Q not running in Manhattan and proofreading - - looks like NYCT needs to cross check better on their MTA website, This is from last weekend with information on the E diverted along the F line
This coming President's Day weekend (2/12 through early AM on 2/16) southbound F trains are running on the E line between Queens and Manhattan - - look at the directions to reach Lexington Ave and 63rd Street station from Queens - - you cannot transfer from Lexington/53 Street on the E/M to an Uptown 6 train (at 51st Street, through the transfer passage) because Uptown 6 trains are running express that same weekend - bypassing 51st Street. Proofread and cross-check, NYCT.
One big bright spot I must tell at Fulton, NYCT personnel at the 4/5 side of the A/C staircases were asking customers if they have Unlimited Metrocards and if they do, suggest going outside and walk one block over for the R to Jay Street for A/C. It's too bad the majority of times I observe are either wrong information or wrong announcements. As I made my way back to the 7 train, I got caught in the line suspension due to switch problems and there were announcements about no 7 trains between Manhattan and Queens. But guess what I heard right after that 7 suspension announcement? An automated announcement about the E line diversion which suggests to take the 7 between Queens and Manhattan. How confusing is that to hear two contradictory announcements within a minute apart?.
This coming weekend, the same J and Q sections of their respective lines will not run - - that means it's 3 days worth of wrong announcements and wrong directions by NYCT personnel. It's too bad supervisors and managers act like they never ride the subway on weekends because if they really did then I would not be catching as many mistakes as I currently do. Conductors will say or allow "transfer to the J ...Q lines" at Manhattan stations. Or maybe I should ask myself this question - - do customers ever listen to these announcements then complain when the information they rely on from the announcement is wrong?