Monday, February 13, 2017

NYCT employees are unaware of the D and F swap.

Friday, I reported on the weekend's D and F route swaps in Manhattan and Brooklyn, I went out for a few hours on Saturday and after what I observed, NYCT managers need to stop ignoring the subways on weekends and see what's wrong.   There is a lot that is wrong, conductors on the L, 4, 6, and 7 lines not saying anything about the D/F station closures, no announcements or station personnel at certain stations and wrong information on display messages as well as the MTA press release.

The message signs and accompanying announcements about the 4 not running between Brooklyn Bridge and Utica/New Lots - - one of the suggested alternate routes is the D - - it should have been the F instead (because you can transfer between the 4 and F trains at Canal Street or 14th Street-Union Square).  Coordination and accuracy, please.

Next is the NYCT Press release, which mentions the D and F reroutes but has the standard Coney Island bound F trains bypass local stations between 18th Ave and Neptune along with instructions to take a Coney Island bound F then double back on a Manhattan bound F.  A footnote should have been used to avoid confusion because the D trains will bypass these stops (and on these weekends, Coney Island bound F train DO stop at Bay Parkway, of course the Bay Parkway on the D line).

Now the observations on Saturday 2/11 - - first on the 4 and 6 lines at Bleecker Street which is a transfer point to the D and F lines downstairs at Broadway-Lafayette.  A simple message advising customers who want F service to stay on the 4 or 6 to Canal Street would help.  For the D, they can take the shuttle bus upstairs to West 4th Street.   As for the Broadway-Lafayette station platforms, there were a lot of people waiting downstairs - - ignoring the signs upstairs.  However I didn't see any NYCT personnel at the stairs from the 4/6 Downtown and Uptown platforms.  Only one conductor actually mentioned no D and F service at Bleecker/Broadway-Lafayette complex.

5:10 PM - - Southbound 4, car #7171 - failed
5:13 PM - - Northbound 6, car #1947 - passed (the only one)
5:23 PM - - Southbound 6, car #1747 - announcement was inaudible
5:28 PM - - Northbound 4, car #7164 - no announcement
5:54 PM - - Southbound 4, car #7106 - failed
6:10 PM - - Northbound 6, car #1767 - no announcement
6:16 PM - - Southbound 4, car #1103 - failed
6:25 PM - - Northbound 6, car #1976 - failed
6:33 PM - - Southbound 4, car #1131 - failed
6:41 PM - - northbound 6,  car #7591 - failed

I took a look at Canal Street on the lower (N/Q Bridge) platform, it was a huge mess.  No directions to N trains stopping on the R platform, or suggestions to take the F to Atlantic Ave for the N - - no platform conductors anywhere to give assistance and directions.  Next stop was the L line where it is a transfer point to F trains at 6th Ave/14th Street station.  Only one conductor on the L line passed.  And you cannot have the FIND display showing routes which are not running at a certain station, such as the 5 at Union Square and the F at 6th Ave.   NOTE for L train observations, northbound is towards 8th Ave, southbound is towards Canarsie.  In case the car numbers were the same between north and south runs, I stayed on the train at 8th Ave terminal as it usually was the next train to leave with a different crew operating the train.

7:02 PM - Northbound, car 8328 - failed
7:07 PM - Southbound, car 8328 - no announcement
7:16 PM - Northbound, car 8160 - failed
7:20 PM - Southbound, car 8160 - failed
7:25 PM - Northbound, car 8372 - failed
7:30 PM - Southbound, car 8372 - no announcement
7:41 PM - Northbound, car 8181 - failed
7:51 PM - Southbound, car 8244 - passed

And then over to the 7 line, where it is a transfer point to the D and F trains at 5th Ave, a good place to briefly strand customers when 7 line conductors don't say anything about the closure, and only when these customers walk down the passageway will they find out the D and F are not running there.  Northbound is towards Flushing-Main Street, southbound is towards 34th Street-Hudson Yards.  All of these conductors failed in not announcing the D/F closure

8:10 PM - Northbound, car #7284
8:21 PM - Southbound, car #7905
8:26 PM - Northbound, car #7535
8:30 PM - Southbound, car #7340
8:40 PM - Northbound, car #7940
8:46 PM - Southbound, car #7504
8:54 PM - Northbound, car #7869
9:08 PM - Southbound, car #7397
9:12 PM - Northbound, car #7467

Going back a little bit, on the weekend of January 21-22 there was no service on the 2 and 3 lines between Manhattan and Brooklyn.  Of course, if you took the downtown A to Chambers St, you would never know that these conductors would say nothing about no 2 and 3 service at Chambers/Park Place, nor at Fulton.   Additionally, northbound F trains were rerouted on the A and C lines, and with manual announcements made, they still told customers that they can transfer to the 2 and 3 as well.   In fact, the incorrect announcements are so bad, I saw a conductor on a northbound F train say "Transfer to the 2 and 3" at both stations - - with a Train Service Supervisor right behind him, listening to his announcements - - and saying nothing about this inaccuracy. 

 There were no C trains running to these stations, C trains from 168th Street were rerouted to 2nd Ave on the F line. Only one conductor on A and Northbound-only F trains actually said that there was no 2/3 service at these stations - - out of a total of 15 observations.  The following observations all took place on the evening of January 22, most of which took place while standing at Chambers Street, an island platform where it was possible to make both northbound and southbound observations at once.

7:07 PM - - Northbound F,  car 9522 - - failed
7:10 PM - - Northbound A, car 5959 - - failed (announced 2 train only
7:16 PM - - Southbound A, car 6018 - - failed
7:18 PM - - Northbound F,  car 9573 - - failed
7:24 PM - - Southbound A, car 5982 - - failed
7:28 PM - - Northbound F,  car 9447 - - failed
7:30 PM - - Northbound A, car 5866 - - failed
7:35 PM - - Southbound A, car 6210 - - failed
7:40 PM - - Northbound F, car  9422 - - failed
7:46 PM - - Southbound A, car 6004 - - failed
7:48 PM - - Northbound F, car  9783 - - failed (TSS was on board this train)
7:55 PM - - Southbound A, car 6154 - - No transfer announcement
8:03 PM - - Northbound A, car 6032 - - failed
8:05 PM - - Southbound A, car 6010 - - passed
8:15 PM - - Northbound F, car  9863 - - failed

One word of advice, don't ask conductors for directions because they will almost always give you the wrong answer.    Many times I would ask them where is the D/F or 2/3 and they would tell me where to go, not saying "they are not running".  How dismal is this when TSS and managers are not doing the jobs they are supposed to do?


  1. Are conductors on the A Division (IRT) even briefed about G.O.s on the B Division, or vice versa? I don't know what the procedures are, but I suspect they may not be.

  2. I rode a (N) train whose conductor made announcements for both the 2/3 and D/F service changes. He was very clear. But the rest was just a mess. There is a point when excuses can't be made for a state agency or its employees. Paper signs don't seem to do the work as well as intended. Conductors, at the very least, have to know what is going on in the rest of the system. If it is not planned, then it's not on them. Not hard to get a piece of paper and write these things down.