PHOTO: The W and V lines were eliminated by the MTA in 2010 as part of sweeping service cuts brought on by the economic downturn. Photo Courtesy of Flickr/GojiMet86
By Michael V. Cusenza
The Dubya is set to return.
It seems that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is poised to dust off the W Train this fall and bring it back to its original Astoria home.
MTA New York City Transit last week proposed to hold a public hearing this spring on restoring the line in Queens and Manhattan in the fall, in order to allow the Q Line to begin serving the Second Avenue Subway between 63rd and 96th streets when it opens later this year.
Adding the W Line to the system will provide more choices to Queens and Manhattan straphangers who use the Broadway NQR lines, the MTA said, as well as allow New York City Transit to prepare for a seamless transition and connection of service between those lines and the Second Avenue Subway.
The proposed service changes would return the W to Ditmars Boulevard and Astoria, where it will operate local service into Manhattan and terminate at Whitehall Street. The line would effectively replace Q service in Queens. The Q Line will temporarily terminate at 57th Street/7th Avenue, but will continue to 96th Street upon completion of the Second Avenue Subway. In addition, N trains will operate express in Manhattan from 34th Street-Herald Square to Canal Street, a change from its current local service in Manhattan. R service would remain unchanged, the agency indicated.
Further details of the proposed service changes:
N Line: Service in Queens and Brooklyn remains the same, but trains operate express in Manhattan on weekdays during peak hours, midday and evenings.
Q Line: Northern terminus temporarily changed to 57th Street/7th Avenue until the Second Avenue Subway opens. At that point, trains will operate from 96th Street in Manhattan to Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue in Brooklyn, stopping at: 86th Street, 72nd Street, Lexington Avenue/63rd Street, 57th Street/7th Avenue and all express stops on the Broadway Line in Manhattan. During late nights, the Q will run local between Brooklyn and Manhattan via the Manhattan Bridge. Service in Brooklyn remains the same.
R Line: No service changes.
W Line: Restoration of weekday service, making all local stops from Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard to Whitehall Street via the Broadway Line. No service on weekends or late night.
The changes, including the restoration of the W, maintain “service frequency and loading guidelines” for customers in Astoria, according to the MTA, and avoid significant deviations from current service that might confuse riders on those affected lines. Straphangers on the Broadway Line will also benefit from an increase in choices for express and local service in Manhattan, the agency noted.
The cost for these service changes is approximately $13.7 million annually, which has been incorporated into NYC Transit’s approved budget.
The original W service, which began in summer 2001, was previously eliminated as part of devastating bus and train service cuts implemented by the MTA in 2010 as a result of the economic crisis of 2008-2009 that led to significant decreases in funding across all agencies.