NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Joe Lhota found himself in a swirl of controversy on Monday – his first day on the job as the new chief of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Instead of shutting down a line on the weekends the authority said it is going to cut service overnight on weekdays for up to five consecutive nights.
The first major shutdown – scheduled for January 9 – 13 – is set for the Lexington Avenue 4, 5, and 6 trains. They will be suspended from Grand Central to Atlantic Avenue.
“We are one of the few transit systems that operate around the clock, so it’s always a challenge to find time to do work on the tracks, especially with ridership up on weekends and overnight,” said MTA President Tom Prendergast. “Closing segments of lines so that we can get in and get the work done quickly benefits everyone.”
1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria finds out what commuters think of the plan
Gene Russianoff, of the Straphangers Campaign, said the MTA believes this new approach will save money, reduce the overall time it takes to complete major repairs, maintain worker safety and minimize rider inconvenience.
“They made a solid case, now they really have to do genuine pilots to determine what the impact of this is on the riding public versus whether they made the gains in safety and productivity that they say they will,” Russianoff said.
He questions whether the benefits of this plan outweigh the costs.
“It would take tough commutes and make them even tougher,” Russianoff said. “You’re talking about people commuting in the dead of night…and asking them to walk a block, it may not sound like much, but at that hour of the morning many riders are going to be extremely inconvenienced.”
The Seventh Avenue 1, 2, and 3 trains will not run between 34th street and Atlantic Avenue, in Brooklyn, from February 13 through February 17.
The Sixth Avenue B, D, F and M trains will not run from 69th street to West 4th street between February 20 through February 24.
The Eighth Avenue A, C and E trains will not run from 59th Street to Jay street, in Brooklyn, from March 12 to March 16.
All the work will be done between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
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